Jamie’s Arts Award Story

Jamie's Story 01Felicity Kirk is lead Arts Award adviser at The Valley School. One of their students, Jamie, is featured in our Arts Award Story videos and Felicity wanted to tell us a bit more about him…

We were extremely excited to be selected to feature in the My Arts Award Story videos for Arts Award’s tenth birthday celebrations.  As soon as I knew the filming was taking place, Jamie sprung to mind as the ideal pupil to take part.


Completing his Bronze Arts Award was nothing short of transformational for Jamie.  It allowed him to engage with arts learning in a completely different way and this not only developed his skills as an artist, but also as an independent learner and thinker.

Before starting his Arts Award, Jamie was finding it difficult to engage in all of his learning and didn’t always believe that he could achieve and make progress.  Jamie himself comments in the film that his confidence increased throughout his Arts Award journey.

“I like graffiti because it is something I have not tried before but I am good at it. Sometimes I’m not very good at talking to people but Arts Award helped me learn this. Now I can talk to different people.”

Jamie’s Bronze Arts Award JourneyJamie's Story 02

Part A – Explore the Arts as a Participant

Jamie participated in a graffiti project with a group of his friends.  They worked alongside a local community artist to design and create some pieces of set for our school production, Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies.  This style of urban art was in keeping with the modern adaptation we were putting on stage and allowed Jamie to participate in a production he would otherwise not have chosen to be a part of.

Part B – Explore the Arts as an Audience Member

We were lucky to have lots of arts events to experience for this area of Arts Award.  Jamie visited the West End to watch both Wicked and Matilda, which he used to inform his set designs for Part A.  Jamie also watched and reviewed various performances in school, including a live graffiti demonstration, dance show and a mini portrait exhibition from a visiting artist.  Jamie was increasingly able to make creative judgments about what he saw and as he increased in confidence, was able to link what he witnessed into his future work.  We used guided templates to inform Jamie’s reflections.

Part C – Arts Inspiration

Jamie chose Vincent Van Gogh as his inspiration.  He was very interested in the many rumoured accounts of the artist’s life and was fascinated by the truth behind his damaged ear.  With careful planning and support, we were able to delve deeper into what Jamie liked about Van Gogh and he recreated some of his work for himself.  This was an area of the award where Jamie demonstrated his greatest independent learning and displayed great pride at the results and final presentation.

Part D – Arts Skills Share

At the beginning of his Bronze journey, Jamie was extremely anxious about any activities that involved presenting to other people or leading.  We tackled Part D at the end of the project, by which point Jamie’s confidence had grown significantly.  Jamie chose to plan and deliver a clay modelling workshop to a small group of his friends.  With some support, he was able to explain what he wanted his friends to do and was extremely pleased with what they were able to produce under his guidance.

What’s Next? Jamie's Story 03

Jamie is now working towards his Silver Arts Award. He is tackling this challenge with confidence and focus, something that would not have been possible before completing his Bronze Award.  He is excited to continue the development of his visual art skills:

“I want to learn how to create 3D art that pops out.  I think it is exciting and interesting.  I think I can make some good 3D art.”

Jamie’s Bronze project, particularly his set design, received lots of praise from his friends (“I’m famous!”) and provided him with lots of opportunities to discuss his successes.  This was undoubtedly hugely influential in allowing Jamie to increase his self-esteem, build positive relationships with his peers and begin to consider himself as an artist.

 Jamie’s Story is available to view now!


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