We are IVE’s Verity and Susan were at Deer Shed Festival this weekend to deliver Arts Award Discover in a day to more than 200 children.
Deer Shed is a very different kind of arts and culture festival, one aimed squarely at families. And they mean families, not just kids. Everyone from under-5’s to over-50’s has an equally fantastic time. As well as the big name musical performances (this year’s headliners included Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest and the Divine Comedy) attendees could also enjoy stand-up comedy from such favourites as John Shuttleworth and Justin Moorhouse, live shows, spoken word and literature performances, outdoor cinema screenings, science workshops, sporty events, and, best of all, over 80 different arts workshops with plenty of opportunities to learn new creative skills.
Each Deer Shed festival has a theme and this year’s was The Wilderwild, focusing on nature and wild spaces and their capacity to spark creativity and imagination. The wilderwild theme weaved throughout many of the workshops with opportunities this year for children to get involved in den making, pyrography (that’s using hot metal to burn patterns into wood), head-dress making, land art for kids, miniature gardens and weaving fish out of willow branches.
Not quite so wild, but still a big hit, were other workshops for drumming, dance, drama and even a blacksmith.
IVE has been involved with Deer Shed for the last 3 festivals. The wide variety of practical creative workshops at the festival provide a perfect opportunity for children to be exposed to new art forms and skills and a unique opportunity to complete the Arts Award “discover in a day” programme.
Arts Award aims to support children and young people in deepening their engagement with the arts, building their creative skills (both the practical skills to complete a work of art and the ability to think creatively) and their leadership skills. The qualification has 5 levels with the entry-level, Discover, helping to broaden children and young people’s perspective of what art is and how it can be made.
IVE’s Cultural Education Managers, Verity Clarke and Susan Cairns, were on hand all weekend to deliver the Arts Award Discover qualification to any interested attendees. With a stand right at the entrance to the festival, attendees could pick up a booklet on their way in to guide them on their Arts Award journey and fill out over the weekend. The booklet asked children to record what arts they’d discovered and taken part in, to reflect on what skills they had used and to investigate one of the artists at the event.
Once completed, booklets were handed in at any point over the weekend and, once they’re assessed, all the booklets will be sent back along with a certificate for the qualification.
The process of completing Arts Award Discover helps children to reflect on what they’ve experienced at Deer Shed, making them consciously aware of the skills they’ve learnt and used and helping them to retain that information. It also makes children conscious of their own creative ability, boosting their confidence to use their creativity and pursue creative activities.
Asked what the best part of Deer Shed was, Susan said that: “One of the days was open to schools and I attended an arts workshop for severely autistic children. Talking to the teachers, they couldn’t believe how calm and engaged their class was. For me, it really highlighted to power of the arts.”
Verity added: “The best part for me was my 13 year old son’s reaction to seeing live music for the first time. He was absolutely mesmerized by the bands and he’s barely stopped playing his guitar since.”
If you’re a school or an art’s organisation, Arts Award Discover can easily be incorporated into a day of arts and cultural experiences to increase the educational impact of the experience. IVE holds regular training events where we can teach you how to deliver Arts Award at any level. Have a look at our events page to find your next nearest event.
More information can be found on the official Arts Award website.
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