Popular Arts Award qualification offers a rewarding choice for young creatives
A Saturday course created for students not able to study GCSE Art at secondary school is going from strength to strength at The Northern School of Art‘s Middlesbrough campus.
The School’s Arts Award qualification, which is equivalent to a GCSE in art, is designed for 14 or 15-year-old students prevented from studying for a creative qualification, either because they are being home schooled or there is no room in their school timetable.
Offered alongside The Northern School of Art’s popular weekly Saturday Clubs for 6 – 16-year-olds and its National Saturday Club sessions, each level of the Arts Award qualification can be achieved in one year.
Students attend Saturday mornings from 10am – 1 pm during term time, for 35 weeks in total. Free materials and equipment are provided and students have access to the School’s specialist facilities, for, for example, textiles, ceramics and photography projects.
Andrea Goodwill MBE, Cluster Lead for Arts Award, Saturday Clubs, Access to HE and the Foundation Diploma at The Northern School of Art’s Middlesbrough campus, said that the Arts Award has proved to be a very popular choice.
“We introduced the Arts Award after spotting a gap in the market for young creatives wanting to achieve a credible creative qualification,” Andrea said.
“The response from students has been overwhelmingly positive and our intake has almost doubled. It’s wonderful to see our learners gain confidence in themselves and their abilities as the course progresses, and they also make friends and develop their social skills.”
She added: “The quality of their art and design skills develops and their knowledge of artists and art history increases through our visits to galleries and from sessions by guest speakers. They also learn about careers and progression in the creative industries as well as the wide range of courses that are available to progress onto.
“For some students the course also provides a bit of a lifeline. Finding out that they can use their creativity as a career and that art is as important as other subjects really boosts their self-esteem.”
Reflecting on their experiences of the course, some Arts Award students commented:
“You make lots of great friends and have amazing experiences and opportunities. It gives you an idea of using more professional and adventurous materials, mediums and techniques. The best thing is seeing all my friends and being able to do fun things with art that would otherwise be inaccessible.”
“What I enjoy most is the art, painting and being around friends. It’s a good opportunity and it has inspired me to do more creative art.”
“I wanted to study the Arts Award to get an art qualification that would look good on my CV and to create opportunities for me in future. I enjoy seeing everyone’s artwork and how they present themselves through their artwork. You also meet new people with similar interests to you and the teachers are nice and very helpful. I would say to anyone thinking of applying for the course to do it – it’s fun and you do new and different things and it has made me think more about the different mediums I can experiment with.”
“The reasons that I wanted to study the Arts Award were to meet new people and to express myself freely. I have found it really inspiring and enjoy the ideas and creative thinking around me in the class. It has made me think about possibly pursuing a career in the arts in the future.”
Further information about the Arts Award qualifications at The Northern School of Art’s Middlesbrough campus are available HERE