Arts Award creative work in a virtual school

Arts Award – Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland Virtual Schools

Through Arts Award we support care-experienced children and young people to achieve a national qualification whilst developing their confidence and skills in creativity, communication and leadership.

"...There are so many arts that I am yet to experience – this has inspired me to learn more!..."

Young person who attended Get Creative: Amazing Space Discover in a Day

Why Arts Award?

We love Arts Award here at Blue Cabin, and we’ve been delivering it since we established in 2016.

Arts Award gives children and young people the opportunity to participate in and lead arts and cultural activity.  It’s accessible and can be done in such a wide range of ways. Developing arts logs and portfolios documents achievements, creates memories and can be a tool for progression. For us, being able to support care experienced children and young people to achieve a national qualification through Arts Award is key.

Arts Award can help to develop confidence, communication skills, organisational skills and leadership, alongside arts and creative skills. There’s more information on the impact of Arts Award here.

What's happening?

Blue Cabin had a wonderful couple of days over February half-term, creating animations, films and paintings with children and young people in Darlington and Redcar. This was part of a pilot to try out Arts Award Discover in a Day. Both groups worked with a Blue Cabin Artist to create and make their own work, find out about the artist they were working with, and shared what they’d created and enjoyed with key adults. We’re looking forward to them receiving their Arts Award certificates and celebrating their achievements.

When asked whether they would recommend this toa friend, and what they would tell them about it, the children and young people said:

“It’s fun and I liked it all”
“It’s very fun and enjoyable”
“It’s fun and you can make films and create anything you want!”

We’re also working with Redcar and Cleveland on a 6 week Discover Arts Award programme, working with KS2 children from a range of Schools in the Borough. Virtual School staff and artists have taken part in Arts Award adviser training to support them to achieve the introductory award. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of their creativity, achieving the award, and thinking about where we go next.

To be kept updated, you can follow Blue Cabin on Twitter at @wearebluecabin, or on LinkedIn at You can also sign up to receive our e-newsletter here.

What is Arts Award?

Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form – from fashion to digital art, pottery to poetry.

In England, Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations.

  • There are five levels of Arts Award:

  • Discover – an introductory award

  • Explore – an entry level 3 award

  • Bronze – a level 1 award

  • Silver – a level 2 award

  • Gold – a level 3 award (with 16 UCAS points)

Children and young people build a portfolio of work, documenting activities and reflecting on what they’ve done.  It is fundamentally about:

  • Taking an ACTIVE PART in the arts

  • SEEING/ EXPERIENCING the arts as an audience member

  • FINDING OUT about artists/ arts organisations and the work they do

  • PASSING ON ARTS SKILLS to other people

The portfolios are marked by a trained Arts Award Adviser, and are then moderated by an external moderator.

There are no entry requirementsno time limit for completing the award, and no set rules on how to present final work.

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