Arts Award Mentoring Scheme
Date Created: 20th Apr 2022
Jonathon Wakefied, Area Manager of Oxfordshire Music Service, shares his reflections on embedding Arts Award.
When I joined Oxfordshire County Music Service in 2019, one of my areas of responsibility was our Arts Award strategy. This was an exciting opportunity – I was a trained advisor from my previous role and really believed in the value of Arts Award in inspiring young people to engage with music and the arts and enriching their experiences. However, when it came to finding time to develop our Arts Award offer, other things just kept getting in the way – not least, the small matter of a global pandemic.
Through Artswork’s mentoring scheme, which I started towards the end of 2020, I had regular conversations with Helen Le Brocq. We talked about some of the logistics of running an Arts Award programme… staff training, funding, collecting evidence etc. but we also talked more widely about our Arts Award strategy and how it could connect with other opportunities. Helen is such a great source of knowledge about all things Arts Award, but more than that, her passion for supporting young people through the arts is absolutely infectious and her clear, no-nonsense questions really helped to focus my mind on what I wanted to achieve through with Arts Award.
Deciding to focus on embedding Arts Award into our existing activities, rather than running it as a standalone project, I started to map the Arts Award requirements against our music provision. The result was a booklet designed to support children to gain Arts Award Discover through whole-class instrumental lessons. I am looking forward to piloting this in a few schools over the next few months.
Thank you to Artswork and Helen for this mentoring scheme – it has left me with a tangible plan for developing Arts Award and a real sense of excitement for our more ambitious future plans… watch this space!