Access to HE course: Award Winning for Outstanding Commitment to the Student Experience, Sue Scheilling Award
We are so proud to be the winning nomination for The Northern School of Art in the Sue Scheilling Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Student Experience category for our FE Access to HE course at our Middlesbrough Campus.
This award is for centres who have provided an outstanding learning experience for students. Centre’s must demonstrate enhancements which stand out as being particularly visionary, imaginative or effective. This may apply to course planning and/or design; teaching methods; collaborative working; hands-on practical experiences for students; pastoral care or support with progression.
We are honoured to share with you the Lead Moderator, Alison Zucker’s comments, some of which were read out at the judging event:
“This is my third year of working with The Northern School of Art as Lead Moderator and whenever I have completed a visit, I come away excited and with a wish that I, too, could be a student on the Access Art and Design diploma at The Northern School of Art. My reasons for nominating The Northern School of Art are as follows, though as I hope I have made clear below, the essential points are that all students are truly treated as individuals and are fully supported and pushed to achieve their full potential. This achievement runs alongside a strong awareness of the need to develop skills and ways of working that equip students to find satisfying work where they will contribute economically and aesthetically to the wider world.
Tutors at The Northern School of Art have devised an Access course which can be tailored to students’ interests and progression units, whilst at the same time encouraging them to move out of their comfort zones and experiment with new ways of working. As a result, students sometimes find that their career plans change radically owing to their experiences on the diploma.
Students are strongly encouraged to develop their works of Art into practical spheres, which generally have industrial or ‘real world’ application. For example, a drawing project might lead to adaptations applicable to graphic design, to textile design or to commercial photography.
Very effective, creative use is made of strong links which have been forged over time between the tutor team and the local environment and its needs. For example, an ambitious, highly imaginative Wintertide project was completed in collaboration with a community-based Arts charity which resulted in the large-scale, collaborative production of sculptural pieces on the theme of the sea which were installed on site on the headland at Hartlepool. Students were also given the opportunity to work with unfamiliar media, such as when collaborating with a light artist. Overall, the project called upon students to develop their awareness of a wide audience, as the work was part of a Winter festival which draws visitors of all ages and backgrounds from the locality and further afield. In addition students learnt first-hand about the importance of producing site-specific work which also meets the needs of a particular audience.
Tutors on the diploma are clear-sighted about students’ potential and are determined that students should produce the highest quality of work of which they are capable. Tutors are able to be honest with students about their limitations or their need to work harder, and it is a testament to the trust that builds up between tutors and students, that these ‘tough love’ messages are accepted and acted upon. It is clear to me that students know that their interests are paramount.
The fact that approximately 80% of students progress onto degrees at the Hartlepool campus is a likely testament to the positive, highly enriching experience they have had on the Art and Design Access diploma at The Northern School of Art.”
And finally, these comments from Access students at NSA speak for themselves in support of this nomination:
“I look forward to going to college every week. The teachers and the course have pushed me to achieve more than I thought was possible but have also made it clear that my wellbeing is very important.”
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to thrive in such a positive, warm environment and would recommend the school to anyone interested in art and design.”
“I have tried college 4 times, this being the fourth try, and out of all the courses and tutors I’ve had this is by far the best. The learning is tailored to each individual need and individual plans put in place so we know what we are doing at all times. We are led not only to be the best artist we can be but the best people we can be and that comes from a place of mutual respect and boundaries.”
“this access course has helped me surpass what I came here to do. Through the amazing encouragement from each member of the team I have found talents I didn’t even know I had and a passion that had been lying sleeping for far too long was awoken. There really aren’t the right words to describe how blooming wonderful the staff are, not just as teachers but as people. They see in people what they don’t see in themselves and are amazingly gifted at bringing it out in each individual. Thank you for the most wonderful learning experience I have ever had.”
We are accepting applications for our Access to HE for a September start, please visit the link for more information: https://northernart.ac.uk/study-with-us/middlesbrough-campus/a-level-ual-diploma-access-hnd-courses/access-higher-education-art-design/