Arts Award Reviews

8th February 2018 - Adam Halls

Arts Award is ultimately all about the children & young people that take part and the huge range of benefits they get. But don’t take it from us, we’ve collected some Arts Award reviews from the young people taking part and spotlighted some great work.

Rotherham Libraries

One setting you might not consider for Arts Award is libraries, but, across Rotherham, libraries are being used to deliver the award at Discover and Explore levels. The project starts with books, as you might expect, but this serves as a starting point to lead into creative writing, drama and visual arts.

Moor Primary Young People in military uniforms in a play

John Graves kindly shared some comments from teachers and pupils that have worked on Arts Award.

All year groups would now like to do the Arts Award!  The children concerned really enjoyed it and it has improved their reading scores and confidence.  They loved the presentation. So overall, a really positive experience that we would definitely repeat. We are definitely moving in the right direction but are still in need of your invaluable support and advice to get where we need to be as far as engaging and motivating children to read at a higher level in the Juniors.

Liz Swindells, Head Teacher @ Aughton Junior Academy Rotherham.

“I have enjoyed everything and the challenge.”

Callum Logan Ward Y5 Badsley Moor Primary, Rotherham.

“Arts Award helped really to educate me and helped with my learning.”

Danial Senior Y5, Badsley Moor Primary, Rotherham

“It inspires me to do other things, I liked being in the play in the trenches making want to be an actor when I am older.”

Elena Klatsia Y6, St Gerard’s, Rotherham

“I really enjoyed our sessions. We learned to do voices and how to show emotions.”

Ignite Imaginations Web Page 2

Bill Hunt Y6,  St Gerard’, Rotherham.

“I have liked working on the project with John and talking about the book. It is building my confidence and I would love to do it again.”

Jake Seymour Y6. Laughton J&I, Rotherham.

“I really enjoyed the fact that another person came into school to do some really educational things.  It has really boosted my confidence in working in groups and sharing with another class. I would like to do it again I liked it so much.”

William James Adams Y6, Laughton J&I Rotherham.

“Working with the staff gave me lots more confidence when I was in my class and I designed a new cover for the book we worked from”

Olivia Bilton Y5, Aughton Junior Academy, Rotherham.

Kirklees Library

Kirklees Libraries -SoundXanderDirectsErin

Another library that’s supporting Arts Award is Kirklees Library. They have different young people pursuing their own projects. One in particular, Xander, was working with film and animation for his Bronze Arts Award.

He worked really hard at producing various animations and also wrote a script for a live action film. He brought in sound equipment from home and learnt how to use it so he and his friends could make the film. He then edited the film and made a DVD copy for everyone.

At the end of the Arts Award, he also made a trophy for all the participants and instigated an ‘Oscars Style’ award ceremony for himself and his friends.

Amanda shared this video of Xander reflecting on his Arts Award experience.

Chapel FM

'Since my son has been attending the short courses at the chapel his confidence has shot through the roof.

The first community arts centre in East Leeds, Chapel FM is primarily focused around a radio station. Through that medium, Chapel FM brings young people and pensioners alike together to learn technical skills related to radio production, write scripts, plan programmes and discuss community issues. They also offer other services such as life skills lessons.

We wrote about Chapel FM in another blog and how they’re incorporating arts Award into their radio production courses, culminating in an event ‘The Power of Words’ where young people both received their awards and performed various works of art on the theme of words and their power to change the world.

We caught up with some of the parents that attended to comment on what impact Arts Award had on their children:

“Since my son has been attending the short courses at the chapel his confidence has shot through the roof.”

“Both my daughters have attended Chapel FM – one has returned and the other wants to come back. What you do for the community is amazing! Keep doing what you’re doing and growing this wonderful opportunity for all.”

“Beautiful performance. Such a great opportunity for young people to come together and showcase their talents. The amount of talent that the young people have is incredible, and I am proud for places like Chapel FM for being there to help them. Well done!”

Kippax Ash Tree Primary School

Kippax Ash Tree Primary School

At Kippax Ash Tree, Arts Award Explore is completed by all pupils in year 5.  For the main Create section the children moulded volcanoes and a Tsunami wave out of wire and papier mache for the whole school Art Gallery. Pupils were able to interview an artist, Nichola Pemberton, who visited the school and also interviewed Amanda Phillips, the Education Officer at Leeds Art Gallery.

Lindsey King the Y6 Leader has shared some of the work that went into completing the Arts Award Explore Log Books.

Better Learners, Better Workers

Ignite Imaginations Web Page

Ignite Imaginations manages a variety of projects aimed at developing arts skills. One of these projects, Arts & Cultural Ambassadors, is delivered as part of a partnership investment with IVE and is a smaller part of the larger programme, Better Learners, Better Workers.

Better Learners, Better Workers aims to close the gap between employers and young people in Sheffield such that young people realise what options are available to them and understand the routes into achieving those careers, and employers understand the talents, interests and abilities of their future workforce and can plan accordingly. This is done via the concept of student Ambassadors aged 13-16 who are given a rich range of experiences both in school and in the workplace to develop their job-ready skills and attitudes and their sector-specific understanding. The Ambassadors promote employment sectors to their peers and showcase young people’s talents and abilities.

Every ambassador also completes an Arts Award Bronze which structures their exploration into the artforms and helps them realise the routes into turning their interests into a career.

They’ve produced 2 absolutely fantastic videos that feature the young ambassadors explaining the benefits of the programme.


The Ropewalk in Barton upon Humber is a centre for the arts housing galleries, a sculpture garden and a live music venue. A former ropemaking factory, young people that visit now have the opportunity to take part in artistic workshops that support creativity and exploration alongside Arts Award.

The Ropewalk’s Janine Knight shared some comments from young people that have completed an Arts Award there.

“The most I enjoyed about doing the Arts Award is when I was able to help younger children and share my experience with them.”

“It’s so so so much fun.”

“I’ve loved doing it and I’ve developed a lot more artistic skills”

Deer Shed

200 Children Discover Arts Award at Deer Shed Festival 2

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 attendees can also enjoy stand-up comedy, 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.

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.

One of the awesome young people that completed Discover in a Day this year as Harry Adams, whom we selected as having the best log book of the day. We have a whole profile of Harry here who is turning his Arts Award experiences in music in particular into his own band, Backspace. Check them out!

Harry also spoke about how his school (Guiseley School) are actively engaging with their music and have really helped him to take part in such great ensembles.

Guiseley School

Guiseley Arts Award Gold Students

Speaking of Guiseley School, we looked at them in another blog and how they’re using Arts Award to challenge and grow the artistic, leadership and communication skills of their pupils. All of their Year 9 pupils will complete an Arts Award Bronze and they support their 6th Formers in completing the top end and most challenging award, Gold.

Reflecting on what it takes to achieve that gold, one student, Emma, commented;

“Organising the leadership event ‘New Beginnings’ at Guiseley theatre with 80 children performing, was itself a challenge and brought out these skills. Each Gold student had their own role within the event, from head of communications, to risk assessment. Plus looking after 4 primary schools and coordinating everyone was a huge undertaking and at times required quick thinking and initiative.”

Impressions Gallery

Impressions Gallery photography workshop at Hanson Academy ┬® Colin Davison

Impressions Gallery is an Artsmark and Arts Award Supporter, and their learning offer is structured to be compatible with these programmes and support accreditation.

They provide a broad range of opportunities for children and young people to engage with arts and culture at the gallery, including:

Impression Gallery’s Deputy Director Sarah Hill has shared some photos of young people engaged in Arts Award related activities. All photos are copyright Colin Davison.

job no 884 Impressions Gallery  Who Do We Think We Are

Credit and Copyright ©: Colin Davison
+44 (0)7850 609 340

Schools workshop at Impressions Gallery ┬® Impressions Gallery

Do you have an Arts Award story you want to share? We’d love to hear it. Post your experience to Twitter with #MyArtsAward to join in the Arts Award Week celebration. Or send it to us, we’re always happy to share inspiring artwork.

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