Pupils and staff at infant school in Luton achieve two awards

William Austin Infant School
William Austin Infant School

Staff and pupils at a Luton school are celebrating two top awards.

William Austin Infant School has been awarded the Silver Artsmark Award by Arts Council England and the Quality Mark as a Values-based School.

The Silver Artsmark Award will enrich the school’s arts provision and bring many benefits across the curriculum.

An assessment panel were impressed by improved vocabulary amongst reception pupils and staff becoming more confident in their teaching of 3D art.

The school is also celebrating being awarded a Quality Mark as a Values-based School. The aim of Values-based Education is to inspire children to adopt and live positive human values. Staff at William Austin Infant School actively promote British values through the school’s Values Based Education programme, encourage all children to ‘live values the William Austin Way’ and regularly invite parents into classrooms to share values lessons.

To achieve the Quality Mark, the school submitted a portfolio of evidence showing that their Values Education Programme supports the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of every child within the school.

The Values assessors who visited the school said: “There is overwhelming evidence that this is a Values-based School. Staff are clear role models of values to the pupils and values underpin the strategic thinking of the school and all the policies and practices that are in place.

“Children enjoy being at school, they come in to school smiling and take every opportunity to get involved in school life e.g. Pupil Parliament, lunchtime helpers. The children know what is expected of them and how to make good choices in their behaviour and their learning.

“Pupils support each other and are respectful of the differences they may have in faith and religion. The school is a lovely place to learn. It is a happy school where staff are developed and actively support and care for each other, as well as the children.”

With the help of a local art specialist the staff and pupils painted a giant mural on the wall of the school hall to link the Artsmark and Values awards. The mural shows children from around the world holding hands standing under a rainbow, and also features some of the values that the children have been learning about such as peace, unity and forgiveness.

Headteacher Bal Kang said: “In our school every individual is valued for who they are and what they contribute to the school. We teach values that help pupils to work together with tolerance and respect. They learn the importance of friendship, understanding and trust, and this gives them a bank of skills to use throughout their life. We are confident that our School Values give pupils the awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today.

“We have been working towards these awards for two years and I am very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our children and staff. I am also delighted that Arts Council England has recognised our commitment to the arts and cultural education.”