Adviser: Claire Everett
Cranborne Middle School is situated in rural Dorset and has approximately 400 students on roll from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. Many students take part in extra-curricular arts activities outside school, but there is provision in school for those who don’t.
Arts Award is offered in visual arts, performing arts and crafts. Adviser Claire Everett, Head of Art at Cranborne, has been running Arts Award at the school for three years and has so far supported 78 students to achieve awards.
Cranborne’s approach to Arts Award is adapted according to the needs of the cohort. Students have the choice of taking part in the autumn or spring term to take account of their workload and timings of arts events. This encourages students to begin planning their awards from the outset. Students doing Arts Award are expected to attend at least seven of a possible ten lunchtime or after-school clubs during their project. Cranborne also links Arts Award with theme-based creative curriculum projects, with creative outcomes used towards Part A of Bronze (taking part in the arts).
In 2011-2012, Bronze Arts Award was offered to a group of 24 Year 7 students and two smaller groups of 12 Year 8 students during the autumn and spring terms. The smaller group sizes allowed Claire to work more closely with students on individual projects. Students working towards their Silver Awards attended fortnightly after-school sessions over the course of two terms, as well one to one sessions with Claire when needed.
Arts Award has increased students’ confidence and independence at Cranborne Middle School. Claire enjoys watching students excel in the leadership roles they take on, from sharing their skills with fellow students to single-handedly running a club for a term.
One student who had struggled academically blossomed through Arts Award by exploring and showcasing her talents in dance. As part of her award she ran a music club which culminated in a school dance performance. She has now completed both Bronze and Silver levels.
Delivery of Bronze and Silver Awards will continue as part of the school’s extra-curricular enrichment programme in 2012-2013, with those who have achieved Bronze encouraged to progress to Silver. The profile of Arts Award has increased amongst students in years 6, 7 and 8, who are now making a considered choice on whether to take part next year. There are plans to pilot Explore as a tutor time enrichment programme across Year 5.
Students access local dance performances, church events and stage school productions in addition to the school’s offer. Cranborne plans to enhance cultural opportunities for students by linking with artists and venues including their local Arts Award Supporter, the Salisbury Playhouse.
Cranborne has had three successful moderations so far, including postal and standard moderations for Bronze Arts Award. Adviser Claire Everett says
‘I have found our moderations to be very positive experiences. The resources on the Arts Award website for preparing for the moderation were extremely helpful.’
Parents cover the costs for their children to take part in Arts Award at Cranborne, with the school providing funding for those who need financial support.
‘Arts Award has raised the profile of the arts on a whole school level like no other project or initiative ever has. On an individual level, I have had the pleasure of witnessing a development of skills in the young people in different ways: in leadership, organisation, confidence and self esteem. These positive changes are not short lived, but have been transferred to pupils’ work across the curriculum. Pupils’ self belief is reinforced every time they look back at their Arts Award portfolios and certificates and are reminded of their achievements.’
Claire Everett, Head of Art and Arts Award adviser
‘Arts Awards is a great opportunity for the pupils to develop independence, self-manage and take responsibility for their own learning. This award enables the pupils to focus on areas of the arts that they find interesting, and excel. A hugely rewarding and enriching experience for all the pupils and teachers involved.’
Kim Robertson, Deputy Headteacher
‘A life line for a child who felt she was not achieving well academically. After completing her Bronze Arts Award, my daughter did not need to be encouraged to do Silver. She had already formed ideas as to projects she wanted to do, and how she would deliver them. We feel that not only has she grown in confidence but she is no longer intimidated to speak up and share her ideas and opinions, whether with her peers or with other adults. We hope that she will continue and gain her Gold Award in the future.’
Giovanna and Mark Calvert, parents of Luisa, a Bronze and Silver Award achiever
Additional quote if needed:
‘It was amazing to see the standard and quantity of work that the students had achieved to attain their Arts Award qualification. As a Governor it is always a pleasure to attend school events and see what staff and students have accomplished, but this was above and beyond. The variety of media used, the range of ideas and students’ overwhelming sense of pride in their achievements demonstrated not only the skills of the students and staff but their huge commitment to the projects.’
Lesley Walter, Governor