‘Arts Award in Motion’ A pilot project for South East Northumberland
Report by Sarah Hudson – Project Manager August 2012
‘ARTS AWARD IN MOTION’ MARCH – JULY 2012 A pilot project for South East Northumberland CONTENTS Page 3 Page 5 Page 7 Page 9 Page 11 Page 13 Page 15 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 24 Page 26 Page 28
Executive Summary Introduction Project Initiation Background to participants Different models and approach taken Professional artists Observations Moderation Sharing event Future delivery model Recommendations Summary Appendices
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ‘Arts Award in Motion’ This partnership project developed from previous work undertaken in South East Northumberland involving the formal and informal education sector which highlighted the need for further support and investment into the formal education sector to grow, develop and sustain Arts Award. A dedicated pilot project with schools was identified as the way forward to provide answers and an insight into barriers and low levels of engagement with the award. The aims of the project were to investigate barriers of engagement in Arts Award within schools and deliver a support programme to schools that were engaging with the award for the first time. This work was designed to develop partnerships with schools, artists and arts organisations and was to be evaluated to assist in the long term sustainability of Arts Award in South East Northumberland. Six schools were involved in the project; Bede Academy, Blyth; Bothal Middle, Ashington; Guidepost Middle, Guidepost; Whytrig Middle, Seaton Delaval and two special educational needs schools (SEN); The Dales, Blyth and Cleaswell Hill, Guidepost. The supportive programme involved all of the schools to deliver Arts Award at Bronze Level following the Arts Award training of teachers. All schools delivered the project differently; some groups were larger than others, some worked out of school hours, others part of the curriculum or a combination of both and all schools worked in different art specialisms. Each school had a professional artist working for two sessions with the young people and the support of the Project Manager throughout the project. 55 young people were moderated through this project and all achieved the Bronze Arts Award. This is one less than the number of young people who achieved the award throughout Northumberland from April 2011 – March 2012. All teachers confirmed they would continue with Arts Award if local external support was available and have already highlighted plans to train at Discover and Explore levels, progress with the same group through to Silver and start new groups in Bronze within their school. ‘Arts Award in Motion’ has identified a model of working based on the successes of the project and also provided recommendations for Arts Award sustainability and development in the future for Northumberland. See page 21: Future model of working and recommendations. 3
Northern Cultural Ambassadors Network (NCAN) in Northumberland will be integral to Arts Award opportunities and sustainability in providing funding opportunities, access to high quality professional artists and opportunities to visit venues and organisations. NCAN should promote the ‘Arts Award Supporter Scheme’ specifically targeting the key arts and heritage organisations in Northumberland to join and promote opportunities for clusters of schools to discuss portfolios, creative evidencing and joint moderations. External one to one school support was most welcomed during the project. The new Arts Award advisers felt this greatly helped their delivery and assisted them in getting through to moderation. This project has highlighted the need for post training support such as an initial planning session for Arts Award advisers first project; a generic programme would not satisfy these needs. Other support that should be developed would be in I.T through sections of the advisers’ toolkit. Another method of support came directly from encouraging parents’ involvement: Schools that had the support of the parents through an information session at the beginning of the project completed some of the award at home alleviating some of the teachers’ capacity issues. This would be enhanced by providing pro-‐formas for the parents for any work that was completed out of school. Teachers struggle for time and at the end of the summer term time was tighter than ever. Schools completing the Award for the first time should embark on Arts Award as near to the beginning of a school year as possible with April being the goal for moderation. This report will inform strategic work and developments in the North East following discussions with the Bridge North East (The Sage Gateshead), Arts Council England and other regional partners on issues identified. 4
INTRODUCTION Through work via the Regional Development Co-‐ordinator, the Arts Award National team and previous work, developed by Northumberland County Council and Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure Trust (BVAL) it was identified that the formal education sector in South East Northumberland needed a drive and some support work to grow, develop and sustain Arts Award. Mapping work had begun through the Council but a dedicated pilot project with schools was identified as the way forward to provide answers and an insight into barriers and low levels of engagement with the award. Aim •
To complete targeted research to investigate the barriers of engagement in the Arts Award within schools. • To deliver a support programme for eight schools from South East Northumberland from across section of Middle, High, Academy and Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools. • To evaluate the pilot project to assist in the long term sustainability of Arts Award delivery in South East Northumberland. Objectives To develop strong partnerships with a cluster of schools and provide meaningful support: Develop and support a network of 8 schools in South East Northumberland; Provide Arts Award Adviser training for up to 16 teaching staff (2 from each school); Provide funded places for teaching staff at the Arts Award regional conference; Support advisers in project planning for creative evidence required in young people’s portfolios; • Support advisers in preparing for moderation; and • Provide opportunities for staff to share their experiences and take part in an overarching evaluation. To develop strong partnerships between artists, arts organisations and schools: • Include workshop support and expertise from artists/arts organisations in the programme planning; • Use professional artists/arts organisations that can tailor workshops to the scheme; and To enable pupils to achieve results: • Encourage up to 10 pupils from each school to work towards achieving Arts Award Bronze • Enable pupils to share their experiences through a sharing/celebration event. • • • •
Partners This project was developed by Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure and Northumberland County Council in partnership with Arts Council England, North East (who at the beginning of the project planning was the host organisation for the Regional Development Co-‐ordinator post for Arts Award in the North East); and Queens Hall Arts who manage arts development through-‐ out the county. BVAL are committed to developing the Arts Award in the South East of Northumberland and Northumberland County Council are the lead advocates for the development of Arts Award across the County as well as the Training Agency for Arts Award holding the public and in-‐house training license for Arts Award Bronze and Silver levels. The project is managed by Sarah Hudson a freelance consultant who has been involved in the development and training of the Arts Award in the North East for the past four years. Costs ‘Arts Award in Motion’ has allowed for the following costs to be met by the project: • Co-‐ordinator and support fees • Conference fees • Training fees • Professional artists fees and materials • Celebration event costs The monetary spend on this project £8,560 All other costs were covered by the individual schools – moderation, visits, badges and packs -‐ £1,250. This is a cost of £45 per capita head for all people involved in the award; advisers and support staff, students completing the award and further students engaging with elements of the award. 6
PROJECT INTIATION The project was delayed by discussions of funding and the change in management of the Arts Award in the North East from the Arts Council to the Bridge North East (The Sage Gateshead). There was also the secondment of a management member of staff that was leading on the project at BVAL and subsequently contract delays which all contributed to the project being approximately four weeks behind the scheduled start date. Proposed timeline Jan Feb Mar Mar Mar Mar Apr Apr Apr/Jun May Jun Jul Aug Sept
Approval of pilot and acquire funding Mapping exercise Recruitment of schools Arts Award adviser Regional Conference – The Sage Meeting with schools or at conference Draft evaluation project plan written Arts Award adviser training – 2x twilight sessions Planning meetings with 8 schools (following training and Easter break) Registration of school as a centre and young people when log ins received from national team Arts Award work continues in schools Support meeting Delivery of 2 x half day artists workshops in schools Book shared / public moderation Meeting of all teachers together to discuss progress, pitfalls and sustainability of Arts Award work in schools Individual portfolio support meetings for assessment forms Moderation takes place – results Celebration/Sharing event Final Individual evaluation meetings of pilot and thoughts for the future (5) Evaluation report completed Certificates of successful candidates received
Recruitment The recruitment of the schools to the project proved extremely difficult. All middle, secondary, high and academy schools were contacted in the South East of the County – this was 21 schools in total. The recruitment process also highlighted a number of initial barriers; some schools weren’t interested at all in the project, others were interested but failed to get back in touch and other schools had the information sitting with the wrong person or someone that couldn’t action it or go any further with the project. This led to some schools not being recruited in time for the Arts Award regional conference in March at The Sage Gateshead. Teachers did not have the time to arrange cover in schools or head-‐ teachers didn’t have the lead in time to allow them time away from the classroom. Finally, six schools were signed up to the project (rather than the eight that was in the original plans) with a good diverse mix: 1 academy, 2 SEN schools of different ages and 3 middle schools. None of the schools that had signed up had been involved in Arts Award before and only two teachers had heard about it prior to the project. They were all going to take a group of a maximum of 13 young people through the Bronze level award. They chose their group of young people at the school for different reasons and the interest in the project came from within different strands in each school as outlined on page 9. 8
BACKGROUND TO PARTICIPANTS The following questions were asked at the beginning of the project when they had all completed training and had ideas of what they were going to develop in school. School
Where did the interest originate in school
Why does the school wish to be part of the project
Background to learners involved
Drama/ English teacher
Head of learning – year 8 & music teacher
To give students a recognised qualification and foster an interest in the arts Opportunity to be led through the process
12 learners of mixed ability from gifted and talented to disengaged 10 learners from Yes years 7 and 8 of mixed ability
The Dales School (SEN)
Headteacher and SMT
Been interested in the award but needed support which the teacher now has in class and through the project. To raise the profile of art in school and help the learners achieve something Raised opportunities and self-‐esteem for our children.
Cleaswell Hill (SEN)
SMT were the stimulus for Arts Award training.
To promote the arts and pupils achievements through the arts, with a desire that all pupils should engage with a variety of art forms, whilst achieving qualifications.
A very mixed group – ability wise. 5 girls are more able but lack confidence. 7 Boys have very low ability but very confident and practical. Most have home life issues. 9 children Children have a range of learning and behavioural difficulties. Some severe issues. A group consisting of approx. 12 students with varying Special Needs aged 16-‐18. None are specifically interested in the arts but were selected as a class group.
The interest was for a collaborative project; Drama & Music depts. This didn’t materialise, so art department provided lead.
In order for those students with a desire/interest in this field to achieve and develop skills in a beneficial way, school is committed to providing extracurricular activities
Schools intention to continue with award post project Yes
Potential to implement an A Award Week-‐pupils have program to initiate interest in the arts 9 yr. 9 students & 1 Yes we yr8 through Bronze intend to Award. They all have continue a strong interest in art with the Arts and arts project work. Award. See They are high first group achievers; some all the way gifted and talented. to Gold Award.
Unaware of Artsmark & NCAN Applied for Artsmark Gold Interest in NCAN Confusion about Artsmark. Not part of NCAN
Member of NCAN
Limited knowledge of Artsmark and NCAN
All schools have worked with professional artists before; there was varying degrees of interest and knowledge of the Northern Cultural Ambassadors Network and also of the Artsmark Scheme. All schools are now on the Northern Cultural Ambassadors Network (NCAN) as a direct link to this project. 10
DIFFERENT MODELS AND APPROACH TAKEN Bothal Middle A very passionate drama teacher and an IT technician were trained from the school. They were interested in getting the parents on board with the award and the teacher held a parents evening to answer any questions and let the parents find out about it to help with the young people at home. This worked very well and booklets and information were given out. The school worked with a group of young people interested in drama and film during the school curriculum and after school. Guidepost Middle Two enthusiastic and committed teachers were trained from the school – music and CDT who was also Head of Learning for year 8. They decided to use a project that the young people were already engaged in at school to do the award. Therefore the whole process was based on the school play – the young people devised a set, poster, storyline, some were performing, others were involved in stage craft design and others in the marketing and promotion of the event. There was something for everyone in this model and individuals involved in the award were very much working on what they are interested in whilst coming together with others for a complete project. This school was working predominately during school lesson time. Whytrig Middle A dedicated arts teacher and the art teaching assistant were trained through this project. The school hand-‐picked a group of young people to come together for arts award lessons especially for this project. The art teacher is leading on this and understands the value and benefits that the arts can bring to those that struggle academically. The group met after school, during lunch time and had time allocated during the arts lesson. The Dales School Two people from the Dales School were trained, one was a teacher that worked with a young class at the school and the other a support worker that has been at the school for many years and knew the young people very well. This group is a class group that have severe special educational needs; autism, ADHD and similar-‐and as such have a very limited attention span. They are a young group from 11 years and they are going through the Arts Award during class time only. The school has engaged in the arts for many years and you can see when walking into the school that the children are creative and have opportunities to develop this creativity through visits, artist workshops and engagement in creative projects. At the same time as the Arts Award work they were involved in ‘The Wonders of the North Festival’ and the school integrated the work into both projects. 11
Cleaswell Hill One teacher was trained as an adviser and worked on the award with his own class during lesson times. The school have involved the award as a stand-‐alone project; they have engaged in arts activity to fit with the Arts Award and the pilot project. The group is made up of young people aged 16-‐18 years that have Special Educational Needs and they have worked predominately during school lesson time. Out of all of the schools, Cleaswell Hill had challenges with the time frame; the school group finished at the end of June to go on to new experiences, with most of the students going on to college or placements. Bede Academy The school chose to train an arts teacher and the art technician to be advisers. They worked in school time and the pupils came in their own time – lunch and after school for this pilot project. The group are all high achievers; the school felt that for a first time this is where they would like to start; build up confidence as advisers and then develop the award in other ways. The project was based on them all being interested in illustration and having done some illustration work before thought the young people could develop the basic skills that they had previously learnt. 12
PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS ‘Arts Award in Motion’ enabled each school involved to have either one day with a professional artist or two half days. All schools took up this offer and all have responded positively to the opportunity saying that the young people gained so much insight into a particular specialism when working with an artist from that field. The Dales SEN group of young people were negative to begin with as it was something and someone very new and different to them but did engage in the sessions. Some pupils through their experiences with an artist asked about career paths, particularly at Bothal Middle School and Bede Academy. At Guidepost Middle School pupils were particularly interested in talking to the artist and finding out about their practice and were keen to know more about the artists’ work. The artist workshop(s) shaped the whole project for a number of groups and made the young people realise what was possible as well as some of the opportunities that are available to them. The artists were chosen for their experience in working with the diverse groups of young people and also for the quality of what they deliver; all of them work nationally, developing their own practice as well as delivering participatory work. One even came from Brighton to deliver a film directing session! School Bothal Middle Guidepost Middle Whytrig Middle The Dales Cleaswell Hill Bede Academy
Art Form Film Directing Set Design 3D Sculpture work Sculpture wire work Film Making Illustration
Artist Charlotte Johnston Verity Quinn Natalie Frost Paul Merrick Christo Wallers Josie Brooks
The artists were asked a series of questions following the workshops that they delivered – (Appendix 1). From the comments you find that the artists as well as the young people had had a positive experience and this opportunity has been a definite plus of the project from the artists, students and teachers’ perspective. The majority of artists observed that the teachers were reinforcing the fact that the activity was for the Award and how it contributed to the portfolios that they were all putting together. This way the young people had full understanding of the elements of the award and how it all fit together – this is necessary for the young people to fully appreciate and understand how, what and why they were engaged in the activity. Teachers were enthusiastic about the work that the professional artists were delivering and had a ‘hands on’ approach in the classroom; helping the young people to engage themselves. 13
Young people’s comments about working with a professional artist “The day has been amazing”; “It was great something new you don’t usually do in art” young learners from Whytrig Middle school “I feel like a proper film-‐maker now”, “That was the best day ever” young learners from Bothal Middle school “I have enjoyed the clay work” young learner from The Dales School “I have really enjoyed working with Verity because we could be as creative as we wanted”; “I think this was really good because we all put each and others ideas and worked as a team” young learners from Guidepost Middle “It was mint – really loved it” young learner from Cleaswell Hill School. 14
OBSERVATIONS During the project, time was spent in each school talking and observing the development of the Arts Award work. Observations are as follows: •
• • • • • •
Schools are very, very busy during the summer term and at times schools were chaotic – work couldn’t be found; lessons had to be moved around the school; young people and teachers were pulled out to do other things; time was always in short supply and things seemed rushed. Teachers did not have the Arts Award adviser tool kit with them whilst working on the award during these lessons. Some of the pupils had never been given their Arts Award booklets to use as a reference. All schools concentrated most time on Part A: explore the arts as a participant, rather than dividing time and planning with all sections. The teachers were not as computer literate as anticipated so basic correspondence wasn’t as easy as it could have been. The Arts Award website was only used by two schools from the six for assistance in completing the Bronze level. In some sessions there was confusion with the Arts Award and Artsmark – sometimes being referred to as the Artsmark project – this could just be because of the similarity of name. Schools have a very different approach to the award as they do to all learning – this is why the Arts Award could be so successful in that environment. Some are more formal in their approach to the award others more ‘free’ and creative. None of the Northumberland opportunities that were suggested and circulated to the schools for Unit B – ‘being part of the audience’ were taken up by the schools. Four of the six went into Newcastle and visited the flagship organisations. Out of the eleven people trained as advisers only two had heard of the Arts Award prior to this project. One had attended a taster session and the other through applying for Arts Mark status. None of the Senior Management Team was present at any session – even when there were visiting artists present.
Teachers’ observations and comments on progress of the Arts Award. Objective: to find out from the teachers how the young people have benefitted from taking part in the ‘Arts Award in Motion’ project. Teachers from five schools attended a forum meeting to talk about their experience of going through the Arts Award (Bronze) for the first time. The missing school sent information through in writing so as to be part of the session. This was an informal session that was very useful in terms of evaluation but also the teachers commented on how useful and informative it was for them to meet up with others going through the same process at the same time. All teachers were asked the same question, they then responded and discussed the issues; responses were all scribed and recorded. The teachers were first asked how the young people have benefitted from taking part in the award – all schools said that it was confidence building for those with low self-‐esteem. Two young girls at Whytrig Middle School have excelled and been more outspoken and confident, on the flip side some students that they thought would engage haven’t done as well as they thought they might – two schools said that it ‘wasn’t seen to be cool to be doing extra work after school’ and some were split from friendship groups. It has improved communication between the young people in some schools as it was observed that they worked better as a team and also communication between the student and the teacher had improved. The Dales School have noticed a change in the art work produced – the young people have gone from introverted work to creating more confident work that is on a larger and grander scale. “Paul Merrick gave them the freedom of knowing that they don’t have to work in set ways” and there was no right or wrong way of working. Guidepost Middle School noticed that some of their students had developed more independence and maturity of approach to the work being involved in the Arts Award sessions. “Verity’s set design was fab and even got the students coming in more at lunch times”. The award provides wider cultural opportunities for young people. Students from Cleaswell Hill School visited the Baltic in Newcastle; the young people had never visited a contemporary art gallery before so they debated whether the art that was displayed was art at all. The teacher observed that they were more interested in the actual building than what was inside it! All six schools said that the experience of working with a professional artist with the project was a huge plus and enhanced the experience and the learning for the young people. All of the schools involved other groups of young people that weren’t part of the project; particularly in Unit D of the award, sharing their skills with other people. All schools found this to be a particularly good way of getting younger students to be aware of the award and generate some interest for the next year as well as developing confidence in the 16
participants. The Dales School commented that this way of working had not been done before and was a positive experience for the young people. Objective: to discover if the teachers as newly trained advisers need post – training support All six schools said “Yes”. They acknowledged the national support from the helpline and e-‐ mail; however all appreciated the on the ground support offered by this project. The local support of someone being able to visit the school gave them the confidence that they were on the right track and offer a fresh pair of eyes on to the work being produced – particularly for the first time of going through the award. Whytrig Middle stated that “Slight guidance was needed and reassuring”. It was noted that post training requirements vary so much that a generic programme would be too general and not work. Objective: to discover the positive experiences that the teachers have gained through the project All schools acknowledged that the project offered a range of positive benefits in their schools – with pupils and teachers. Guidepost Middle reported that it has helped to raise the profile of the arts in school when literacy and numeracy usually takes priority. The project was based around the school play and resulted in, “Loads of kids wanting to get involved and have been invigorated by the Arts Award project”. Staff too have benefited by working closely together on the project across lessons and subject areas. The Dales SEN School have noticed that the attitude of the children has been really good. Interestingly the school never reinforced the qualification aspect of the award to the young people; it seems that this wasn’t a goal of the school but rather that they had a positive experience through the Arts Award process itself. The timing of the project has been problematic, due to this starting later than planned. Schools said in future they would like to start in September or just after Christmas and complete the award by the summer. Bothal Middle School would like to use the award as a send-‐off from the Middle School to the High School; a positive end to the young people’s time at the school. They also noted that the parents became very supportive as the award raised the profile of the film project, sometimes getting parents involved in school activity is difficult but “this was a very positive leap rather than a step”. Cleaswell Hill commented that, “It would have been interesting to know if this was started earlier in the School year whether it would have lifted grades?, 1-‐2 individuals really got something out of it, could this have improved grades in other subjects?”. Assessment of the positives across the curriculum would be an interesting piece of work in a school that approaches the award for the first time.
Objective: To find out if schools have programmed the Arts Award into existing work within school or has a new project been developed for ‘Arts Award in Motion’? Five of the six schools worked the award into work that the students had already expressed an interest in or were already planning. Bede Academy had already been involved in a project at the Laing Art Gallery with illustrators -‐ this project had provided a good base to work from as they had been inspired by what that project brought to the participants and the school were keen to work with illustration again. Guidepost Middle School had been working on the school performance, “It has been lovely, nearly a whole school approach”. The ‘Arts Award in Motion’ project allowed all schools to make the work they were already engaged with or developing more elaborate and adapted it to fit the award. Only one school, Cleaswell Hill School did the Arts Award work as a completely separate and new project. They took over a number of other lessons as well as the lesson time that was dedicated to the project. Objective: to discover the pitfalls that the advisers have encountered doing the award All teachers were asked this question and a universal answer to this was – time. There were a number of time delays with the project starting; then there was a delay in the advisers getting their log-‐in details and during the end of the summer term there are so many other commitments in school that time was in short supply. In addition to this there was a general consensus around the table that the Arts Award Adviser Portal system was not very easy to navigate through; booking the moderation and registering the young people was time consuming and not a user friendly system at all; although this wouldn’t put anyone off from doing the award in the future. Positive comments were made about the helpfulness of staff on the helpline when it came to working out how to use the Adviser Portal. Objective: To find out if the school is likely to sustain the Arts Award? Do they have any intention to develop it across different departments or with other groups? Different levels? Would this be possible with/without support? Each school has been working differently and has adapted different models in working towards the Bronze Arts Award. Consequently each school has different ideas for the future. Please find details below of each school’s thoughts about possible ways forward for the Arts Award in their school. Bothal Middle School Bothal Middle School has enjoyed taking the students through the award and would work from September – July next time. They are thinking of working with the pupils that are left at the school that have done Bronze level this time to advance up to Silver. They are also interested in continuing next year with a different group using the same model – a predominantly out of school group with parental involvement and using the medium of film and drama once more. They are now part of NCAN as a direct involvement in this project. 18
Guidepost Middle School Guidepost Middle School has a creative curriculum every Friday and following the success of the Arts Award in school is going to timetable it into the curriculum. “This is a direct follow on from this project”. It will be used with disaffected young people and they will use the model that has been so successful for the school this time around – the school shows. They are also going to advance the Bronze group on to Silver level and work with two new Bronze level groups. They would like some external support if at all possible to assist – particularly going through the Silver Award for the first time. This school was successful in gaining its Artsmark Gold during the duration of this project. Whytrig Middle School External support would need to be there for the school to do the arts award again. They would stay with the Bronze level until they are confident with it all before progressing onto Silver. The advisers say that there is need to advocate the award around the school as at the moment the knowledge and information is restricted to the art department only. The Dales School (SEN) The advisers at the Dales School are keen to do the Bronze award again with a longer timeframe. They are also interested in finding out more about Discover and Explore and perhaps implementing this level at the school – the pupils here only go up to age 11, therefore to stay with bronze they have to ideally complete the award in the summer. They are also keen to have support to continue with the work. Cleaswell Hill School (SEN) The advisor at the school is keen to develop the award at Discover and Explore level. There is talk of an intensive arts award week rather than a project covering a number of months. Advocacy work with Senior Management Team (SMT) would help the school embed and develop the Arts Award, however the advisor thinks that to complete the majority of the award in a week will have positive results. There is a need for further staff to be trained as there is only one adviser at the school. Bede Academy The art department definitely wishes to carry this on at the school -‐ they hope to continue with the award next year but they need confirmation from SMT. The plan is for them to work with this years’ Bronze level group on the Silver award and a new Bronze level group from Year 9. The trained advisers at the school are looking into training at Gold level so they can take a group right through the system at the school from Year 9 onwards. This project was done as extra-‐curricular and this is the thought for the future. There is also opportunity at the school for discussions in other art departments to take place with the potential of developing the award in various departments. 19
MODERATION Moderation took place on Thursday 12th July hosted by The Dales School. Two moderators were present – one moderating the two SEN schools and the other moderating the other four schools. Feedback from the moderators were that the portfolios that showed the young people to be more creative because they had more ownership and choice in what they did, met the arts award criteria better than those that were more prescribed and narrow in their learning and opportunity. The moderator felt with the SEN schools that you could tell in their portfolios and in speaking with the young people that they had got so much from the experience. “If this is a pilot project – then it has certainly worked” Kenneth Gouge. At moderation the young people were asked for comments about their experiences (Appendix 2). All young people that had been entered for the Bronze Level Arts Award were successful at achieving the award.
SHARING EVENT This took place at the Newbiggin Maritime Centre on Wednesday 18th July and was a successful evening. Attendees included representatives from Bridge North East, BVAL, Queens Hall Arts, NCAN and teachers, pupils and family. No education professionals came from other schools in South East Northumberland interested in finding out more, no governors and only one head-‐teacher from the six schools attended. However, there were only 2 of the 6 schools where the Senior Management Team took the initial interest for being involved in the pilot project; the rest was through very interested and passionate teachers. The young people were given an opportunity to speak about the experience of the award which gave a real personal element to the evening and allow those attending a real insight into their experience as young artists. They also commented on whether they would like to continue with the award; which all did. All present on the evening had a chance to see all the art work and portfolios from each school involved in the project.
FUTURE DELIVERY MODEL The ‘Arts Award in Motion’ five month project was successful in gaining 55 young people the Bronze level Arts Award, this is one less than what was achieved throughout the whole of the county of Northumberland from April 2011 – end of March 2012. Between April 2010 and March 2012, 143 Arts Awards were achieved across Northumberland; 113 Bronze, 28 Silver and 2 Gold. These totals are the 4th highest from across the North East however the North East has the lowest numbers of Awards achieved across the rest of England. A similar project to develop the Bronze award into a different geographical area of Northumberland should be developed alongside ad hoc silver award support sessions. This should be a partnership project with local arts development agencies, local authority, Bridge North East and the new Training and Support Agencies – Skimstone Arts and Tees Valley Arts. This work would use all positives that have come out of this pilot project to develop a realistic, achievable and sustainable model such as below. These delivery recommendations go hand in hand with other strategic recommendations and opportunities that should be developed and are discussed under the ‘Recommendations’ section. •
• • •
To work with a small group of interested middle / high schools (6-‐8 schools) on the Bronze award level in a new geographical location of the County as soon as possible from the beginning of a new school year. The aim would be for Easter time for completion; there is then the option of running later if necessary. Adviser Training with two professionals from each school. Personal support is available throughout the process with a support worker; this role could be someone from the training agency, attached to an arts development role or a freelance contract. This is funding and capacity dependent but been identified as a need. Arts Award project planning meeting held in school with adviser and support worker or representative from the training agency. Meeting is held after school with parents of young people doing the award and the schools intention. Work begins with the award in both school time and after school sessions. Suggested number of pupils depends on the teachers’ capacity but ideally a maximum group of 12-‐15 young people is suggested for the first time. Schools will be encouraged to work with a professional artist as part of the experience and advice of artists will be made available through the NCAN network. Schools should be encouraged to join NCAN if not already. To use projects that the school is already engaged with or have already programmed as a basis for the Arts Award – this will help with capacity and timing issues that the schools may have. 22
A combination of lesson time and extra-‐curricular time seemed to be the way of working on the award within the school environment that was the most successful. Although in the case of SEN schools this was not an option and all work happened during school hours. For this model to work there doesn’t need to be a vast amount of funding. Schools could pay for their own training, moderation and booklets for the young people which would get buy in from the schools and be more sustainable in the long term. There would be the fees of the project support worker (if this role is developed and external to existing roles) and fees for professional artists to consider. Also for consideration would be the costs involved in attending events but schools should take advantage of the local ‘Arts Award Supporter’ venues that provide opportunities for young people working towards their award. I would advise that a sharing / celebration event happened but was delivered at one of the schools as support in kind to the project, the same as a venue for the moderation and any training. Minimum costs for this to happen for a group of 6 new schools would be as follows: Arts Award Support Worker: 3 days per school x 6 schools @ £200 = £3,600 Professional Artist Fees: 1 day x 6 schools @ £300 = £1,800 TOTAL £5,400 The access fund should be applied to cover all kinds of costs which will be useful for the schools; including booklets, workshop fees, art materials, tickets, staff time and moderation costs. This fund is for grants from £100-‐£1,500. Further links, funding and development should be explored with the transition of young people on to future schools; this would aid in sustaining the award and keep interest in the arts alive for the young people.
Arts Award correspondence should be sent to all levels within schools i.e., Head-‐ Teachers, Governors, Senior Management Team and Heads of Departments as well as key individual teaching staff to enable a wider network of communication and understanding of Arts Award. This should be communicated through direct mailings and targeted through NCAN. NCAN should be utilised for funding opportunities, visit opportunities and obtaining details of good professional artists with a working knowledge of Arts Award. I would advise that a professional element was input into any Arts Award project, even if a small element, as a learning opportunity for teachers and young people alike. NCAN should be used to promote ‘Arts Award Supporter’ scheme and provide a clear local offer to teachers. The main cultural venues in Northumberland should become Arts Award Supporter centres including; The Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Alnwick Playhouse and Woodhorn Museum. Queens Hall Arts should maintain its role in the scheme. This would be helped by the Council as the training agency and advocate of the award developing key relationships with these organisations NCAN should promote the opportunity for a group of schools to meet together to share portfolio ideas and initiate joint moderations for cost effectiveness. These should be planned by the Council in partnership with the Regional Training and Support Agencies. Sessions in creative evaluation should be developed with local artists and offered to members of NCAN. This would be of benefit to Arts Award and other qualifications. It would also help in raising creative skills amongst teachers and relationship between artists and teachers. Post training support should be offered; this could be an initial planning session. A generic programme will not help schools – each has different requirements and need one to one support. Links have been made with the Regional Training and Support Agencies to provide targeted support in Northumberland; this should continue to be developed. This support wouldn’t be to go into individual schools though and this is what has been identified as a need. Capacity should be made within the Council or arts development agencies such as Queen Hall Arts or a small fund identified to develop the role of a support worker. This should be an investment made by Bridge North East and partners working with another cluster of schools in a targeted area using the recommended model. 24
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I.T support should be provided for new advisers. I suggest that the toolkit should include a section of screens found on the ‘Adviser Portal’-‐ how to do certain procedures that are required to get young people through to moderation –this would alleviate phone calls to the National Helpline. The trainer could go through these ‘Adviser Portal’ screens at training with step by step instructions to refer back to in the toolkit. Informal parents’ information sessions should be encouraged and would help to sustain the award. An informal evening held by Bothal Middle School was successful and resulted in parents supporting the young people, any queries answered and awareness of the website raised. If this is not possible the next best thing would be a letter to parents informing them of the work the young people will be doing as well as referencing the website for further information. For those schools that require Arts Award work to be completed at home with support of parents a pro-‐forma or a briefing sheet to parents should be given out as support. These would work well alongside the young peoples’ booklets and would avoid any confusion in understanding of what is required. Time needs to be spent to make the Arts Award on the Senior Management Team agenda so that the interest lies at the top where decisions can be made. Schools should be encouraged to work on the Arts Award across the curriculum and advisers trained from non-‐arts subjects in addition to arts specialists. Further links, funding and development should be explored with the transition of young people on to future schools; this would aid in sustaining the award and keep interest in the arts alive for the young people.
SUMMARY ‘Arts Award in Motion’ has provided a good base for us to learn from; not only through the partners working on the project but also through the young artists themselves. This report has brought together all the main points of learning and produced a model that could work with a number of dedicated and committed schools. There have been a number of barriers to engagement that have been observed during this project. Time was a barrier for people to embark on the project, for some it was a barrier in good planning and some portfolios were rushed towards the end. Communication with schools in the first instance was troublesome; getting the information to the right person in a school to act upon, e-‐mail information didn’t always get read and communication within a school can slow things down. The Teachers technology skills in some cases were limited and procedures took longer than they could have done; this meant more support time was required. Some young people’s interest diminished and they dropped out to be with friends; others were very challenged by what they were doing and needed much encouragement along the way. However, the positives far outweighed the barriers; communication between the young people working together was excellent also between the young people and the artist and with teachers working together for the first time all reflected a very positive experience. An increase in confidence in the young people and in their art work was reported and a great sense of achievement and new interest was found in some young people. A wider understanding of how broad the ‘arts’ can be was discovered and for some people this project provided them with the opportunity to visit an arts venue for the first time. From all observations and comments find below a summary of positives and barriers learnt through the project: Barriers and concerns • The summer term is a very busy one to complete the arts award; particularly for the first time. • Teachers were constantly juggling with other school pressures and sometimes students were pulled out of lessons to complete other things. • The importance placed on the value of the arts at some schools is questionable. • The Senior Management Team was not present at any Arts Award classes or at the Sharing Event (except one Head Teacher). • If the trained teachers at the schools move on to other employment there are concerns that Arts Award activity will cease unless development and advocacy work occurs; which may take place following the success of this project. • It is not seen to be ‘cool’ amongst some pupils to be engaged in extra-‐curricular activity. • Some students do not work well in unfamiliar peer groups and removal from their friendship groups meant that it was hard to get the young people to commit to the Award. 26
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The teachers all found the Arts Award adviser portal system difficult to navigate; very time consuming to input data. At times there was confusion between Arts Award and Artsmark. The support available to the teachers was not utilised; booklets, templates, website and ‘Arts Award Supporter’ roles in Northumberland. Barrier of staff in knowledge about accessing quality arts professionals.
Benefits and Positives • All schools noted a raise in self-‐confidence for those with low self esteem • Communication has improved between teachers and pupils • Change in the art work produced in a SEN school; a change from introverted approach to confidence in work that is now larger and grander. • Independence and maturity of approach to art work observed by teachers • Young people have found talents and interests in a new area. • The project has provided wider cultural opportunities and experiences for the young people who may have had limited exposure. • Working with a professional artist has enhanced the experience for the young people. • Pupils completing the Award involved other students for Part D; good way of telling others about the award, generating interest and a new way of working for some. • Helped to raise the profile of arts within the school. • Staff have benefited by working collaboratively together • All schools intend to continue with Arts Award at different levels and in a variety of ways. • 55 people successfully completed the Bronze Award through ‘Arts Award in Motion’ this compares with 56 people across Northumberland between April 2011 – March 2012; 13 people in North Tyneside and 14 people in Newcastle during the same period. • If confidence, self-‐esteem and well-‐being rise by interaction in the Arts Award this could have a positive effect on other school grades. This is an observation only further research would be needed to test out this theory.
APPENDIX 1 Full responses from professional artists following work in schools. (1) Do you feel that the young people engaged well with the art activity? Some children engaged more than others. The first activity proved to be a real challenge to their understanding of what a drawing can be (I initiated a series of experimental drawing activities where they were asked not to look at their paper and be ‘blind’ whilst they looked at the object in front of them) Taking them out of their comfort zone proved too much for some of the group. For others the rewards were great. It was a shame that the other chose not to see where it could take them. The second activity proved more successful (Sculpture) because it involved using their hands to physically make a wire sculptures. It made the creative element easier. Following on from the success of the wire work I introduced the children to clay in the following session. This was a great activity for the children. Lots of engagement with the material, conversation with myself and the members of staff, their listening skills were better with the children taking on board my advice and instructions. This resulted in more enjoyable atmosphere in the art room compared to the first session. The children were then able to carry this on and return to making their wire sculptures with a greater understanding of three dimensions. Paul Merrick, artist working with the Dales School. I felt that the young people involved in the Illustration workshops were very engaged in the sessions. They seemed to be keen to learn new techniques and had a genuine interest in making the most of the opportunities presented to them in. The young people tackled every illustrative challenge I set with enthusiasm and created some impressive work. They enjoyed the variety of illustrative techniques shown – Josie Brooks, Illustrator working with Bede Academy. Yes they did on the whole– I was aware before the session that the children had been chosen as some of them found conventional lessons challenging. The teachers had expected less engagement and possibly more behavioural problems from the group. One or two seemed distant and disengaged at times which is often difficult to conquer in a single session, but all managed to make something large by the end of the day. I felt the group was slightly too large to allow me to guide and encourage each young person effectively. Natalie Frost – sculpture working with Whytrig Middle School. 28
Yes. I was really impressed at how they all engaged immediately and seemed genuinely excited by the tasks in hand. They took pride in their work and worked hard to create diverse and individual responses to the brief. There were 2 student helpers in the sessions who I felt distracted the young people, but apart from this distraction, the young people were good at staying on task. Verity Quinn – Set Designer working with Guidepost Middle School (2) Were the young people aware that the activity was for the Arts Award? Was the Arts Award mentioned during the session by the teachers? I did not hear any mention of Arts Award during the session directly to the children. I was aware of photos being taken throughout though. Paul Merrick, Artist working with The Dales School All of the pupils appeared to be aware that they were working towards the Arts Award and it was mentioned by the teacher during both sessions. The young people were thinking about incorporating the work we were doing in to their sketchbooks and how it would be used as evidence for the award – Josie Brooks, Illustrator working with Bede Academy. Yes, the session was planned very much around Arts Award and its criteria. The award and how we were working towards it via the activities during the session were regularly discussed and promoted by teachers and myself. Plans for further work instructing and describing activities were planned for the next day. Yes, they knew it was all going towards their Arts Award, although weren’t fixated by it, they we clearly aware that they were working towards something exciting and different. The teachers mentioned the award regularly and were keen to document as much as possible during my time in the school. They were clear with the students that this was all building their portfolio of work for the Award -‐ Verity Quinn; set designer working with Guidepost Middle School. (3) Did the teacher(s) engage with the activity and seem pleased with the work that the young people were producing?
The teachers did get involved which I feel is really important for the children to see. The teachers were also pleased with the activities. Despite it being a challenging first session the majority of the young people stuck with the challenges I set them and came through with some great pieces of work. Paul Merrick, Artist working with The Dales School. 29
The teacher was most definitely engaged throughout the sessions. She spoke to the young people about the Arts Award and made suggestions as to how they could maximise their time in the sessions. She also encouraged them to continue with the work after the sessions i.e. finishing work off in an additional session, contacting me by email for interviews etc. She documented the work through photography. We discussed the outcomes after each session and she seemed pleased with how the young people had behaved, engaged and the calibre of the work they produced. She commented that she felt they had enjoyed it and were able to take away new skills from the sessions which they could easily pass on to others – Josie Brooks, Illustrator working with Bede Academy. My session was focused upon freeing up the way the young people made art and I was worried that design and technology teachers had expected a more regimented, skills led session – but they were supportive and seemed surprised and happy with the results – Natalie Frost working with Whytrig Middle School. Both Byron and Charlotte were really positive about the work created by the young people and gave them lots of positive reinforcement and constructive criticism when needed. They were both great at tailoring their support to the different needs of individual students. They were both also approachable and really supportive towards my needs and created a friendly and relaxed working environment for the sessions. They both seemed genuinely excited and enthused by the ideas we created together and had a can-‐do attitude towards realising those ideas. Verity Quinn working with Guidepost Middle School. 30
APPENDIX 2 Comments from young people about their arts award experience: “I found the booklet very useful”. “I would recommend other people to do it and would like to go on to Silver”. “I would love to do it all again”. “I want to teach others about the award”. “I learnt so much, I couldn’t choose a best bit…” “I preferred to stay in at lunchtime and do my arts award than playing out”.