Arts Award & Coram Shakespeare Schools Festival at Redmoor Academy

Arts Award & Coram Shakespeare Schools Festival at Redmoor Academy

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BY: Guest Writer
09 Nov 2020

Emma Brown, a secondary drama teacher from Leicestershire, decided to train as an Arts Award adviser after taking part in the Coram Shakespeare Schools Festival for many years. She wanted to give the students taking part the opportunity to gain a qualification for their hard work and dedication so trained to deliver Bronze and Silver Awards. Here she tells us about her typical model delivery:

I deliver the Arts Award as a lunch club to complement the after school rehearsals for Coram SSF. Students start their Bronze Arts Award by using their performance in Coram SSF for Part A and watching another school's performance at the theatre for Part B. We use the journey time to and from the cast workshop prior to the performance to talk over what they have achieved in developing their skills, which they then write up to complete Part A. We also use the time in the dressing room to discuss what they are looking for when watching Shakespeare (for Part B), and also some of the storyline of the play they will be watching so that they understand the play a little more. This enables them to concentrate on the performance and reviewing this rather than the story. After their performance at Coram SSF they also get an ‘appraisal’ from a professional director who watches their performance - this is great to use as evidence for their skills development along with the programme and photos from the night.

Currently, we have a few young people working towards their Arts Award and the students, other teachers and myself notice the difference in those taking part. The students have said participating in Arts Award has given them massive strides in their confidence, friendship and leadership; they also come back to take part in Coram SSF the following year as they love it so much.

Issues that I usually encounter are that, once Parts A and B are complete, students do not attend sessions as often and therefore do not access the work that they need to complete for the rest of their portfolios. This year, to combat this, students have been asked for a contribution towards the cost of the award to secure their place and moderation, advising them that this will be lost if they fail to attend sessions.

Something that has worked particularly well this year is setting up a ‘live’ personal tracking document for each student. The students use this as a tick-list and therefore find it as useful, as I do, to track their progress and what the next thing they need to complete/collect or ask for help/guidance with is.

This year I am working with the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation as a Teacher Ambassador, so if you want to know more about Coram SSF or what I do to use the Coram SSF as a part of Arts Award feel free to email me or check our Facebook (@redmooracademy) and Twitter (@redmoordrama).

If you are interested in Coram SSF check out their website, Twitter (@ssf_uk), Facebook or Instagram.

(Main image: youth drama activities, York Theatre Royal, a Trinity Champion Centre)

York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre works with over 320 young people aged 5-19 over 14 different groups and has been offering Arts Award for over 10 years.

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