Five reasons to deliver Gold

Five reasons to deliver Gold

Picture of Nicola King

BY: Nicola King
13 Oct 2020

In celebration of 15 years of Arts Award, we are encouraging advisers to consider delivering Gold Arts Award. We recognise that delivering Gold currently has extra challenges, particularly with so many arts organisations being closed or having reduced programmes, to support you in overcoming some of these obstacles please do take a look at our recent blog Going for Gold in unusual times.

Whether you are delivering for the first time or delivering again after a break, Gold Arts Award has so much to offer you and your young people. Here are five reasons you should consider delivering Gold:

1. Developing transferable life skills

Completing Gold Arts Award can help your young people to develop transferable life skills (or 21st Century Skills as they are sometimes called) enabling them to become resilient, adaptable, life-long learners; skills that are even more important following Covid-19 lockdown. While catching up on learning they have missed will, of course, be a priority, it is also essential that learners “catch up” on their personal development skills and the arts are a great vehicle for this. You should also consider how Gold has a role to play in your recovery curriculum.

Through completing the Gold leadership project, young people will demonstrate transferable skills such as planning, organisation, working with others, and self-reflection. They will need to create detailed project plans, set themselves goals, targets, timeframes, and demonstrate how they can work with other people. In order to achieve Unit 1 Part D young people must form and convey a view on an arts issue, developing confidence and communication skills.

One of the participants in Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Gold programme described how they ‘developed leadership skills through fully organising and evaluating a schools project… In addition, I spent a week of work experience with another organisation and was able to develop presentation skills and put them into practice.’

2. Building employability skills

Youth unemployment will, I am sure, be a growing concern for all advisers. According to Youth Unemployment Statistics; ‘in July 2020, 537,700 people aged 16-24 claimed unemployment related benefits. This was an increase of 296,000 claimants from March 2020, when the UK lockdown began. This represents an increase of 122%.’

This means that building employability skills, such as project management, leadership, problem solving and initiative, is crucial to young people’s future prospects. Achieving a Gold Arts Award is a great way for young people to demonstrate to potential employers or universities how they’ve used these skills in the past.

Through taking part in work placements, volunteering or training young people will gain first- hand insight into careers in the arts and the pathways that could lead them there. Delivering Gold could also help you achieve some of the Gatsby benchmarks. The independent study skills young people develop throughout their Award can also help them prepare for their A Levels and higher education, and the focus on self-reflection in Gold can benefit them in other subjects.

Arts organisations can use Gold to boost emerging arts professionals through internship and apprenticeship programmes, as in this example from The Royal Opera House, helping to support employability and development into and within this sector. In some cases, members of the core staff team that are aged under 25 can also be supported to achieve their Gold award.

As Victoria Harrocks from Formby High School explained; ‘in order to keep up with the world, today's young people will need to deal with change and become resourceful. They may need to invent new products and ideas, and reinvent themselves as they grow up in a time when everything is in flux. I would recommend Arts Award to any educational setting because the activities promoted by Gold Arts Award encourage the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. This embeds new skills, compliments thousands of jobs and enables your students to fly high.

3. Ensuring access to the arts

Since the introduction of the EBacc there has been a decline in the number of young people taking A Levels in arts subjects and, with schools and colleges feeling pressure to concentrate on core subjects going forward, it may be that young people have even less access to arts subjects during curriculum time. However, for those who are still keen to maintain a broad and balanced curriculum, Gold offers a fantastic opportunity both to retain arts provision in school and for young people to extend their arts practice.

Arts subjects also have a well-documented benefit to wellbeing and mental health - areas we must be sensitive to as we help young people readjust to life post lockdown. Gold projects can be adapted to explore mental health, as illustrated in this example.

Delivering in Enrichment time can provide young people with rewarding and creative opportunities to try something new and develop skills they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to. If your school or college already has an Enrichment programme for arts subjects, why not consider strengthening this offer by embedding Arts Award into it, whether through linking to existing arts clubs, or the Christmas show, or to an Extended Project?

4. Gaining UCAS points

We would never encourage a young person to do Gold solely for the UCAS points; the level of enthusiasm and commitment required to complete their Gold is not sustainable if this is their only motivator. This being said, it is a great bonus for those who are really interested in extending their arts practice.

Gold Arts Award offers 16 UCAS Points which can really strengthen a young person’s university application. Having your Gold Arts Award can also give young people lots to talk about on their UCAS personal statements and has made a difference to some young people being accepted on to their university places.

5. Professionally rewarding

Delivering Gold can also be extremely rewarding to the adviser both personally and professionally. Arts Award opens a world of professional development and networking opportunities, the chance to build links with artists and arts organisations in your area and ways to showcase the work of your department. It can also be tremendously gratifying to support a young person to produce work that they are deeply invested in and help them develop as arts practitioners in their own right.

Get started

Wondering where to get started with your own Gold delivery? If you are new to Gold you will need to book onto one of our Gold online training courses. For those who have already trained, take a look on our adviser hub where you will find Gold planning resources and guides, as well as portfolios building templates. For ideas to inspire your delivery, check out our round-up of reasons why advisers offer Gold and the case studies and support pieces about Gold here on our blog. You may also want to take a look at the Gold resources our colleagues at Curious Minds have created.

Direct your young people towards the Arts Award on Voice Gold Hub, where they can share their work, find examples of work that others have submitted for Arts Award, interviews with artists for their research, and how-to guides to help them plan their leadership projects.

If you are planning on offering Gold this academic year, please complete this survey to tell us about your plans, and let us know any support that you would find helpful. If you would like to discuss your plans for delivering Gold in more detail, then book in some time to chat with us.




Check out the Arts Award Voice site for young people
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