Advisers’ work we’re loving this Valentine’s Day ♡

Advisers’ work we’re loving this Valentine’s Day ♡

Picture of Amy Lee

BY: Amy Lee
14 Feb 2024

This Valentine’s Day we’re doing a special shout-out to some Arts Award advisers from our Champion Centres who have gone above and beyond for young people they work with! The below have been nominated by colleagues for their creativity, dedication and unique approaches, which have positively impacted those in their centres. Read on to be inspired by their success…

Mercedes Romero-Fernandez Colchester Prep & High School

'She is amazing. We work together for Bronze Award and for Discover. Mercedes is awesome because she comes up with creative ideas in generating and supporting youngsters through with their portfolios - this is demonstrated in outcomes our pupils produce for the accreditations.'

IMG_1006Chloe Haggerty Colchester Prep & High School

'Chloe is our Discover and Explore adviser. She works to deliver our KS3 Bronze Arts Awards programme and she is amazing! As the Head of Digital and Creative Arts she ensures students from Nursery to Y11 have plenty of opportunities to experience the arts in many different forms and therefore has a great input in their outcomes and achievements, including getting Arts Award qualifications. We work together in a hybrid way that helps our students put their experiences into beautiful Bookcreator portfolios.'

Gill Simmons and Paul Lawless Brave Bold Drama

'They go above and beyond to listen and adapt to an individual's own creative avenue to create a sense of agency and a voice, not only within the award, but within the arts generally. I have personally experienced their incredible approach to people's development as I am a young creative who has gained knowledge and understanding of the arts through my professional work with their company.'

'I am inspired by them and their approach to facilitating which I have taken into my own workshops that I am assisting and running. They are also advising me through my journey towards completing my Gold Arts Award. They don't hesitate to put time in to advise me and give me the perfect balance of support and space to develop myself as an artist. Both myself and others have gained so much from their support as advisers which is why I have nominated them for this blog to get recognition for their incredible work!'

Dan Guest Woodcroft Primary School

‘He has been an Arts Award adviser for nearly a decade and specialises in supporting pupils who choose to do digital projects including animation, digital music creation and digital art. He lives the arts by playing the guitar in his free time and is a member of several bands.'

Sarah Gidden Sandringham School

Sandringham‘Sarah is a fine artist and Art & Design Teacher within our faculty. She specialises in oil painting and has assisted with leading our Arts Award delivery. She trained as an adviser for Discover and Explore levels but has also supported our Bronze Arts Award delivery by providing opportunities for students to interview her and organised opportunities for students to share their work with other schools as part of Arts Week activities.'

'Sarah runs our KS3 Art club and she has been instrumental in leading additional opportunities for students to Take Part in the Arts such as encouraging students to enter The Young Artists Summer Show at The Royal Academy or our local Maltings Arts Prize. She has also arranged for local artists to visit our setting and work with our students to complete large scale pieces. All of these opportunities, ensure that our young people have a wealth of opportunities to complete their Arts Award so we would like to nominate and thank Sarah for enabling our students to gain access to these opportunities and for her continued support as an Arts Award adviser for Sandringham School.'

Scott Wilson, Kate Jeffries and Zoe Lamming Mortal Fools

'They have worked together over the last two years to develop our Arts Award Explore ‘Creative Intervention’ project, which supports children and young people who are facing disadvantage or are struggling in some way. The reason I’d love the team to be profiled is that they have worked tirelessly to provide innovative Arts Award opportunities to children facing the biggest barriers in isolated communities – never compromising on quality. They have developed ways of working to support a range of young people who all have different needs, barriers and strengths – creating equitable group projects that result in amazing outcomes for the young people involved. It isn’t an easy task but their commitment to providing Arts Award experiences that are fun, engaging, innovative, inclusive and supportive is admirable and deserves a shout out!'ZoeKateScott






Alex McEwan Albatross Arts

'Watching Alex interact with young people is truly delightful. Her passion for the arts and her commitment to guiding young individuals is evident in every interaction. Alex possesses a remarkable ability to connect with individuals, demonstrating patience and sensitivity in overcoming any barriers they may face. Young people under her guidance feel not only valued but also empowered to conquer any self-doubt.'

'As an advocate for neurodiversity, Alex champions the inclusivity of Arts Award and employs creative strategies to help young people overcome obstacles. It's incredibly gratifying to witness the growth in confidence among those she mentors as they are supported through the award process. This underpins everything Albatross Arts stands for; Inspire-Make-Empower. This film highlights Alex’s work: A recent project where all the young people participating achieved an Arts Award.' 

Marinela Caldarus Art Classes Group

'The impact of her work as an art teacher extends beyond the art studio, influencing students' holistic development and preparing them for a future where creativity and critical thinking are highly valued. Marinela has established and led the Art Classes Group as a centre since 2016, where students can explore different artistic techniques, collaborate on projects, and deepen their passion for the arts by conducting workshops to introduce students to new art forms or skills. Marinela has always advocated for integrating art therapy techniques into the curriculum to address emotional and psychological well-being. This was possible by engaging all team members in continuous professional development by attending workshops, conferences, and seminars. Sustainability is always at the core of our organisational programmes and she always undertakes initiatives that promote environmental awareness and sustainability through art by using recycled materials, creating eco-friendly installations and addressing environmental themes in student projects. These initiatives demonstrate the diverse and dynamic role that as an art teacher she has to play in fostering creativity, skill development, and a love for the arts among students.'

Congratulations to these advisers for their inspiring work !

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