Students immersing themselves in arts and culture as part of the academy’s Aspire initiative. Aspire is part of how the academy seeks to offer an ‘education with character’.
Students from Years 7 to 10 at Salford City Academy are thriving in the arts this term, as they work towards completing the Arts Award.
The Arts Award, which is funded by Arts Council England, encourages students to immerse themselves in arts and culture – whether that is music and dance, or drama, art and photography. The qualification focuses on how well young people develop personalised skills and leadership across a chosen art form, as well as their dedication and enthusiasm towards arts activities.
This year, an impressive 62 students at the academy are challenging themselves to achieve the Bronze Arts Award. As well as working on their particular skill area, they are keeping a weekly record of all the arts activities they participate in. This ranges from singing in the school choir and enjoying instrumental lessons to attending SCA’s dedicated arts club and undertaking independent study.
Each student is also required to produce a research project, based on someone they admire in the arts. For instance, Year 8 student Dorota is producing some vibrant work based on the artist Yellena James. Year 7 Ella is creating a detailed project about the Bee Gees, who originally hail from Chorlton, Manchester. Meanwhile Carly, also in Year 7, is channeling her love of classic 1980s horror films by studying the actors involved in her favourite blockbusters.
To demonstrate leadership, they will be helping someone else develop in a chosen art form. For example, musicians are leading singing and keyboard workshops for younger students and taking warm-ups in class. Talented young photographer Eloise, a student in Year 8, will even be showing Mrs Groarke, Head of Music, how to use her new camera.
Finally, to achieve the Award, students must explore the arts as an audience member. In April, Salford City Academy students will therefore be travelling to Manchester’s Palace Theatre to watch the hit musical The Phantom of the Opera live. They will then review the show, analysing the experience from the audience’s perspective, and submit it as part of their award portfolio.
Sam, a student in Year 9, said:
“Arts Award has given me lots of leadership opportunities in music. I am currently planning a variety of workshops for the Year 5 pupils from our local primary schools and really looking forward to delivering these sessions. It has also helped me understand more in the field of music and what is out there for me.”
Year 8 Leah also said:
“I am enjoying all parts of the Arts Award, especially my research project on Billie Eilish. The project allows me to learn all about her life, style of music and career. I am also looking forward to the trip to see ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ at Manchester’s Palace Theatre. I have performed in lots of shows and can’t wait to see this world-famous musical!”
Students are working towards the Arts Award as part of Salford City Academy’s Aspire programme, through which the school promotes students’ personal development. By providing a range of opportunities and experiences that inspire, excite and challenge young people, staff aim to deliver what they call an ‘education with character’ to complement students’ academic learning.
Mel Haselden, Principal of Salford City Academy, said:
“The Arts Award is a brilliant opportunity for our students to develop their artistic abilities, pursue their individual interests and demonstrate leadership within our wider school community. I am proud to see so many young people building up a portfolio of activities that add to and enhance their academic studies.
“It is clear from the work that has been produced so far how talented our students are, but also how kind, enthusiastic and compassionate they have been in helping others develop too. We wish them all the best of luck with achieving their Bronze awards and look forward to seeing some students challenge themselves even further next year to reach Silver.”