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Ofsted Outstanding School 2012 | 2013
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CALSA Lead School

At Ormiston Victory, we are delighted to have been asked to become a Lead CALSA School by Festival Bridge. We cannot think of a nicer responsibility to have! This means we will lead a group of CALSA teachers and coordinate their work to maximise access to cultural and arts experiences. 

We have appointed our CALSAs (teachers from a range of schools who share our passion for art and culture) and they commence work in September 2018! We will happily accept any dynamic ideas about how we can hep young people access arts opportunities – so contact us if you can! 

Our CALSAs will work with other schools to provide a range of support – be it arranging for a live theatre experience or helping a new member of staff with leading their subject. On this page you will find summaries and profiles of these wonderful people – and a log of the good work they will do. 

What is CALSA?

Cultural & Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies (CALSA) is a key regional programme developed by Festival Bridge in 2015 to ensure that the benefits of cultural education are accessible to children and young people across our region.

Engagement and understanding of arts and culture stimulate spiritual, moral, and cultural (SMSC) development of children and young people, which are Ofsted criteria contributing to the overall assessment rank of each school.

CALSAs are confident education leaders who enable other teachers to introduce a sound element of cultural education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Whether it’s about initiating an arts project for students, starting Arts Award or applying for Artsmark – CALSAs can use their knowledge and expertise to support the ambitions of other education settings.

The CALSA model was piloted in the academic year 2015/16 with two teaching schools taking on the Lead School role and 10 teachers becoming CALSAs. Over 3014 students were impacted thought CALSA work in its first year. In 2016/17 academic year Festival Bridge is rolling out the model and expects to work with 8 lead schools and between 40-50 CALSAs across the Festival Bridge area.

The CALSA Team

Helen Dickenson Becky MizonHannah Morris Sarah Simm
ArtArtDramaMusical Theatre
Thomas Wolsey Ormiston AcademyOrmiston Victory AcademyOrmiston Denes AcademyOrmiston Venture Academy


Helen Dickenson, Art at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy

Hannah Morris, Drama at Ormiston Denes Academy

Becky Mizon, Art at Ormiston Victory Academy

“I believe the arts are for everyone. They enrich us as people, build confidence and help us view the world from a more considered perspective.”

Becky’s Portfolio:

Sarah Simm – Musical Theatre – Ormiston Venture Academy

A First for the East of England

The first 5 new qualifications for Culture and Arts Leaders for Schools and Academies were awarded in December 2018 and 4 of the leaders visited the Faculty to celebrate with Professor Colleen McLaughlin at the end of January. It was her YouTube presentation on Action Research that introduced them to the benefits of research. The CALSAs were drawn from Norfolk and Suffolk.       

Professor Colleen McLaughlin, Centre with the CALSAs.

Sarah SImm, Ormiston Venture Academy, Claire Dunn, Great Weltenham Primary, Rebecca Mizon, Ormiston Victory Academy, Clare Hunt, Ickworth Park Primary.

Clare Lamb, Head & Director The Lark Teaching School (L), and Kate Brown, Head of Art at King Edward VI Bury St Edmunds ( R) were the tutors. Michael Corley, Head of Festival Bridge is at the back.

The Arts Council has 10 x Bridge Organisations across the country. Festival Bridge is the organisation covering Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk. The Bridges were established to promote Arts and Culture to children and young people. Their work is influenced by the Cultural Education Challenge set in 2015. https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/children-and-young-people/cultural-education-challenge-0

Culture and Arts Leaders for Schools and Academies (CALSA) were initiated by Festival Bridge in 2015.  50 x CALSAs are based across the area hosted by 10 x Lead Schools/Academies. They are recognised for their excellence in the classroom and their ability to work with other teachers to create sustainable arts and culture experiences for children in their area. The use of Arts Mark as a school improvement tool is incorporated into the way they work.

In 2018 The Lark Teaching School, based at All Saints CoE Primary in Lawshall, Suffolk worked with Festival Bridge to deliver a pilot Leadership & Management qualification. The 6-month programme covered all aspects of Leadership and Management including System Leadership and Change Management. A key part of the work was an Action Research and each participant looked at a way of teaching that could increase participation in Arts and Culture. This ranged from a portable box to provide the stimulus for still life drawing to the use of older students to engage boys in the Arts in Primary Schools.

The evaluations have indicated that the participants felt that their work had been recognised more positively by senior leaders in their own organisation through participation in the programme. They gained confidence in International, National and Regional thinking about Educational leadership. Above all they appreciated the opportunity to spend time with other specialists to reflect on best practice in an area that has not been the focus of national expectations.

As part of the celebration the participants visited the library at the Faculty. This inspired them all to continue with their research and look for additional opportunities through the Faculty. Jane Warwick and Ros McLellan have been supporting the progress of the pilot and tracking the development of the qualification as it moves into the second cohort in 2019.



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