Doing your Arts Award at school? A few pointers

There are many reasons why you would do Arts Award at school. And you might find a few challenges too - but on balance it really is a great place to achieve your award. This short guide gives you a few tips as to what the benefits are, and also addresses some of the challenging questions you might be asking too...

Doing your Arts Award at school? A few pointers

There are lots of benefits to doing your Arts Award in school or college

  • ARTS TEACHERS have expertise to support you – encourage them to become an Arts Award Adviser if they aren't already!
  • FRIENDS are already there so you can work with like-minded people in a space people come to every day
  • FUNDING Your school may be able to offer additional support through School Fund or Pupil Premium funding – worth asking!
  • INDEPENDENT LEARNING is refreshing – it's a chance for you to drive your own learning within the support structure of school or college
  • OTHER SUBJECTS Arts Award can contribute across the curriculum – the arts activities link with Art/Drama/Dance/Media Studies/Music/Computing/the library and the communication, planning and leadership skills can connect with Business Studies, English, Citizenship and more.
  • RESOURCES Your school may allow you to use equipment, printing, computers, textiles or DT rooms

But you may find some challenges too…

Q My school won't run Arts Award in lesson time

A Ask your Arts Award adviser to run the award in lunchtimes or see if there is the opportunity to start an after-school club: you can have fun and fit it to exactly what you want to do

Q I don't think my school has any resources I can use

A Think creatively. The school is likely to be able to help you in some way – a classroom to meet in or a DT workshop to get busy creating. Could you use the Drama resources and technical equipment, or music rooms and instruments?

Q There's less room for personal creativity when you're working in a big group

A Find small groups of like-minded people and look for opportunities to benefit from other people's skills and art forms

Q I don't think we get any choice about how we do our Arts Award

A Actually there may be more options than you think. Creative thinking can open up ways of doing things you're interested in. Help your adviser think outside the box too! For example; turn a DT lunchtime club in to a chance to make your own model or jewelry boxes.

Q Our school hasn't got any funding to support Arts Award trips or artist workshops

A Could you help do a funding bid or write a letter to an arts organisation to ask for support? Both of these activities can count towards your Arts Award! Don't rely on overstretched teachers, take responsibility for raising the funds or support you need. Search Arts Award Access Fund online too.

Q The senior staff aren't convinced or don't understand

A Get in touch with Arts Award team! We have young people and support officers who can help extol the virtues of Arts Award. There's presentations, there's info on qualification values, and an Arts Award Impact Study adding academic weight.

Q I've done my Bronze but my school doesn't offer Silver and Gold

A Take responsibility for moving on to Silver or Gold Awards. Persuade your adviser to support you, see what the next level involves by looking at Arts Award on Voice, work out what you want to do. Is there a local arts organisation who could support you? Have a look on the Arts Award Centre Map to see who else may be nearby.

Q I'm not much good at independent learning or managing my time

A Well, this is an opportunity to learn and develop! Set your objectives and a timeline with your adviser and keep checking that you're on track.
- Take it step by step, don't try to do it all at once.
- Use free online resources to help you frame your work – it can make it feel less daunting

Need more convincing?

Here's a great round up of the work at St Benedict's School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. This is all about them creating their own artistic goodies and leading a project to get them out to the public. Very enterprising too!

Read all about it...

You can also check out our Voicebox with more resources.


Emrys Green

Emrys Green Voice Team

Emrys is the project manager for the Arts Award Youth Network & Arts Award Voice. He writes occasionally, but spends most of his time leading & supporting the amazing editorial team that bring you this site. Alongside managing this programme of work Emrys manages web builds and live events through his own pursuits - with a wide encapsulation of the arts sector. Theatre, Dance, Circus, Spoken Word and a combination of contemporary and shakespeare presentations are all within his likes - so a very wide artistic enjoyment ensues.

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