How to manage Arts Award alongside schoolwork

Teenage years might well be the busiest of our life. So, whether you’re undertaking Arts Award with the help of your school, or as a separate venture entirely, here are a few tips to make sure it runs smoothly.

How to manage Arts Award alongside schoolwork

#1. Prioritise
Sounds pretty easy, right? Prioritising workload is a fool-proof way to ensure both your school work and Arts Award thrive. 

Create easy and effective lists. A priority list which needs completing urgently in the next few days, and a second low-priority list. Keep these snappy, to-the-point and up-to-date. This particularly applies to sixth form Gold Arts Award students. When essays are pouring in and you’ve still got to finish that project plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Prioritising deadlines is the perfect way to deal with this. Whether you use an old-fashioned (but still effective) paper to-do list, online reminders, or a neat desk diary, keeping a note of these important deadlines will be the best way to prioritise that workload.

#2. Organise
Yep, I said it. I said it along with your parents, your headteacher and your own mind. That’s because it can’t be emphasised enough!

What portfolio have you chosen for your Arts Award? How do you keep your notes from cluttering all across your bedroom? Whether you’ve selected an online portfolio, a huge art folder, ring binders, or something altogether more creative, it’s imperative to keep your work neatly organised into sections. 

Download a note-keeping app on your phone and create different lists for different sections. Simply add to these lists each time in order to keep the components from overlapping,

Online you can find a breakdown of section A, B and C for the Gold Arts Award, and even further breakdowns of tasks within these. I know these helped a bunch when I was organising my Gold portfolio!

#3. Keep Arts Award your hobby
We’re all creatives here *fist bumps*. At times, it might feel as though you’re spending an equal amount of time on your award as on your school work. That could be the truth, but you love art and I think it’s particularly important to remember art is your hobby.

Keep schoolwork and your award separate. So, when studying becomes stressful, you can hop on over to the final piece and enjoy a creative detox. Try to keep the pressure off doing your Arts Award so that it remains fun!  

#4. Arts Award isn’t an exam
Remember! Whilst you’re feverishly flashcard-ing away, hoping those definitions will see you through the term’s mocks, Arts Award is purely coursework. What a relief!

You don’t have to cram for your award, you can scribble, film, time-lapse yourself completing your final piece. Whilst there are recommended ways of completing a certain task, there are no specimen papers or model answers, because Arts Award focuses on creativity, and developing yourself as an artist. Most of all, it’s not timed! Although your moderator might set deadlines for certain aspects of the course, these may be flexible. 

#5 Get social!

Discover other artists, get out and see events or meet others artists or Arts Award participants. Reviewing is a huge part of the award alongside interviewing arts professionals - so get out there and meet those fellow artists. Creatives can be found everywhere - galleries, theatres, studios - so make the most of your time with Arts Award to explore these settings.

Get Involved

About Arts Award

Arts Award (What is Arts Award?)  helps you to grow your talents, explore the arts, be a creative leader and get a qualification. If you’re already participating, go you! Head over to our Bronze and Gold hubs for more inspiration and support. 

Join our Arts Award alumni network 

We’re on the lookout for Arts Award alumni everywhere! We’re here to help support you in your next career steps and offer some useful and interesting benefits! Find out more and sign up

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Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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