How to get the most from Bronze Part D
BY: Guest Writer
26 Jun 2023
Being asked to take the role of workshop leader for Bronze Part D Arts Skills Share can be a nerve-wracking prospect for some young people. In this blog we hear from Mariam Laher, Teacher of Art at Robert Smyth Academy, about how she approached preparing young people for this part of the award, so that they could do so with confidence.
For Bronze Part D, young people are asked to pass their arts skills onto others. This can be a daunting, but also an exciting, task. Through careful planning, guiding, and engaging the learners, Part D can help students to flourish, develop their confidence and feel the satisfaction of passing on an arts skill successfully.
When choosing which arts skill to share, I encourage my students to select either a skill that they had explored in Part A, or one they have already extensively developed, as they are generally more eager to share techniques that they are proud of learning or have improved. I then ask the students to imagine they are the ‘teacher’ and that they own the classroom; it is their space, and they are to produce all the resources along with a detailed lesson plan. This idea of students owning their delivery and classroom creates a buzz amongst the group that, mostly, makes them more excited than nervous. It was great to see that the pro-active students started to think about how I do this as a teacher and how they could emulate this in their lesson.
I provide the group with a lesson plan template and asked them to create a detailed plan that includes a starter, main task, plenary, and questionnaire to end with. The lesson plan has to include a timeframe, resource list and any exemplars or visual aids, such as PowerPoints, projectors etc. The lesson plans are for an hour-long session, although this is over the requirements for the Part it works well for our delivery, and the students are typically asked to create at least three drafts of the lesson plan so that they could develop it and get the most out of making a thorough plan.
Each student has a one-to-one with me where they go through their delivery of the lesson, and I encouraged them to be very clear about how the delivery will be put into practice. They also have the opportunity to work in pairs to share ideas and assist each other. Some students in a recent cohort decided to have an assistant to help in the lesson, which really benefited the quieter individuals. The assistant also became the photographer to document the journey of the lesson delivery so it could be presented and explained in their portfolios. Personalised homework tasks were set so that individuals worked to their timeframe, and they also set deadlines of their own; this helped them take ownership of their planning and kept the pace up.
The group had taken part in a hands-on cardboard workshop with a specialist artist for another part of their Bronze Arts Award, so they were encouraged to think about how this workshop was delivered and what approaches they could emulate, and this helped embed further confidence in their planning and delivery.
Each student was given a time slot over the course of several weeks so that they could deliver the one-hour workshop session. Students taught a range of lessons to the next cohort of young people who would be taking Bronze Arts Award, and this ranged from lessons in mono-printing, watercolour painting, pencil visual recording, 3D drawing and oil pastel drawings. The group being taught enjoyed each of the sessions and this was evidenced in the questionnaire given to them at the end of each session and in the work that they had carefully produced.
The questionnaires were put in place so that the young person delivering the session could find out how much the participants had developed their skill, whether they had enjoyed the workshop, and what improvements could be made to their delivery, demonstration, exemplars, and resources. Reflecting on the feedback given, including both positive feedback and suggestions for improvements, helps students to develop confidence. It is great to see individuals who were very nervous about delivering a session to a group really flourish and feel very proud of themselves once they have shared the skills and have seen the lovely work produced by the group.
After they had delivered Part D the young people shared their thoughts on how the lesson had progressed. Some focused-on how their planning had developed, and things they would like to improve in the future:
‘The lesson planning was the most time consuming in terms of the planning and preparation of the Arts Award, with the rough draft of the lesson plan, then the neat copy of the lesson… I had to prepare things for the lesson as well, such as the questionnaire, the ‘Do Now’ starter task, I had to prepare for the lesson itself so a PowerPoint, questionnaires, lined paper to write on, cut out images of what the students had to copy and measured pieces of paper to draw on. I think the lesson went well.’
‘I would have liked to spend more time learning the technique and I would work on my time management skills.’
While other young people talked about the skills they developed through delivering their lesson:
‘I feel like my communication skills have developed. Even though I was really nervous about speaking to students, I did; I walked around making sure everyone understood and I encouraged them…I think the students were keen and made good progress.’
I was very nervous about sitting at the front of the class and I overcame my fear of this…I feel that I passed on my skills well and the outcomes from the students were great.’
Every single student gained a lot from planning and delivering a lesson, and the structured approach to leading the individuals with careful direction and one-to-one meetings has allowed them all to do very well and feel proud of their Bronze Arts Award.
For more guidance on how you could deliver Bronze Arts Award take a look at our Bronze activity mapping resource, our super helpful School Resource Pack, as well as our huge range of previous blogs all about Bronze!
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