How To… : Explore in a week

The summer holidays are upon us and arts organisations, summer schools and community groups across the country and providing creative opportunities for young people to get stuck into. In this blog post we are going to explore Explore and how planning for a week of intensive delivery can help with your summer plans! Read on as we provide ideas, hints and tips for the perfect summer Arts Award challenge.

The three P’s – Planning, Planning, Planning!

Lots of pre-delivery work often goes into Arts Award projects, including recruitment, planning and administration. In reality your Explore journey as an adviser may take longer than a week, even if young people complete their award within five days.

Day 0

Plan your delivery week. Make the most of our Explore mapping tool to help you think about how you can get the young people ready for moderation by the end of the week. You may already have a project, theme or art form in mind to focus on. Our online 5 Sessions to Explore resource gives more detail on what we explore in this blog post – make sure to check it out!

Plan each session and allocate time for feedback, evidence gathering and reflection. If you will need lots of resources, now is the time to source them – or if you plan to make bespoke Arts Award logs, make them (or purchase them from the shop)! Make sure you have planned time for research into an arts organisation as well as an artist.

Day 1

Start delivery! If you have created log books or are providing them, give them out. Young people then take part in at least two arts activities you have planned (Part A). This might be looking at a specific theme or topic through using different art forms and/or exploring different genres/styles within the one art form. They should have time to think about or record what they enjoyed and found inspiring about each activity.

At the end of the day, ask each young person to do some simple research about an artist or practitioner at home – this could be from a list you provide, or they could have free reign to explore their own inspiration.

Day 2

In pairs or small groups, young people share what they found out about their artists. Ask them to record their sharing, and get them to log what they have found out in their portfolios. Once complete, organise for them to conduct research into an arts organisation together – by a visit to a local arts centre or online research. Make sure they record their research findings and their response to this in their portfolios (Part B).

Day 3-4

Facilitate an activity that young people can take part in that will result in a final piece of art work (Part C). This activity can take the whole day, or even stretch over more than one depending on the scope of your project. Make sure that there is the opportunity for each member of the group to display and share their piece of work, as well as gathering evidence of taking part and the final piece. This activity should be distinct from Day 1 (Part A), but can be a continuation or linked to this.

Ask the young people to think about what they have learnt, enjoyed and been inspired by throughout the week. They can spend time in session or at home preparing a presentation or way to share this in any format they want.

Day 5

Young people share what they liked most and achieved during their Arts Award experience/week. This can be in pairs, small groups or to everyone taking part. Make sure to capture evidence of the sharing, and what was shared (Part D).

Spend some time completing log books or portfolios, and ensure that each young person has evidence for every section of the Award. For more on evidencing Explore, visit our blog post or online resource. Why not use this day as an exhibition or showcase day for young people to share their final piece with the group? Set up a time in the final afternoon for a celebration event with parents/carers to show off the work achieved.

After delivery

Congratulations! You have completed Explore in a week. Now you just need to complete adviser assessment forms, and submit the group for moderation. Use our Road to Moderation blog for guidance and advice, or visit the Moderation pages of the website for more help. And if you get stuck or need support, give the Arts Award Support Team a call on 020 7820 6178.

Good luck to everyone completing Arts Award projects this summer!

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