Arts & Culture

Why are Arts and Culture important to Tees Valley?

‘Involvement with arts and culture is crucial to imagination, self-expression and creativity in young people. It also develops the skills that fuel the success of the UK’s creative industries, and that will result in the next generation of creative talent across the country.’ Arts Council England (2022)

At Tees Valley Education our purpose for Arts and Culture is to nurture passionate, imaginative and inquisitive individuals, who can see and experience the world from a creative perspective, enjoying and exploring past and present art and musical forms generated from an array of different cultures throughout the world.

Music and Performance at TVEd is shaped by the belief that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We aim to provide a high quality music education that engages and inspires our pupils to develop a love of music, develops their musical talents as musicians, increase their self-confidence and sense of achievement. We want our pupils to critically engage with music, compose, listen, sing and perform with the very best music can offer.

Art and Design at TVEd is sculpted on a foundational belief that art allows pupils to become confident independent artists who are creative and express themselves. Through exposure to diverse cultural heritage and artist led approach, pupils will foster a love of art and understand how art contributes to the creativity and wealth of our nation.

How do we support and champion Arts and Culture?

In all our academies, we support our students to aspire through their learning experiences to standards of excellence intellectually, practically, and aesthetically. The curriculum we provide is rich in skills and knowledge. Through our curriculum, we aim to provide students with an experience that is exciting and to ensure that our students combine practical skills with creative thinking, developing highly valuable and transferrable skills for future careers and life.  We aim to provide a cultural education that enhances aspiration and ambition, develop communication and team working skills, strengthen creative and critical thinking skills, and build discipline and confidence in young people. It can enrich teaching and learning across the curriculum, encourage parental engagement with pupils’ learning, open up career pathways and has a profound effect on the ethos of a schools.

At Tees Valley Education, we are heavily invested in music, performing arts, creative arts and real-life experiences both within each school and across the Trust pursuing opportunities for the children and staff to experience, learn from and be immersed in the arts. We provide weekly specialist music tuition so that children and staff have the opportunity to learn. As a Trust, we have collaborated with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to work with artists to extend the breadth and depth of artistic opportunity available for the Trust and other schools who participated.

The TVEd choir have sung in local, regional and national events for over 10 years. Our choir is accessed by all children who want to share their voice – boys, girls, KS1 and KS2, mainstream, special needs, and across cultures, ethnicities and languages. It truly unites us as a Trust, the communities which we serve, and for the audiences for whom we have performed at local churches, town halls, performance centres and theatres. We have performed in the smallest church in Scotland, universities, concert halls in Sheffield and London, as well as Middlesbrough Town Hall, The Sage Gateshead and at The Royal Festival Hall in London. This enabled our children and their families to experience iconic regional and national venues.

Our Commitment

Here are some examples of our commitment to individuals and groups in our schools and across Tees Valley:

Young Voices – Sheffield
At Young Voices, our children took part in one of the largest annual children’s choir concerts in the world. They performed alongside 5,000-8,000 other children as a single choir to audiences of family and friends.

St Nicholas Church, Guisborough
St Nicholas’ Church have hosted a number of events for TVEd. The choir have performed for parents and families to celebrate Easter and Christmas as well as taken part in an annual singing festival.

The Creative Star Project
A whole school approach to further embedding creativity across the curriculum and build confidence. Each year group explored an artist as the perfect vehicle for introducing the creative star habits of inquisitiveness, persistence, discipline, imagination and collaboration.

The Wizard of Oz
Children from all the Trust united to bring to the parents, carers, families and community of TVEd, a wonderful evening of performance and song at Middlesbrough Theatre.

Creativity in Action
Children from all academies across the Trust showcased their creativity and celebrated their work in a collaborative art gallery with other schools across the Tees Valley.

Middlesbrough Town Hall
The Trust choir performed as the opening act on stage at Middlesbrough Town Hall with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as part of Middlesbrough Jazz Weekend.

Middlesbrough schools’ Royal Navy design an aircraft competition
Pupils from Brambles Primary Academy with Middlesbrough Achievement Partnership took part in a special competition to design and name a future aircraft for the Royal Navy!

The Sage, Gateshead and Royal Festival Hall, London
A music extravaganza by the children of sixteen schools across the North East celebrating songs from the shows supported by the Strictly Come Dancing orchestra performed both regionally and nationally.

An evolution of Trust collaborative work with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation was the creation of the Tees Valley Creative Learning Partnership and the creation of a educational resource website to raise the profile of arts for young people in the UK.

What Arts and Culture at Tees Valley mean to the children 

“The build-up and the performance was lots of fun. I felt lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of it.” – Jensen

“Young Voices was certainly something I will always remember in my life.” – Romie

What Arts and Culture at Tees Valley Education mean to the staff

“Music has allowed our children to improve their confidence. This could present itself as the look on their faces when they have performed with the choir, the pride they have when they perform in front of their peers or the excitement that comes when they pick up a new instrument for the first time.”

“Young Voices is such a wonderful day for all involved. The children enjoy eating lunch in a real restaurant and being able to spend time with children from various year groups in a non-school setting. It is lovely to see the older children supporting our younger children over lunch. The concert itself is an experience unlike any other. Working with professionals shows our children the meaning of work ethic and striving for your goals, and it broadens our pupils’ musical knowledge as they sing songs like Carmina Burana and The Beatles. Overall, being part of the final concert is such a fun experience and one that the children always talk about for years to come.”

What Arts and Culture at Tees Valley Education mean to the parents and community

“The after school clubs and activities the trust offer have helped my child gain confidence and maintain strong friendships with pupils throughout the school.” 

“When my daughter came to Pennyman she had selective mutism linked to the anxieties she faced at her previous school. During her time spent at Pennyman I was able to watch her confidence grow and her personality blossom. By the time she reached her year six class she was empowered so much so that she was cast as “Nala” a lead role in the Year six Performance of the Lion King. This opportunities for her to grow and develop has definitely contributed to her self-belief and self-worth. She is now studying at university for her dream job as a midwife.”


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