Arts Award creative work in a virtual school

Redcar and Cleveland Virtual School pupils achieve Arts Award Discover

A group of care-experienced children in Redcar and Cleveland have worked with a professional artist to learn about the arts and achieve their Arts Award Discover accreditation.

The children, who are all aged between 7 and 11, worked alongside Blue Cabin Associate Artist, Pady O’Connor, to explore theatre, mask-making and find out about his career as an artist.

At the end of the six weeks, the group showcased their creative work to parents, carers and siblings in a creative workshop, before being presented with their Arts Award certificates.

Jane Gray, Blue Cabin Project Manager and Arts Award trainer, said: “We saw the children grow in confidence and build relationships with each other, as well as developing their creative skills.

“They embraced the opportunity to create characters, develop mask-work and complete their Arts Award Discover. Their enthusiasm, willingness to try new things and dedication was inspirational, along with how they worked alongside each other as a team.

“Over just six weeks, they all demonstrated how creative they are, and we hope this experience is just the start.”

The project was driven by Blue Cabin working in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Virtual School (part of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council).

The children said: “I learnt how to be an actor.”

I discovered lots of different objects that I have never seen before.”

I discovered that I had more confidence than I thought.”

The workshops gave me happy memories.”

Staff saw developments in confidence in the children, both within the sessions, and once back at their own schools. They reported that children were willing to try new things, and express themselves more.

Their teachers said: “There has been a real development in confidence. Through the use of drama and using the masks to communicate, the children have really been keen to try new activities

And their parents and carers said: “Amazing opportunity. Thank you so much for bringing my daughter’s personality out more.

Fabulous to see the progress and confidence growth from the start to finish. Well done to all the young people for working so hard with Pady.

This Arts Award project was in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Virtual School and was co-funded by The Arts Society, a leading arts education charity.

Blue Cabin works with Virtual Schools to deliver Arts Award, enabling children and young people to work with professional artists to explore the arts and achieve a qualification. Find out more here.