Recent Highlights from Rural Arts



We have had a great few months at Rural Arts. Full of excellent top quality performances, workshops and exhibitions. Here are a few of our highlights:


Update from our Young Curators, November 2013
Our group of ‘Young Curators’ spent two days at Harrogate College, using the kiln site as part of their ongoing project. A blog post earlier this year reported on how the young people taking part in our Heritage Lottery funded project, spent several days working with a professional potter and a glass artist to create medieval inspired artwork. 


Since then, more workshops have been held and a collection of fantastic work produced. The ceramics were given time to slowly dry out, and were then biscuit fired by artist Gordon at the college. The group had the opportunity to participate in the firing of a traditional wood fuelled kiln at the college site. They learned how to glaze the work and get it ready to be packed into the kiln. Friday morning saw an early start for tutors Gordon and Fiona, who were on site to light the fire in the kiln at 4am on Friday morning! Many hours later, the young curators saw the tutors battling to get the kiln up to temperature – a whopping 1066°c! 


The kiln in full swing
We had a brilliant two days at the site and all learned a lot, as well as having great fun making more tiles using the college facilities, pumpkin carving and an autumnal BBQ! 
We’ll report again soon on the results of the firing, and the next steps of the project.


Halloween Biscuit Decorating Workshop
The Courthouse Café held a spooky biscuit decorating workshop on October 31st led by Claire Taylor aka the Cake Fairy along with assistance from Faye Wornock our very own cafe apprentice!  All of the children really enjoyed creating cats, pumpkins and ghosts with a variety of icing, sprinkles and glitter…apparently they tasted mighty fine too!


Making (and eating!) the Spooky Biscuits
We will be organising more of the workshops during the holidays. Some will be drop in sessions and others you will need to book. Keep an eye out on our website or in the Café to find out more.

Arts Award Success Across the Region
The ON Tour Team is proud to announce we have delivered Arts Award across the region during our Create Tour projects and eighteen young people from East Cleveland and Ryedale have succeeded in achieving their Bronze Arts Award! 

Meeting the Moderator


The Bronze Award is a nationally recognised qualification which is the equivalent to a Music/Drama Grade 1, or Level 1 in Sports or Dance Leadership. We are really proud of all the young people who worked so hard during the projects and gave up part of their summer holidays to gain the award.


Reunited with their Successful Portfolios
This was the first time myself and Chloë have moderated Arts Award. If you've moderated it yourself, you might be feeling smug and thinking, "18 portfolios? Pah- that's easy!" Well I can tell you, when you work between 25-45 miles away from the young people, (in different directions), it was certainly quite a challenge. 
So I've put together a list of a few things I think might be useful if you're delivering and assessing Bronze Arts Award in a rural area, (and potentially during an intense project such as Create Tour). Many of these tips may be transferable to urban areas!


1. Make it as fun as possible - the Arts Award is a qualification, but the positive thing is that it doesn't have to feel too much like one - the less like school it feels the more the young people will take ownership of their work, and the less you will have to chase up.

2. Be organised - work out from your handbook the evidence that you need for each section and focus on capturing that. If you can't get to see your young people regularly - make sure you are available for them over the phone and via e-mail.

3. Get snappy happy! You need evidence for just about everything, so the more pictures you have to choose from, the better. (You don't need to print these out - they can be in labelled files on your computer / laptop.)

4. Film evidence wherever possible - Catching young people on film can actually be a lot easier than getting them to write down their reflections - and the moderators really like film evidence as they can get a feel for the young persons commitment to the art form.

5. Give yourself plenty of time to assess the portfolios. Don't worry too much about in depth details of the portfolios  as long as evidence is signposted clearly to the correct places in the diary / films, the moderator should be happy. Once you've decided who will pass/fail, make sure you let Arts Award know who you are going to submit. (You can download an excel file from Arts Award to e-mail to them.) 

6. Know the portfolios inside out - make sure if the moderator questions you on a particular part of evidence, you can tell her/him exactly where you perceive the evidence to be. Be realistic - not all the young people you work with may be able to achieve the award, if they don't put a bit of effort in themselves!

7. Don't worry too much about the boxes at the bottom of the assessment criteria (Knowledge & Understanding, Creativity and Communication). Obviously they need to be filled in - but the moderator's main focus is on the evidence for Part A, B, C & D. I was also given a handout at my Advisors day which gave example sentences for these sections, which were really useful as a guide. (You might be able to get this from Arts Award.)

8. Get a second opinion - I managed to get an Arts Award moderator to have a look at a couple of portfolios I was particularly concerned about, before my first moderation, and this gave me a lot of confidence in my assessment. Find a friend who's already been assessed or look on the Arts Award website to see who could give you the thumbs up. 


9. On the day - Don't trust Arts Award's timings. The moderation may well take half the recommended time and the moderator will only talk very briefly with the young people (about 2 minutes, not 20). So make sure you choose young people who live nearby or plan your moderation alongside another activity, where they can pop out to talk to the moderator. You can also ask the young people to come at the beginning of the moderation if you need to give parents a more definitive time. 


10. The Moderation is About You - You clearly want the young people to succeed, but the moderation is really about how you have delivered the Award, how you have assessed the portfolios and how you can improve in the future. If the moderator can see that you've put the effort in, he/she will be looking for the evidence that will help you pass the young people.

And one for luck: Buy yourself a box of Yorkshire tea and a bottle of wine - The tea will help you as you prepare for the moderation & you'll want to be able to offer your moderator a brew:  the wine will help you celebrate and unwind afterwards.

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