Lowestoft school wins award for its religious education teaching

Mr Wayne Buisst, Head of RE at Ormiston Denes, holding the RE Quality Mark certificate

Mr Wayne Buisst, Head of RE at Ormiston Denes, holding the RE Quality Mark certificate - Credit: Archant

Staff and students at a Lowestoft high school are celebrating after securing two 'exceptional' awards.

Ormiston Denes Academy has been recognised for excellence in arts and cultural provision and for 'embedding excellent, creative and innovative Religious Education' practice throughout the school.

A spokesman for the Academy, in Yarmouth Road, said: 'We have just received two exceptional awards – the ArtsMark Gold and the RE Quality Mark. This is a fabulous achievement on the part of our staff here.'

The Artsmark Gold status was awarded to Ormiston Denes in recognition of the school's 'excellence in arts and cultural provision,' according to the spokesman.

'We were able to showcase the skills and talents of our students and the plethora of opportunities available in the curriculum and beyond, from our recent Seussical the Musical, to radio workshops with Inspire House patron – radio four presenter and alumni, Zeb Soanes,' the spokesman said. Particular praise was given to the school's efforts in performing in the local community and being involved in numerous events and celebrations.

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'We were recognised for our sustained partnerships with arts practitioners such as Eastfeast, who work tirelessly with our students at developing creative approaches in our academy allotment/garden,' the spokesman added.

The school's enrichment programme and encouraging the tudents to apply their learning in new contexts across the curriculum were also praised.

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'Our students discussed passionately about the Arts at Ormiston Denes Academy – we are proud of all their achievements and thank them for their commitment and contributions,' said Sally Erb, senior assistant principal.'

In recognition of high quality religious education at the school, Ormiston Denes Academy also achieved the gold award for the Religious Education Quality Mark.

And the certificate awarded to the school – which has been signed by Dr Joyce Miller, chairman of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales – says it all. It states: 'Ormiston Denes Academy has been awarded the RE Quality Mark Gold for embedding excellent, creative and innovative RE practice throughout the school and for recognition as outstanding in the wider community.'

The RE Quality Mark recognises good practice in RE and also provides a powerful tool for development. Wayne Buisst, Head of RE, said: 'We were praised for innovative curriculum design and providing great experiences. The student panel spoke very highly and positively about their experiences within the department.'

Delighted with both honours, principal Peter Marshall said: 'I could not be more proud of the work of our academy and of all our students. It was therefore no surprise to me, but nonetheless great to gain the recognition of the wider academic community, that we were successful in our applications for Artsmark Gold and the Quality Mark for RE, also at Gold standard. Both awards are highly prized and rarely awarded on the first attempt.'

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