Bradon Forest School have just been re-awarded their specialist status in the arts.
The continuation of the arts status, which was first granted to the Purton school by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in 2006, is validation of their ongoing hard work and dedication to the arts.
Bradon Forest have already planned their celebrations to mark the end of their first four years, and now this can double as a celebration for the next four! The Big Top Arts Festival is a bigger and better take on their annual arts festival which is held at the end of each Summer term.
They have booked a Big Top tent for the special weekend, and it will run from Thursday 9 July to Sunday 12 July 2009. The festival will include many exciting events and activities including performances from local primary schools and other local schools with specialist arts status, as well as musicians, artists and other performance groups such as Swindon Young Actors and PADS (Purton Amateur Dramatics Society). They will also, of course, have a number of Bradon Forest productions as part of the festivities!
The festival line-up is currently being confirmed and they have a website up and running at www.bigtopfestival.co.uk.
David Calder, the Head of Expressive Arts, has said: "A big thank you to all staff and students who have worked so hard to make this aspect of student life a success. Re-designation means that we can press ahead with lots of exciting new developments in the arts, both in school and the local community."
The specialist award enables the school to not only develop the arts subjects both curricular and extra-curricular, but also support other subject areas. For example, the theatre is playing host to the Science departments Wow Show and also the French drama production by Onati for the Modern Foreign Languages department, and the Drama department will be running Shakespeare workshops, using professional actors, for the English department to name just three current projects.
This week Sally Cooke, their resident Ceramicist, starts her fourth community ceramics course. The evening classes which have been running since May 2008, have proved very successful and each six or eight week course has been pre-booked before the current run ends. The classes offer adults the opportunity to learn a variety of hand building methods and also design their own clay piece using glazes and various finishes.
Len Spiers, the Headteacher, has said: "It is really pleasing that our excellent new Art facilities are being utilised for this very worthwhile community venture sponsored by our Specialist School Arts funding."
As always, the Braodn Forest Theatre will continue to have an exciting and varied calendar of events. March is a particularly exciting month with performances from professional companies Shifting Sands on Wednesday 11th and Bric a Brac Productions on Wednesday 25th. GCSE students will also be performing their final piece, Dario Fo's Abducting Diana, on 19th and 20th March. Please see the theatre pages at www.bradonforest.co.uk for full listings, trailers and booking information.