Arts Award achievement for Darlington Virtual School pupils

Four care-experienced young people from Darlington have achieved a national arts qualification after working with an artist to make a series of short films.

Four care-experienced young people from Darlington have achieved a national arts qualification after working with an artist to make a series of short films.

The group, who were all aged between nine and 11, spent three days working with artist and film maker, Laura Degnan, to learn about recording, editing and using stop motion animation. They achieved their Arts Award Explore accreditation as a result.

The positive impacts of creativity

Lucy Ridley, project manager with Blue Cabin, explained: “Blue Cabin has been working in partnership with Darlington Virtual School, which supports care-experienced children and young people, for four years now, and this is the latest of our creative activities with young people from Darlington.

“Creativity has been shown to help improve people’s life chances. It helps them express their hopes and aspirations and understand their own life stories so, together with the Virtual School, we bring care-experienced children and young people together with artists to learn new skills and develop their confidence and relationships with others.”

The young people made a series of short films using stop motion animation, plus a film starring the young people themselves, inspired by their visit to the coast at Redcar.

They also learnt about what it’s like to work as a professional artist and created a log of their activities, achieving their Arts Award Explore as a result.

Arts Award Explore

“Arts Award is a set of arts qualifications that takes children and young people on a creative journey, exploring the arts world, discovering their potential as artists, developing leadership skills – and gaining a recognised qualification along the way,” explained Lucy.

Artist Laura Degnan added: “During our three days together, the young people each devised, directed and edited three short films. They learned how to edit, they improvised scenes and stories, and used professional sound equipment to record their poems and scripts. And, as they created, they became brilliant team mates and friends.”

Cllr Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Darlington Borough Council champions culture, and it’s fantastic to see those children and young people who’ve worked with film-maker Laura Degnan gain Arts Award Explore accreditation for the creative journeys they have taken.

“The partnership between Darlington’s Virtual School and Blue Cabin offers opportunities for children and young people to explore their creativity and find out more about different practice and work opportunities within the creative industries.”

Find out more about our creative programmes for virtual schools

  • Watch all the short films created by the group here.
  • Find out about our Cool Things packages for virtual schools and other organisations that work with care-experienced children and young people here.