This week we hear from Anne Fountain Learning Officer, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, Laing Art Gallery about Arts Award delivery with home educated children
We have been delivering Arts Award at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle for the past 10 years. Over that time, we have worked with young people to achieve all levels from Discover through to Gold. We have successfully implemented various ways of integrating Arts Award with our schools, families, and young people’s offer, including a programme for home schooled learners.
Many of us are finding ourselves at home with children and are looking for creative activities to do. Advisers, teachers, and practitioners are thinking about how we can engage with our learners remotely. Trinity College have been quick to support advisers at this time by producing relevant resources.
Over the past four years the Laing Art Gallery has developed a progression model for Home Educated children and young people to access, from Explore through to Gold. Arts Award is a way for home educated young people to create a portfolio of work, show progression, develop skills, demonstrate leadership. The award it also provides a structure and purpose, as well as the chance to gain a recognised qualification. We encourage young people to begin their Arts Award journey at Explore level as an introduction to the award, then progress to higher levels. The Laing offers open events led by an adviser so that Home Educated young people along with their parents/carers can find out about how they can achieve Arts Award and the support on offer.
Currently we are working remotely with teachers from Duchess Community High School, Alnwick as part of their CREATE curriculum programme. The transitions project was set up by The Customs House, the regions’ Bridge Organisation for Arts Award, to support the progression from Bronze to Silver. Teachers have been working with us to develop a Silver Arts Award framework for students to work on from home. We have created a structured portfolio for them to use to guide them through each part of the award. Working on this from home allows the student to set their own challenges and explore their own artistic practices and interests.
We have developed two separate units, one for Arts Practice and Pathways and the other for Arts Leadership. Each part provides structure and guidance on how to complete the award, whilst offering space for students to develop their own ideas. They are fully supported by their teachers who can offer additional guidance and inspiration.
There is a wealth of creative escapism online, from virtual exhibitions to art classes, which students can use as inspiration for their portfolios. If you think students may need a little more guidance for content, the Arts Award team have usefully created a roundup of online inspiration readily available at our finger tips.
Some of my personal favourites are Art UK curations. This is an online opportunity to curate your own exhibition and for those budding artists who would like to try their hand at sculpture, the Art UK masterpieces in schools team have uploaded a series of artworks inspired by the Masterpieces in Schools programme which the Laing took part in January 2020.
National Portrait Gallery have uploaded the BP Portrait exhibition to their website. These are ideal for learners to enjoy, review and research contemporary portrait practice.
I have found that delivering Arts Award remotely offers more freedom for the young people to develop their ideas and take the portfolio in any direction they like. We usually set a day dedicated to young people to drop off their portfolios a month before moderation day. It is fantastic to see the diverse selection of art skills, practice, exhibition reviews and artists represented within the portfolios. The portfolios are always presented creatively, with pride, care and consideration.
If you have been putting off having a go at developing Arts Award in your setting, now seems like the perfect time to give it a go.