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Becoming an Arts Award Adviser with Trinity College London

SPONSORED: Annabel Thomas explains how becoming an Arts Award Adviser benefits your students, your school and your professional practice

Posted by Fiona Cowan | January 11, 2018 | Teaching

Becoming an Arts Award adviser is a great way to add value to your school’s existing arts offer, either within your curriculum or as part of a co-curricular offer. As an Arts Award adviser, you will guide your students through their Arts Award qualification, helping them explore the arts and develop their arts knowledge, build their confidence and teamwork and lead their own arts leadership projects. At all levels, Arts Award provides meaningful outcomes for young people. Our Impact Study (2016) indicated that completing an Arts Award has positive outcomes for arts subject choice at GCSE or A Level, as well as aiding metacognition and the development of vital 21st century skills – all critical for developing well rounded young people capable of thriving at University and beyond.

But what is Arts Award? Arts Award is a portfolio-based qualification in the arts open to any young person up to the age of 25 embracing all interests, ability levels and backgrounds. Four qualifications are on offer (from Entry Level 3 to Level 3, carrying 16 UCAS points) along with an introductory level. At all levels, Arts Award develops creativity, leadership and communication skills. Through working towards an Award, young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment.

Independent schools have had great success with Arts Award, either through their curriculum offer or as an extra-curricular activity. King’s School Worcester offer Arts Award from Bronze-Gold, and their success was recently highlighted in their ISI Inspection report: ‘Pupils demonstrate a clear awareness that the decisions they make affect their future success, exemplified by the Arts Award pupils who showed a mature ability to make informed decisions confidently in choosing their areas of focus and challenge.’  

Head of Drama and Arts Award adviser Shara Parry furthers this:

Now that most students aren't taking AS Levels, Gold Arts Award gives them a UCAS tariff bearing qualification to put on their application forms for University, making them stand out from peers who don't have anything without AS’s

King’s runs Bronze-Silver Awards as an extra-curricular activity in lunch time sessions to complement their wider enrichment offer. For Gold (Level 3 qualification), year 12 students can choose Arts Award as part of a timetabled block focusing on life skills and preparation for University and beyond. Arts Award allows students to follow their passions, while gaining business and project management experience. Students have taken on a wide range of leadership challenges, including adapting Shakespeare texts and running a drama festival for younger members of the school community – a remarkable achievement! For the school it has helped to raise the profile of the arts departments, helped them to work together and to demonstrate the academic potential of studying the arts. And for the Arts Award Adviser, it has given them the opportunity to work with a new network of arts professionals and the knowledge that they have benefited their students’ personal development.

By contrast, Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School in Bristol delivers Arts Award Bronze (Level 1 qualification) during their Year 7 English lessons. For half a term, the boys complete their Arts Award, focussed on developing creative writing skills. The programme has helped to raise the profile of the English department, and engages the boys in a focused, constructive period of activity which has greatly improved their writing skills. Head of English and Arts Award adviser Rory Harris has led this programme for several years to great success, building enjoyment of and engagement in creative writing.  

These are just two examples out of many and show some of the options you can take to deliver Arts Award in your school, and the impact it can have on young people. If you would like to explore Arts Award further, visit today or email

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations.

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