Oasis Academy: delivering Bronze Arts Award to students during lockdown
BY: Julie Neville
21 Sep 2020
In a partnership between Royal Opera House Bridge, Sheppey Matters and the Isle of Sheppey Cultural Education Partnership, Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey has provided up to 100 students with the opportunity to take part in Bronze Arts Award during the lockdown period and into the Autumn.
With the help of students of key workers at the Academy, boxes of art supplies were made ready for collection by families back in June. They contained a range of materials including paints, brushes, colouring pencils and air-drying clay and were designed so that everything in the box, including the packaging, could be put to good use. Students were even given information to create a diorama in case they wanted to use the box as their backdrop.
The Bronze project was piloted first with students from key working families who spent eight individual sessions taking part in the Bronze award led by an Arts Award adviser from Sheppey Matters. The project included individual learning and sharing, as well as a jointly created chalk mural outside. A bespoke Bronze log book was created for the students to collect their Arts Award evidence specific to the art materials provided in the art boxes; it also included starting points for research about local artists such as JMW Turner.
Before the end of the summer term, the Academy enabled those students who had been studying at home during the lockdown period to take part in the project. Their work will continue into the early part of the Autumn term, acting as a transition project for returning to school as part of the recovery curriculum. They are being supported by members of staff in the Academy's art and performing arts departments, who have completed a CPD session in order to understand how they can best support the delivery of Arts Award and how to use Bronze Arts Award to support art curriculum learning.
This project began as a separate community initiative, funded by the Isle of Sheppey CEP and delivered by Sheppey Matters, titled TIDE. When the pandemic began and lockdown happened, the CEP asked our local Arts Award centre to extend their plans to include working alongside the Academy. TIDE is themed around identity and a sense of place by the sea, supporting young people to explore emotion, identity and the positive expression of this through their own artwork.
The young people reflected that TIDE had helped them to think about their futures by allowing them to work through their thoughts, by putting their feelings into 3D and by providing a calming activity.
Studying the Arts Award has filled a hole in my free time, allowing me to become distracted from my problems. Also, it has helped me improve my drawing and has brought out my creative side and thoughts - Leo
I think the TIDE project is very good, it gets kids to get out of their comfort zone, to try new things. It has also given me the freedom to be artistic and lets you forget everything worrying in the world! – Kerry
In September, Sheppey Matters will return to Oasis Academy to take a look at the progress made on the Bronze award to help prepare for moderation. The longer-term aim is for the Academy to embed Arts Award into their Year 9 offer, both inside and outside of the classroom.
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