Arts Award Off the Shelf

Arts Award Off the Shelf

Picture of Alan Lynch

BY: Alan Lynch
23 Nov 2015

Off the Shelf is a new resource designed to support Bronze Arts Award. It will provide useful guidance to help you plan and deliver Bronze, and includes some great resources for both advisers and young people to use throughout. We’d like to tell you a bit more about it!

What is Off the Shelf?

Off the Shelf MenuAs implied in the title, Off the Shelf is built around one possible, ready-made, programme for delivering Bronze. Designed in a way which can be adapted across all art forms, it breaks down each part of Bronze into two sections: guidance for you as an adviser; and resources which can be used with young people. When used alongside the adviser toolkit, Off the Shelf can help structure Bronze delivery in whatever art forms your group of young people are working in.


For all four parts of Bronze, Off the Shelf offers guidance on how you can work with young people as an adviser.We start off by explaining the heart of the part – in other words, what young people should do for each part and what they should take from it. This is useful because it highlights to you what you should look out for both when planning an activity and assessing young people’s portfolios.

Off the Shelf Part B heart

The guidance sections also suggest practical ways that you can work with young people on each part. For instance in Part B we list some of the ways that young people can share their reviews of arts events, such as through Arts Award Voice or presentations. These ideas are included to provide a framework for the Bronze delivery programme that makes up Off the Shelf, making it simpler for advisers to plan what young people will do.


The resources provided in Off the Shelf are a combination of material to support your delivery and guides or prompts which young people can use when building their portfolios. Some of them are already available in our adviser hub resource library which we’ve selected to go with this programme. Others were created just for Off the Shelf, such as the video interviews with practitioners in Part C.Off the Shelf Part C video

For these videos the Arts Award Voice team have interviewed artists and arts organisations to create some great films and articles that can be used when exploring arts inspirations. They can be especially useful for centres where young people might not have access to artists or alternative research material.

Where applicable we’ve split resources up into distinct art forms, but most are general and can be tailored to suit the young people you’re working with.

More adviser tools

Off the Shelf Part C resource menu

In this section we’ve collated some general resources which can be used throughout Bronze Arts Award rather than focusing on a specific part. Amongst them is a Bronze activity mapping resource, which you can use to match existing activities to different parts of the award. This is a useful way to audit anything that you have planned already, and perhaps build these into your Bronze delivery plan. Doing this at the start could make planning your project much easier, as there might be plenty of opportunities for young people to get involved in the arts in place already!

Another resource included here that’s worth highlighting is our guide to evidencing Arts Award for young people with learning difficulties. This guide provides examples taken from portfolios which demonstrate the variety of ways young people can gather evidence of their Arts Award journey. Hopefully it can inspire you to encourage young people to assemble some varied and personalised portfolios – while it was designed for advisers working with SEN there are ideas here that can be applied to any group.

Everything included on this list of adviser tools can be used alongside Off the Shelf, complementing the resources specific to individual parts.

Get started!

Off the Shelf should provide a programme that you can take and use to deliver Bronze Arts Award with only minor adjustments to make it work for your young people. But it also provides some great tips and resources which can stand on their own – even if you don’t want to follow this programme, Off the Shelf has something to offer.

So have a look around, and let us know what you think!

The Arts Award team can be reached at our helpdesk on 020 7820 6178, or by emailing

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