1. Make sure your Arts Award Adviser is not either of your lead facilitators
Delivering Arts Award Bronze in a week is both possible and demanding in terms of how much time you’ll need to dedicate to it.
You’ll also need to deliver a week of intensive creative workshops to supplement the Award, so make sure that the responsibility to get things done is not also delegated to the facilitators who are leading on delivering activity. This means that whilst they’re working in the room, your Adviser can spend time in the office assessing portfolios as they go.
The level of detail you'll need to give each participant will vary; some may need more individual attention than others in order to make sure they are meeting all criteria, and it’s likely you’ll need to do some chasing during the week!
2. Create easy-to-use templates- and keep hold of those journals!
This method was taught to me by James Williams at Watford Palace Theatre – thank you James for sharing your practice with me!
Prepare an A4 wallet binder for each young person with written templates. Divide the portfolio up into parts A, B, C and D, and create simple to fill in boxes with leading questions to insure the young person is providing the right information. For example, for part A: ‘please describe an arts activity you have taken part in below. If you have any photographs, this is where you can stick them in and annotate them’.
Make sure you don’t let participants take home their journals either, as you may never get them back for assessment! Alternatively, this could be changed to a video journal in four parts, with the Adviser interviewing participants for each part.
3. For part B, take advantage of your in-house resources and/or free cultural experiences
Whenever I’ve delivered Bronze in a week, I’ve done it at a theatre where there happened to be shows on that same week. To cover part B, I’ve organised trips to see the shows and then asked the young people provide a short review afterwards.
If you’re not based at a theatre or somewhere where it may be possible to get subsidised tickets, anything cultural goes for part B! You can organise a trip to an exhibition, to see outdoor art – really anywhere they are able to express an opinion on what it is they’ve seen or done.
Which leads me nicely to my next point…
4. Don’t be afraid of being critical, and save drafts as you go along…
Have a conversation with participants before they begin the Award and emphasise that the skills they’ll be looking to demonstrate are critical thinking, reflection and the development of a body of work. This means that participants do not have to be entirely positive (or even like!) everything they see or do.
Remember, attempts at their work and incomplete drafts count very much as evidence towards their development, so do also include this alongside the completed work. In this way you are developing the participants’ critical thinking skills through taking part in the Award, and helping them understand their own individual artistic tastes.
5. Be aware of number of participants taking part and how this will affect your moderation date
The number of young people you're planning to take to moderation will hugely affect your planning for this stage. If you are delivering five or fewer, you can post the portfolios after the week has finished. I personally would recommend this if you are delivering Bronze in a week as it gives you time to make sure the portfolios have everything they need to achieve certification from the moderator.
If you are delivering with six or more young people, you’ll need to book a standard or joint moderation. You’ll need to submit names a number of weeks before the moderation happens.
A top tip: make sure the work is completed before you book a moderation, and submit the names of the young people in advance. Then you won’t be charged moderation fees for any young people that do not pass their Bronze, or have not completed the work.
Lastly, if you've booked a standard moderation, you’ll need to make sure at least a third of the group can be present to speak to the moderator. With a group of 10 young people, make sure you invite at least half, then if any drop out you still have enough.
Roisin Walsh is Engagement Manager at Jacksons Lane – the flagship arts and cultural venue in Haringey, creating a year-round programme that encompasses the best in contemporary performance, arts participation, cultural education and outreach work for both its community and the sector as a whole. If you would be interested in delivering your Arts Award at Jacksons Lane, please get in touch at email@example.com
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