Arts Award timescales: the lowdown

Arts Award timescales: the lowdown

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BY: Amy Lee
26 Jun 2024

With the launch of Arts Award’s new assessment model , you may be wondering how this will affect your delivery timeline. In this blog we will provide top tips for managing Arts Award timeframes under the new model, helping you to envision your finalised project date and keep on track with delivery!

Deciding on your completion dates

A good place to start is by looking forward – which date do you want to finalise your Arts Award project and then enter young people for Arts Award?

This is a simple question, but it will take a lot of planning to make sure you meet your desired dates. Previously, for online moderation in the pre-December 2023 assessment model, advisers had to select a sample confirmation date. However now under the new assessment model, there is greater flexibility, and you can enter young people for Arts Award whenever you’re ready. Moreover, limits used to be in place about how many young people could be entered at one time, according to the chosen moderation option, but now you can enter one young person at a time if you like, or wait until a group is ready!

With this in mind, you could consider these factors when deciding on your completion dates[1]:

  • What timeframes do you need to keep to at your centre. For example, do you need to have all young people entered for Arts Award by the end of term?
  • Do you have funding deadlines you need to meet, for example, you have funding which means young people need to be entered for Arts Award by a specific date.
  • Are there young people in the group who you think may benefit from more time than others, and therefore do you want to extend the completion date for your group, or enter them separately at a later date?

Tips for sticking to your completion dates

You’ve decided on the date when you’d like your group to complete Arts Award and when you’d like to enter them for the qualification. Now how do you make sure you meet these deadlines? You may have ample time and feel comfortable with the dates set, but what if you feel the time is limited and you are unsure how you will stick to the timeframe? Try these tips:

  • Each Arts Award Toolkit includes a recommended Total Qualification time (TQT) for each level. For example, Arts Award Explore recommends 35 hours. You can use this estimate to plan your lesson timetables effectively, both for timings and content. For example, if you have a two-hour Explore art class twice a week, it would take your group around 5 weeks to complete the work if they are spending roughly the same amount of work on their portfolios outside of class.
  • You may want to use the TQT to determine how much independent learning you think is necessary, for example if there was 30% independent learning time with the above estimate, you would need to teach for a few more weeks.
  • Remember, for the higher levels, especially Gold, you may want to schedule in less classes, since these levels are driven more by the young person. You may want to start with opening classes on planning, and then request the young person to book in meetings with you or with relevant practitioners when running their Unit 2 project.
  • Make a lesson plan in advance with the topics you want to cover each week, and link these to the necessary evidence in the Trinity Toolkit so you make sure the young people are including all their evidence.
  • Remember, you don’t need to complete Arts Award in the order presented in the Toolkit, you could start with Part C first for Explore for example, but make sure you do not miss vital evidence if working this way.
  • If you have the time, schedule in a final extra session with the young people where they can catch up on any work (for example if they miss a class), or in case there are any unforeseen circumstances which means you may have missed adding certain evidence to their portfolio.

Good luck!

If you have a clear structure for your Arts Award delivery, you will succeed in meeting your timescales. Planning lessons around the evidence requirements in advance, choosing your project completion date, and your date for entering for Arts Award will mean that all you have left to do is enjoy your Arts Award delivery with the young people! Of course, hurdles may come up along the way: young people may choose a different art form after exploring one, a theatre performance you are due to visit may get cancelled at the last minute, but by having a clear structure, you will be able to deal with this better, especially if you have an extra lesson space as suggested above for unforeseen circumstances. Best of luck, and most importantly, enjoy!

  • [1] Note that I’ve referred to dates, i.e. more than one. There will be a date when you finish your project and then you may need a couple of weeks to do marking before you enter young people with Trinity. Or will you mark as you go along, and choose the same date to finish the project and enter young people? This is up to you as the adviser, but setting clear dates at the start of the project will help you in the long run.
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