Arts Award at Crowdys Hill School

The qualifications that young people gain from completing an Arts Award can be life-changing, but equally important is the journey itself. Below is the story of a pupil from Crowdys Hill School; read about how participating in Explore and Bronze-level Arts Award changed his life. 

From Anxious to Astounding

Pupil X opted to take Drama in Year 10. He had always enjoyed Drama lessons and was keen to engage in practical work but lacked confidence. He tended to copy the ideas of others and found it very challenging to form his own ideas and opinions. He struggled to retain information due to anxiety. He would, on occasion, become agitated and confused and unable to retain information. This became such a concern that he was referred to the hospital for further investigations. This situation reinforced further the pupil’s lack of self-belief.

Pupil X began the Arts Award Explore and I was careful not to put pressure on him but just let him enjoy the experience. However, it soon became obvious that he was determined to tackle every challenge put to him. He took great pride in his Arts Log and became more independent in his writing and recording.

Tense and anxious in other contexts, he visibly relaxed in drama lessons and his memory problems became less pronounced. He began to thrive when working on ‘Section C – Create’. He started offering ideas and was a major contributor to the devising process. In rehearsals he retained complex information and mastered his lines and cues. He began to tentatively offer direction and prompt his fellow actors. Pupil X successfully completed Arts Award Explore and the moderator commented upon the impressive learning journey demonstrated.

Perhaps the most impressive achievement was Pupil X’s ability to take new skills and confidently use them in another unrelated context. One day he announced that he had been teaching games to the Beaver Group that he helped at. This was confirmed by his dad who leads the group.

In Year 11 Pupil X tackled the Arts Award Bronze. He particularly excelled in the sharing sections.  His delivery and management of the group was impressive. At this time, he joined the After-School Drama Club and did a public performance at a local theatre.

Post-Arts Award, Pupil X now comes and supports my Drama lessons with younger pupils. He takes responsibility for setting up the room and managing the equipment. He is able to independently run warm-ups and drama games. He acts as a mentor and encourages and focuses the pupils. I use him to demonstrate drama skills. The young pupils really look up to him and they positively glow when he praises them.

Sue Welsh, Teacher, Crowdys Hill School