Bringing learning to life through arts and culture
Arts & Media School Islington are to be commended for their ongoing commitment to arts and cultural activities for pupils. It is good to read how you are continuing to engage with over twenty partners including; Platform, Urdang Academy, Dance is an area of strength at the school, Big Creative Education, Italia Conti and STEM, to help inform pupils of future career choices within the arts and that creativity week is now a standing feature your school calendar. You have also developed cross curricular projects such as, Global Warming, where students have built a large whale to represent the effect of plastic consumption on our oceans, which has helped to both enhance pupils learning environment and understanding of these global issues. It is good to hear that you are sharing best practice, including the attending borough meetings and secondary school transition events, it would have been good to hear more about what impact this had on the schools that attended these meetings and the subsequent impact on pupil outcomes. Your partnership with Cubitt Art is developing well and you may wish to develop a bank of case studies which outline the positive impact on pupils learning.
*UPDATE* September 2023: You’ve achieved an Artsmark Platinum Award!
We are delighted to inform you that your setting has been awarded an Artsmark Platinum Award. Congratulations!
‘You clearly have a long-term commitment to arts and culture which is having measurable effects on pupils and staff within school and beginning to make a difference within other settings. All pupils can access a broad and consistent range of arts and cultural provision through work with local arts and cultural organisations, both in school and on visits outside the classroom, which leads to showcasing in school and the local community. There is SLT and governor support, including teachers and leaders with specialist arts knowledge, and the arts are the driver in school planning. This journey focused on outward facing activity. Pupils leading outreach sessions in local primary schools for voice and youth leadership is brilliant. It’s also great to hear about your work with Middlesex University, Cubitt Arts, and Creativity Week. All these give us a sense of projects that are happening in school.’
Congratulations on your Artsmark Platinum Award!
The Music department has extremely high expectations of all students. The department consists of an experienced and highly reflective subject specialist, who has a specific interest in developing the creative use of ICT in order to improve musical outcomes. Students are systematically exposed to a knowledge-rich curriculum that reflects the diversity of musical tastes, preferences and experiences within our school community but also within the wider local, national and ultimately international society.
Head of Music: Mr. Dow
Thank you, as always, to all the featured students for their resilience in investing hours of practice and dedication in perfecting their incredible performances and to our fantastic instrumental tutors for supporting and mentoring our aspiring musicians.
Science is a beautiful subject with close ties to the arts. The entire scientific process involves one thinking, discovering, reflecting and improving; all of which are key components in the arts.
At AMSI, we value and actively encourage the use of practicals in our teaching to ensure that all pupils are able to experience the scientific process firsthand in their journey of discovery.
The curriculum has been designed in such a way that every topic covered has at least one practical within it to facilitate this. We also incorporate a curriculum in which content is revisited to ensure all pupils are able to make outstanding progress and achieve their true potential; in line with every child a scholar.
The Religious Education department encourages each student to demonstrate mutual respect for all aspects of culture. Each child is given a voice, during each lesson to relate cultural experiences, linked to topics being discussed.
Physical Education at AMSI has strong values that are key to sport and physical activity. We encourage our students to compete fairly and to develop a culture of teamwork and camaraderie. Our students explore differences in tactics and skills across sports and how these may differ between coaches and cultural preferences.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department at AMSI brings to our students the ability to recognise other cultures and understand others to better understand themselves. The aim is to build strong and reflective global citizens, capable of accepting, comprehending and empathising with cultural references and manifestations that are different than their own.
The Maths department at AMSI has a mastery based maths curriculum, to ensure all students achieve in Maths. The school values and ethos of ‘Every child a scholar’ are pivotal in aiding the students to confidently achieve in Mathematics and believing that they ‘can do Maths’.
The geography department at AMSI promote the school’s ethos, every child is a scholar through use of photographs and cartoon captions for interpretative skills that develop culture capital through reflection/empathy of people on a wide scale; for example, global suffering from the effects of climate change has on people losing homes and loved ones to build on understanding of other communities. In addition, students have opportunities to complete decision making activities to develop confidence for writing using PEEL writing techniques to develop and justify written arguments on issues such as the effects of climate change. Leading to students reflecting on their local and national carbon footprint and the benefits of adaptation and mitigation strategies for a sustainable future.
The History Department values promoting authentic cultures within a positive and inclusive environment. Students feel safe in participating in discussion and debate on historical concepts, cultures and interpretation of events
The English faculty is a collaborative and creative department, driven by the pursuit of academic excellence. We are an innovative and supportive department who have high expectations for all our students and a relentless focus on pupil progress. The department consists of experienced subject specialists who are reflective practitioners that have an interest in pedagogy and a drive to improve the curriculum and outcomes for our students. We aim to provide students with a knowledge rich curriculum that reflects the diversity of voices and experiences within society. Our pedagogy is informed by current educational research and draws on cognitive science to maximise progress for every student.
We aim to provide students with a skill and
knowledge rich curriculum that reflects the diversity of voices and experiences within society.
The Drama department is innovative and supportive of pupils and has high expectations of all pupils. The department consists of an experienced subject specialist who is a reflective practitioner and has an interest in pedagogy and a drive to improve the curriculum and outcomes. We aim to provide pupils with a knowledge rich curriculum that reflects the diversity of voices and experiences within society.
The Dance Department at AMSI brings to our students the ability to recognise and celebrate other cultures through the medium of Dance. Every Dance scheme of work begins with a historical underpinning of the origins of that particular dance form. The aim is to build a culturally diverse curriculum that enriches students culturally and artistically. This in turn develops the cultural capital of students.
Dance values and acknowledges the importance of cross curricular learning so that students can make connections between subjects and see the value one subject has in another.
In the Computer Science department we encourage our students to be creative while using different technological tools available. We allow this to all year groups and provide different platforms to all our students to do this. We aim to link our programme of study to the modern world.
We study a wide variety of Cultures, Times, Ideas and people in the Art curriculum. This is mapped across the 5 years. We offer extra curricular opportunities which link to our programme of study and broaden the students’ understanding of who can be successful in the Arts industry.
Good quality outcomes, sustained work and high skill level is an expectation. Clear annotation of well considered projects and development in student work is always facilitated.
Displays of impressive work within our school community are always evident.
The values that underpin PSHE are primarily British Fundamental Values and especially those of mutual respect and the rule of law. Culturally, while exploring a range of contentious issues the values of respect and tolerance are promoted at all times. Learning is incremental and age-appropriate as more serious topics are gradually introduced and students have a range of creative methods of study from presenting their work to the class/debating/interpreting film clips/ drawing images that relate to the work and group work where teams discuss an issue and report back as a whole.
AMSI are host to Block C – an innovative partnership with local arts organisation, Cubitt Artists, which sees our former woodwork classroom repurposed into four artist studios. This is a unique resource, enabling AMSI students and staff to collaborate with artists and gain insights into their creative practice.
Since our partnership began in 2018, we have delivered 10 projects, reaching over 230 students. These have included lunchtime carnival workshops, a holiday photography club, an extended placement in the Modern Foreign Language department, a student-led investigation into archives, and one-to-one studio sessions with young people who are accessing Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services.
In spring 2021, AMSI students were part of Remote Connections, a Cubitt project in which four artists and groups of Islington residents from different generations gathered online and in person. In addition to AMSI, these gatherings took place in an extra care setting, with community centres and from people’s living rooms.
Through conversations and creative experiments, the groups explored what helps them to feel connected with each other and themselves, with their surroundings, and across time, distance and generations.
You can read In the Making – a workbook produced from the project and see below for a short film that AMSI students made with artist Lydia CS.
Current resident artists:
Artist and educator Jasmin Bhanji grew up in North London attending a large comprehensive school before studying for her degree at Brighton University. She has since gained a PGCE and a Masters (UCL) in Art Education. She currently works with children and adults from Nursery to 90 years old, exploring opportunities for learning in contemporary art making and exhibitions. Jasmin has worked with many institutions and schools over her career including University of the Arts, Morley College, Whitechapel Gallery and Bow Arts.
One of Jasmin’s goals is to demystify art, artists, and processes. She aims to be open and clear about how she and others go about making art. In her own work, she is curious about the absences and omitted stories in the archives of art history. Considering herself a direct product of complex colonial and post-colonial histories, she acts as a magpie in the studio, accumulating and arranging layered imagery, images of artists, artefacts, and art materials to question the concept of ‘the artist’ and ‘the studio.’
Niki Kohandel is an artist and filmmaker who explores translation as a tool for solidarity, care and radical change. Niki led a lunchtime workshop in the library where students made ‘poetry boats’ and is developing a project with Mr Bezant which explores creative ways of telling stories.
michael. is an artist and youth worker who works with film and sound. michael. led a lunchtime mapping workshop in the library, where students shared their favourite places in Islington. He’s working with Ms Charlery in Geography to support students to explore their relationship with Islington through walking, sound recording and filming.
Previous resident artists:
Kaleidoworks / Betsy Dadd & Lydia CS. Meera Shakti Osborne, Maya Fineburg, Beautriz Marques Moreira Da Silva, Meriem Mecili, Zoe Horne & Isabella Furness, Central St Martins (CSM) BA (Hons) Fine Art students, on placement as part of their Diploma in Professional Studies, Levi Naidu-Mitchell, Esther McManus, Joe Namy, Janetka Platun, Schooling & Culture
About Cubitt Artists
Cubitt Artists is an artist-led cooperative based in Islington, North London, built on the belief in the value of art and artists in society. Established in 1992 and an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation, we provide 32 affordable artist studios, a gallery, and a celebrated community-led arts programme which has reached over 12,000 young people, teachers and older people across the borough.