Nurturing Hearts & Minds: Putting Arts at the Heart

Part of our vision as a STEAM school is to raise the profile of the Arts.

We are a school that has consciously put Arts at the Heart of our culture, ethos and community.


We are very  fortunate to be the home of the The Didcot Art Room so we have an art therapy provision on site.

This month we are delighted to be exhibiting our art work produced by our community over the last year at The Cornerstone, our local Arts venue. It was fab to be at the opening with proud students, parents and staff. Standing in a gallery space, with every piece on show produced at our school, accompanied by our talented choir, brought a tear to my eye.


I have had many proud moments as a Headteacher over the last 2 years, but the most memorable ones have all involved or been linked to the Arts:

  • Shakespeare Schools’ Festival 2017 and 2018  – we have performed Midsummer’s Night Dream and As You Like It in local theatres
  • Boys do Ballet – we are home to a ballet school and a principal male dancer came and worked with our students for a day
  • Sports Day 2018 – we celebrate alternative sports and invited parents along to watch
  • Voices of Aureus – we now have a school choir, a school song and peripatetic lessons
  • Royal Albert Hall – we performed This Is Me with Makaton alongside 500 other children from Oxfordshire
  • STEAM Days – we have one termly and our last one was focused on the Arts and Music
  • Official Opening – our Aureus School Choir performed with our Aureus Primary Choir for the first time

We are also delighted to be working closely with the local Arts Council to fund collaborations with artists:

  • Lorna Carmen McNeill – worked with our students on a light installation and we have a fabulous values chandelier hanging in our hall
  • Michael Condron – is nearly finishing his installation in the local community, he has been based at Aureus and our students have worked with him on the sculpture
  • Claire Costello – is currently working with our students on a mosaic inspired by our motto: Nurturing Hearts and Minds

We have a small but brilliant team. What Laura our Art lead achieved in year 1 and what Abi our Art technician, Kate our DT teacher, Hannah our Music Lead and Drew our Drama Lead and the Arts Faculty Leader have achieved half-way through year 2 is really very impressive.

The future shines bright as our Arts faculty are growing and we are excited to be recruiting DT, Dance and Media teachers to add even more passion, skills, experience and collaborations to our dynamic team.

We are also excited to be working towards the Arts Mark. The feedback  from everyone who attended the Nurturing Hearts and Minds exhibition sums up what art means to us all at Aureus.


Hannah, The Hopeful Headteacher

Currently feeling hopeful about:

  • The profile we give to celebrating the Arts at Aureus
  • The community Arts Partnerships and the collaborative projects we are working on

Currently reading and thinking about:

  • There has been a lot shared recently about the research into the teaching of music
  • We are starting our Arts Mark journey as an opportunity to review our provision

Currently feeling grateful for:

  • Our brilliant Arts Faculty: Drew, Laura, Kate, Abi, Hannah, Charlotte & Chris
  • The Cornerstone for hosting our exhibition
  • Abi brown for making the magic happen & for connecting us with artists
  • Our artist partners – Michael, Lorna, Claire and Rachael
  • Our staff who were #10%brave enough to exhibit their own art work alongside our students