What are Specialist Schools?
The Specialist Schools Programme (SSP) helps schools, in partnership with private sector sponsors and supported by additional Government funding, to establish distinctive identities through their chosen specialisms and achieve their targets to raise standards.
Specialist schools have a special focus on those subjects relating to their chosen specialism but must also meet the National Curriculum requirements and deliver a broad and balanced education to all pupils.
Specialist schools work with named partner schools for the benefit of pupils beyond their own school boundaries and with other groups of people in the wider community. This ensures that the programme has an impact by helping to create a diverse network of secondary provision through the sharing of good practice and expertise.
What is a Specialist Arts College?
Arts Colleges raise standards of achievement and the quality of learning in their chosen area of the arts for all their students, leading to whole school improvement in performance.
Arts Colleges nurture within their students a lifelong passion for, and appreciation of, the arts as both participants and discriminating audiences. They are inclusive by promoting enjoyment of many different artistic forms and encouraging participation in a wide variety of artistic activity for all students.
Arts Colleges are innovative in finding new ways for learners to learn well. They identify ways in which the arts can improve learning in other curriculum areas. They take a lead in using ICT as a means of enhancing learning in the arts and other subjects. They will enable students to work in school with professionals involved in the arts and creative industries, and to enjoy artistic experiences outside the classroom.
Arts Colleges maximise the opportunities for young people to achieve in the arts and gain access to employment, further training and higher education in the arts.
Arts Colleges are centres of excellence for the arts, sharing resources and developing and sharing leading practice with other schools and their communities. They are committed to the professional development of staff.
What sort of Arts College is Mill Hill?
There are three broad areas of the Arts - performing, visual and media. Schools either focus exclusively on one of these broad areas or, if they prefer, focus mainly on one or the broad areas but include elements from the others.
Mill Hill school takes pride in the fact that it is developing a strong lead in all three of these areas. We believe that these areas (performing, visual and media) are complementary, and participation in all three are essential for pupils' learning across the curriculum. Pupils benefit from a wide variety of perspectives and approaches that are found within these core art areas, and taken together these facilitate creativity, vigour, attention to detail, and develop a healthy capacity to learn.
Thus we find that pupils trained vigorously in musical performance produce conscientious presentations, pupils versed in the visual arts labour much more over media and business promotions, and pupils of vocational media studies adeptly take on practical tasks across the curriculum. We feel that the video above clearly demonstrates how the arts inspire, educate and exalt healthy learning in our pupils and the wider community.