Arts Award Day for Bradford schools  as part of the Children & the Arts Start programme  run by the Alhambra Theatre

Children from local schools have made visits to the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford over the last year to see a selection of shows as part of the Start programme during the first year of the programme. They have been working with the team at the Alhambra Theatre in workshops to develop their critical eye and have fun creating their own artistic work.

Participants from the majority of these local schools have been working towards an Arts Award as an addition to their engagement with the Start programme. Arts Award is a nationally accredited range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form.

The local Start schools participating in the Arts Award are: Beckfoot Upper Heaton, Bradford College, Feversham College, Hilltop C of E Primary School, Samuel Lister Academy and Southmere Primary Academy.

Start participants are doing the Discover or Bronze level Arts Award, which involves taking part in different arts activities (Alhambra Theatre visits, workshops in school and talks/events); finding out about artists and arts organisations (working on arts heroes and finding out about how the Alhambra Theatre operates); experiencing arts events (visits to the Alhambra Theatre including pantomime, War Horse and Awful Auntie); and sharing arts skills with others (feedback and sharing with other pupils and parents).

On Wednesday 11 July, a selection of students and teachers from Bradford College, Feversham College, Samuel Lister Academy and Beckfoot Upper Heaton will attend a Start schools Bronze Arts Award Moderation Day at The Studio (adjacent to the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford). The students have put together a portfolio or arts log in their own choice of format; there are 119 portfolios submitted for this Bronze Arts Award (one per student) and these are being ‘judged’ by an Arts Award moderator at the session. The moderator will look at a selection of the portfolios and agree if they have passed. The moderator will also look at the portfolios from the students who attend on the day and ask them to share their experience of the project and ask them questions about what they have done during the process.

Hilltop C of E Primary School and Southmere Primary Academy have done the Discover level Arts Award. There is no moderation at this level and the students won’t be attending the moderation day; but approximately 80 students from these schools have taken and passed the Discover level Arts Award.

The Start programme is proven to raise the aspirations of young people, building confidence and helping with learning and development in school. It also provides teachers with training for them to deliver the arts programme, helping pupils realise their full potential and making links to the curriculum.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, says:

“I am delighted that so many young people from across Bradford have been able to participate in the Arts Award opportunity as part of the Start programme. Hearing about their enjoyment of seeing shows and participating in workshops during the first year of the programme has been truly inspiring and energising.

The Start scheme is a fantastic way to give children access to quality culture and theatre, which ultimately enriches every part of their learning journey through school and beyond. I’m really looking forward to hearing from the Bradford schools and students over the next 2 years of the project.”

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