STUDENTS are celebrating after their teachers made an art form of lessons to win national praise for their work.

Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS) has received two accolades from the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI), recognising the inspirational work of its teachers.

Art and music were highlighted for enhancing lessons and creating a culture where the students drive themselves towards success.

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Head of art Rachel Neville said: “This is all about individual learning; about setting up a curriculum in such a way that students teach themselves.

“We add our expertise when it is needed, with demonstrations of techniques. But it is much more empowering if the pupils are self-sufficient and it also means that any teacher can successfully cover a lesson because the students are so motivated and equipped.”

She said she had to be open to and interested in any idea, which she then helped the student develop.

“It is just so rewarding as the students feel valued, so they put more into their work with amazing results,” she said.

“The quality of work is outstanding and the students are really proud of it.”

Headteacher Calvin Kipling said: “I covered one art lesson and the students ended up teaching me. This way every single student can find something they are good at and they are encouraged to succeed.”

Head of music Jol Loughlin said: “We get students who say they can’t sing and can’t perform and it is our job to change those perceptions and build their self-confidence and esteem.”