We are delighted to have achieved the prestigious Artsmark Gold Award for a second time. This is a significant award from Arts Council England…
The Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. We support settings to develop and celebrate their commitment to arts and cultural education for all children and young people. Our flexible framework helps embed arts, culture and creativity to support a broad and ambitious curriculum, strengthen pupil voice and support personal progression. Welcome (artsmark.org.uk)
This award demonstrates our commitment as a school community to providing our students with broad, balanced and stimulating experience through our timetabled curriculum, extra-curricular programmes and enrichment provision. Given the disruption caused during the pandemic period, we are so pleased to have maintained our high standards and served our ambitions.
We are looking forward to another year of creativity, innovation and success for our students across the school.
The Arts at CCHS
A focus on Creativity at CCHS
What is creativity?
Creativity is the ability to use your imagination to come up with new ideas and to express yourself in unique and innovative ways. It is a critical skill that we need to develop and nurture in ourselves, whether we are student or a member of staff.
Creativity helps us develop problem-solving skills and if we think creatively, we are able to approach problems from different angles and find unique solutions. This ability is essential in today’s world, where we face: complex and ever-changing challenges that require creative solutions.
As a school, we provide students with opportunities to explore and experiment. We encourage them to take risks and to try new things. At CCHS we have subjects that allow our students to express themselves and we are able to celebrate and recognise creativity, by showcasing their work and providing opportunities for them to share it with others.
From our amazing dance shows, to the fantastic school productions each year, the uplifting and beautiful music at the school concerts and of course the wonderful work of our talented Art students in their various exhibitions, we are blessed to work with talented, imaginative and creative students.. These are just a small example of the creative things that happen in our school.
Creativity is seen all across the school making learning more fun and engaging and allowing students to express themselves and to learn.
‘To support challenge and inspire change through the Arts, in order to capture students’ imagination’.
To support our commitment to creativity across the school, we have appointed a team of Creative Prefects, who will aim to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of creativity at CCHS, and to increase the accessibility of creativity for all students.
To be involved in decision-making about creativity in the classroom and feedback to Student Voice.
To evaluate what creative initiatives are taking place now and to provide ideas for the future.
To work with a wide range of teachers to support / implement creativity in the classroom.
To be involved in Primary outreach work in the Arts and to inspire students’ interest in creative subjects.
To Run creative workshops in a variety of subjects.
To support with creative events in the school, such as Year 8 Creative Day, Creative Arts week, etc.
To run and organise fund-raising for creative projects.
To achieve the Silver Arts Award.
In Year 8, students are able to take part in the Bronze Art Award.
The Bronze Arts Award develops young people’s artistic abilities alongside their research and communication skills. This level involves them in the arts as creators and audience members, and encourages them to take their first steps towards leadership by sharing their learning with others.
This qualification develops art form knowledge and creativity alongside reflective practice, problem-solving skills and confidence. Young people complete a portfolio as their Arts Award journey progresses, explaining what they’ve seen, done and learned along the way.
For students to achieve the Bronze Arts Award, their portfolio must include evidence of:
actively participating in any art form
experience at least one arts event and reviewing it
researching the career and work of an artist or craftsperson
passing on an arts skill
Creative Prefects in Year 10 will have the opportunity to achieve the Silver Arts Award through their prefect role.
“Where artistic challenge meets arts leadership”
Silver Arts Award gives young people the chance to take on an artistic challenge and a leadership role too. As well as being about creativity, it’s about becoming a reviewer, researcher and project manager. Participants build a broad range of transferable skills as they complete their portfolio and gain a Level 2 qualification.
There are two strands to Silver Arts Award – one focusing on artistic practice and the other on arts leadership. Completing both successfully requires teamwork and independence, creativity and critical thinking, leadership and collaboration, confidence and communication.
Extra-curricular activities and Enrichment in the Arts
At CCHS, we encourage all students to take part in extra-curricular activities across the Arts as there are many be benefits to supports students’ mental health and wellbeing.
Developing Creativity: Participating in arts-related extra-curricular activities, such as music, dance, theatre, or visual arts, can help students develop and nurture their creative skills. These activities encourage participants to think outside the box and explore new and innovative ideas.
Enhancing Communication Skills: Many arts activities involve collaboration, whether it be working with other musicians in a band or actors in the school production. This can help students develop important communication skills such as active listening, clear expression of ideas, and effective feedback.
Building Confidence: Performing or showcasing artwork in front of others can be intimidating, but doing so can also help build confidence and self-esteem. Students who participate in the arts are often encouraged to take risks and push their boundaries, which can be a powerful tool in building confidence.
Developing Problem-Solving Skills: The creative process involves a lot of problem-solving. Whether it be working behind the scenes in the school production or finding the right chord progression for a song, arts activities provide students with opportunities to practice their problem-solving skills in a fun and engaging way.
Providing a Sense of Community: Extracurricular activities in the arts can provide a sense of belonging and community for students who share a common interest. This can be particularly beneficial for students who may feel isolated or disconnected in other areas of their lives.
Our Enrichment Day programme encompasses creativity for our students. For example, the Primary Schools Creative day and theYear 8 Creative Day.
Showcases, clubs, competitions and societies offering creative-related opportunities include, but are not limited to:
Learning art at school can have a significant impact on a student’s overall education and personal development. Art lessons and clubs can help students develop their creativity and imagination. They learn to think outside the box and explore new ideas and techniques. Art lessons and extra-curricular activities can provide a platform for students to express themselves in unique and meaningful ways. This can be especially beneficial for students who struggle to communicate their thoughts and feelings through other means.
Art Lessons often require students to analyse and interpret visual information, which can help develop critical thinking skills. They learn to observe details, recognise patterns, and make connections between different elements. Art Lessons expose students to a wide range of cultural traditions and perspectives. They learn to appreciate the diversity of artistic expressions from different cultures and time periods as well as developing an extensive knowledge of Art History.
By participating in Art lessons, students often work with hands-on activities that can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These skills can be valuable in many areas of life, including writing, typing, and other manual tasks.
At CCHS we have a very active extra-curricular program for Art and the Art rooms are always bursting to capacity at lunchtime. From daily open studios to Architect society, there is something for all students to enjoy.
Open studios run every morning before school and every lunchtime. Students have the opportunity to get involved in a planned club or do their own art work for fun. Everyone is welcome and the door is always open.
A Level work is exhibited in the Languages Foyer for examination moderation during July of each year and the GCSE work is exhibited throughout the school during May and June.
Dance is an important art form that can provide a range of benefits to our students, making it a valuable addition to our school curriculum.
Promotes Physical Fitness: Dancing is a great form of exercise and can help students stay physically fit. Through dance, students can improve their coordination, balance, flexibility, and stamina.
Encourages Creativity: Dance is a form of self-expression that allows students to explore their creativity and imagination. By learning different styles of dance, students can express themselves in new and unique ways.
Enhances Social Skills: Dancing is a social activity that requires collaboration and communication. Through dance, students can learn to work together as a team, respect each other’s ideas and perspectives, and develop important social skills.
Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem: When students learn to dance, they gain a sense of accomplishment and mastery over their bodies. This can boost their confidence and self-esteem, which can have positive effects on their academic and personal lives.
Supports Cultural Awareness: Dance is often closely tied to culture and heritage. By learning about different dance styles from around the world, students can develop an appreciation for different cultures and perspectives.
Overall, dance provides a unique and valuable learning experience that can help students grow physically, creatively, socially, and emotionally. Therefore, it is important for schools to include dance as part of their curriculum.
In Year 7 lessons focus on timing and step-count to a theme tune. The students create a paired routine using the same steps taught in the first lesson. They then branch off and create their own routine, telling their own stories as different characters. They then perform their routines to the rest of the class.
As we then move through to KS4, where they improve on the skills previously learned, students get more opportunities to work on their abilities and get creative with Just Dance and aerobics routines.
Alongside all the curriculum, students get the opportunity to be a part of the annual Dance show. Students audition for this in September and they practice and rehearse all the way up until the big performance in March. Rehearsals are at lunchtime and students are able to take part in many forms of dance such as Afro beats, ballet, street dance and more. This is led by the team of 6th form Dance Prefects who work hard to put on a great show.
A weekly lunchtime Drama Club is offered to Year 7. The girls have the opportunity to take part in Drama games, improvisation and script work with Drama staff and prefects.
Students are regularly taken on theatre visits to a wide range of theatre during their time at CCHS and we encourage girls to get out and see as much live theatre as they can.
We continue to work with external theatre companies to provide whole day workshops and performances in school for GCSE and Sixth Form Students. Recent workshops have included ‘Paperbirds’ and ‘SceneProductions’ to inspire the girls and support them further in trying out different styles of theatre for their practical work.
There is always great excitement around the school production open to various year groups each year. Some of our past successes have included ‘Hood the Musical’, ‘Hairspray’, ‘Annie’, ‘Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Dreamfest’.
Students’ examination work is shown to an invited audience on various evenings across the year group so that we can share the outstanding work the girls produce with their family and friends.
Drama and Theatre Studies at Chelmsford County High School for Girls inspires students to develop inquisitive minds and teach them how to explore life through the arts. It develops their understanding of the function of Drama in society and equips them for life with the necessary skills to become reflective, responsible adults, with the ability to make a positive contribution to the wider world. Drama is an important component in creating a well-rounded person, providing essential opportunities for growth and challenge beyond the mere subject content. We are proud of the opportunities we offer to our students and there are a wide variety of clubs and productions for students to involve themselves in.
We provide a range of trips and activities through the school’s enrichment curriculum. These include: a theatre trip for Year 7 to a pantomime, a theatre trip for Year 8 to see Matilda the Musical, and a visit to the Globe Theatre to undertake a tour and workshop in Year 9.
There are also a variety of clubs and societies taking place in the department. We have a Year 7 Drama Club, led by our Year 10 and 11 Prefects; we also have a Year 8 Joint Drama Society in collaboration with King Edward VI Grammar School, which is run by Sixth Form students in both schools.
We are a very active department, and we organise a large number of theatre trips and have regular visits from theatre companies such as Paper Birds, Stage-Ed and Splendid Theatre Productions.
Arguably the most important event in the Drama extra-curricular calendar is our school’s Whole School Production. Each year in the early part of the spring term, students from all year groups come together to showcase their artistic talents. In previous year’s we have produced largescale musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Oliver; and play productions of Antigone by Sophocles and A Mother’s Voice by Chris Owen. Our last school production took place in February 2023 and was the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
Clubs and Opportunities
Whole School Production
Year 7 Drama Club
CCHS and KEGS Joint Drama Society
At CCHS we have numerous extra-curricular activities in Music available to all our students and staff. From the Symphony Orchestra to the Samba Band we have opportunities for everyone to enjoy collective music making at a high level. In the past few years students have performed at local, regional and national festivals and are looking forward to further performances in the wider community. Past highlights include performing for her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex in Braintree and the highly successful annual Christmas Concerts featuring music as diverse as Harry Potter and the 1812 Overture. There truly is something for everyone at CCHS and suggestions from students and staff regarding ensembles and repertoire are always welcome.
Learning a musical instrument at Chelmsford County High School is a highly rewarding activity which is central to the musical life of the school.
The school offers high quality individual tuition in the following instruments:
Drums and Orchestral Percussion
Learning a musical instrument has been demonstrated to develop thinking skills, organisation and self-directed learning, concentration, coordination and, through lessons and ensemble work, communication skills. These attributes will be advantageous in many other, non-musical fields of endeavour. Instrumental students can develop a strong sense of achievement and self-esteem as they acquire a skill that can provide lifelong pleasure. Additionally, the opportunity to participate in showcase activities for the school looks impressive on UCAS and even future job applications.
All students in the school are encouraged to become part of this lively and happy community.
Junior Flute Choir
Senior Flute Choir
Double Reed Ensemble
School production music
BBC young composer’s competition
Essex Young Musician of the Year competition
Essex Music Hub workshops
ABRSM centre (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) – examination held every term