Arts Award - an alternative to GCSE Arts subjects

As a parent have you ever wondered how you can support your child’s arts education when arts choices are becoming more limited in our schools? This post will explain how one young person is finding their way through this very situation by studying for their Gold Arts Award.

Mackenzie Robbie is 15 and has chosen to leave secondary school and complete her GCSE’s via home education and an online school.  This decision wasn’t taken lightly and was well researched before a decision was made.  To keep up with her love for drawing and artistic activity, she opted to pursue the highest level of Arts Award as it carries 16 UCAS points, is a level 3 qualification (on a par with A levels) and will allow her to continue with a practical, creative outlet while she studies her GCSE‘s.  She will be encouraged to complete an in-depth exploration in a chosen art form in Unit 1 and also explore a second art form and the creation of new work.  Students are required to take up volunteering opportunities, research arts practitioners and review arts events as well as being able to present view points on current issues in the arts.   Unit 2 focuses much more on planning, delivering and reviewing an arts leadership project.  

So far, the course is allowing a great deal of freedom for Mackenzie to select what and how she wants to learn. It is very much a bespoke, responsive curriculum with an emphasis on skills and experiences. All learning is recorded in a portfolio which can be developed in a suitable creative medium of her choice.

Mackenzie initially wanted to fill her sketch book with all her work, but has already learned to use a range of digital tools such as time lapse photography, google docs, online portfolios to name but a few. There are so many free tools to use, it is her intention to make sure her IT skills stay honed and bubbling away creatively!

Mackenzie spends approximately 6 hours a week studying independently and attends two monthly mentoring sessions (approx. 90 mins each) which take place with her Arts Award Advisor.  During these sessions she shares her work, progress made and challenges she had faced.  New ideas are explored in a one to one setting using a community space.

It is early days, but Mackenzie has already spent many hours creating and reflecting on her art work.  She is gaining confidence in working in this way and building her portfolio of evidence.

The course allows for such varied ideas and approaches to learning in depth it is an ideal solution for this young person. Instead of feeling stifled, she is feeling empowered and encouraged to craft her own artwork and experiences.

Do get in touch if you would like to discuss Gold Arts Award further and how this could work for you and your young person.

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

Leadership skill review

Arts issue debate time!


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Vicky Evans

Tel: 07749281625


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