Arts Award

Arts Award: Supporting children and young people to grow their creativity and gain 21st century skills

In the summer of 2023, over 200 primary school children received an entry-level qualification in the arts through Fusion’s Arts Award Explore Ambassadors Programme. We’re now launching our 2023-24 Arts Award Explore Programme, enabling six new Primaries the opportunity to join a network, led by Jane Robinson, (Fusion’s Arts Network Lead for Schools) and embark on the Arts Award Explore journey together. The programme is fully funded and will include:

  • Arts Award Discover/Explore Training from Trinity College of London for two members of staff.
  • Moderation costs for up to 40 pupils.
  • Support from Arts Network Lead for Schools, along with mentoring from Ambassador Schools (who have previously been through the programme).
  • Opportunity to attend a celebration event in June at Horizon Community College, attended by VIPs from across the borough, to which the school can invite pupils and their families (as part of Fusion’s annual Festival of Joy). The event gives children the opportunity to showcase their achievements and share what they have gained from the experience.


To find out more about the programme or to register your school’s interest, please contact [email protected].

The pilot programme’s Celebration Event enabled the schools to showcase their pupils’ achievements. The evening brought the schools together (including some of the pupils and their families), along with The Mayor of Barnsley and prominent figures in the arts and cultural sector, such as Eloise Unerman (Barnsley’s Poet Laureate).

“The Celebration Event was invaluable and gave many of our children, who have very little access to the arts, the opportunity to be part of something special and be able to share their work, we expect that this will have a lasting impact on them”.

“The event was fabulous, it was fantastic to see the amazing work which had been done by the young people and listen to their excitement and enthusiasm as they told you about what they had been doing, as well as visits and opportunities they had received through doing the Arts Award. Excellent!”

The Benefits to Pupils

Arts Award Explore takes a ‘child-led approach’, which all schools in Fusion’s pilot programme reported as being incredibly worthwhile. They observed:

  • Increased levels of engagement in learning.
  • An improvement in behaviour.
  • An increase in confidence during their Arts Award journey.

Each school cited several instances of a child exceeding expectations as they were given ownership of their own work,

“One of our pupils watched a short clip of his film and wasn’t happy with it, so he then did a view of the world he is in from a fly’s perspective. Watching the excitement from him and the joy he had when he showed the film to the rest of the class was definitely a magic moment”

Some schools reported that the child-led approach had a positive impact across the entire class.

“As a teacher, it has been amazing to see what pupils have gained from performing and being able to share their experience. The Arts curriculum is shrinking and opportunities are becoming less accessible, it’s so important that children’s talents are unlocked! The class collaboration was NEXT LEVEL! They never gave up, they supported one another and had a fantastic experience”.

“Children spoke with such passion, pride and positivity about the journey they had taken and the final product they had produced. All children spoke about how freeing it had been to choose their own learning and make key decisions on their own. They wanted to stress that it had increased their independence and confidence to make decisions and have a go in other aspects of their life”.

Become a FUSION member

Follow the link below and submit the form, and one of the FUSION team will be in touch shortly to discuss.

Barnsley Fusion Presentation
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