A South Shields Comprehensive is the first school in the Borough to receive a prestigious Arts award for its excellent work in art, drama and music.
King George V School in Nevinson Avenue has been awarded the 'Artsmark Silver' by the Arts Council of England, recognising the high quality of Arts work in the school.
To qualify for the Award, the school had to satisfy the Arts Council assessors that the Arts provision in the school - in Art, Drama and Music - is of an exceptional standard and scope. It also had to show that every student can benefit from what is offered, both in lesson time and in out-of-school activities.
Welcoming the news of the award, Head Teacher Dr John Frain said: "I am delighted that the work of the staff and students has been recognised in this way. This is compliment to the whole school, not just to the Arts departments, for schools have to show that the Arts are used across the curriculum as an aid to teaching a wide variety of subjects. Our audit of the curriculum showed that the Arts are used in almost every subject, from graphic design in Maths to creative writing in History, from poetry in Science to dance in PE."
Dr Frain added that the school is not resting on its laurels. "We are already running a community adult drama group and have been offering a course in video editing to primary colleagues. From September we hope to expand the activities we offer to local people with the opening up of our video and audio recording facilities."
Councillor Ron Reynolds, Lead Member for Lifelong Learning and Leisure, warmly welcomed the announcement. He said: "This is a very difficult award to achieve and it recognises the tremendous amount of talent that there is at King George V School.
I am very proud that the school has achieved this highly sought after award especially as it shows how the schools in South Tyneside are striving to be the best. On behalf of the LEA I want to congratulate all the teachers, pupils and parents for all their hard work and efforts."
The school is now bidding for specialist Arts College status and its application will go to the Department for Education and Skills in the autumn.