Case Study: Carre's Grammar School
BY: Guest Writer
02 Jun 2015
Carre’s Grammar School is a rural selective school in the small market town of Sleaford, in Lincolnshire. They deliver Arts Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, and work closely with local primary schools with whom they also deliver Arts Award Bronze. They were an Arts Award Good Practice Centre 2011-12.
Arts Award is offered in a range of art forms encompassing visual arts, music, drama, dance, photography, and technical/production. Opportunities vary each year as students bring their own personal interests and extra-curricular activities into the project. Arts Award is delivered through lunchtime sessions and some after-school sessions. During the sessions students take part in, or facilitate, workshops as well as building their portfolios and evidence, sharing experiences and researching.
Students use a variety of methods to gather and share evidence including; Arts Award log books, sketchbooks, folders and large display boards for Gold projects.
First World War Centenary
In 2014 and 2015, many students incorporated personal visits they had taken to the Tower of London’s installation of ceramic poppies, Blood Shed Lands and Seas of Red commemorating the centenary of the First World War. This moving and emotional installation proved inspiring for many students, including those who might not normally attend an ‘arts’ event. One of the biggest obstacles for the adviser at Carre’s, is in challenging the views of young people and attracting regular cohorts to the Arts Award, in what is a very academic setting. Exploring the First World War and artistic responses to it proved a good starting point for many students.
The school invited a local primary school along to a ‘Poppy Picnic’, where Bronze students shared their skills (for Bronze Part D), and a Gold student led the day. Other Bronze students created a poppy mosaic, whilst another group took part in clay workshops to create clay poppies in the style of Paul Cummins, the artist behind Blood Shed Lands and Seas of Red. Paul Cummins became the Arts Inspiration for many of the students. Other students who had taken part in the Carre’s Remembrance Concert used this for their Part A (explore the arts as a participant), and shared their skills with their peers, teaching instruments or singing techniques.
Bronze students undertook a variety of activities the school had provided as part of the First World War centenary commemorations. The school organised a ‘Butterfly Lion’ Primary Art Day inspired by the Michael Morpurgo story of the same name, about a young soldier in the First World War. Students took part in and led ‘Decopatch’ workshops, creating their own ‘Butterfly Lions’. Many of these students went on to use Michael Morpurgo as their Arts Inspiration, and some used him in Part B (explore the arts as an audience member) if they had seen adaptations of his work on screen or stage.
For incoming Year 7 students, Arts Award really gave them a sense of place:
‘It made them feel like they belonged to something, and got them working around older students, helping them to become part of the school community and feel comfortable in a new environment... Arts Award really has given these young people a platform on which to build their confidence as well as art skills.’ Theresa Angus, Arts Award adviser
‘At times when my subject’s place and importance within the curriculum seems to be under question... Arts Award keeps me inspired and excited about the possibilities and the genuine passion of young artists.’ Theresa Angus
‘I've enjoyed working with younger children and teaching them. I really enjoyed working with wire and stretching my own skills too, it was fun.’ Arts Award achiever
‘Arts Award has helped me in my confidence through teaching other people and helped me in my own skills, learning new techniques and having new experiences. It's helped me think about careers and realise how much I enjoy teaching and that I'd like the chance to do that in the future.’ Arts Award achiever
Theresa’s Top Tip: ‘Build Arts Award up slowly until it becomes a natural embedded part of your work. At that stage young people take ownership of the Award and really run with it and bring it to life how they want it.’