Cumbria Crack

Arts awards for QEGS students

Back row L-R: Katie Turnbull; Samantha Bell: Meg Jeffery; Christina Kirkpatrick; Jess Laithwaite. Front row (L-R): Libby Orton; Aimee Ashurst

A groups of sixth formers at Penrith’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School have gained Silver Arts Awards from Trinity College, London.

Each student completed around 95 hours of work during their lower sixth year to gain the qualification, which is equivalent to a high-pass GCSE. Part 1 of the award focusses on arts practice and pathways. Students choose, plan, carry out and review an arts challenge of their choice; review an arts event and share their views; and research future opportunities and careers in the arts. Part 2 involves the students gaining leadership skills in the arts; choosing and planning a leadership role and reviewing their project and their effectiveness as leaders.

Libby Orton’s Arts Award enabled her to choreograph dances for the school’s recent production of Oliver!. She is hoping her A-levels in biology, geography and maths will lead to a university place studying earth sciences, and said, “The Arts Award has given me an opportunity to gain something meaningful from a hobby I love.”

Samantha Bell is taking A-Levels in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry and hopes to study engineering at university. She focussed on dress making for her Arts Award, and said:

“Taking the Arts Award has expanded my creative thinking. I like making things and I’ve done some dress making before; I wanted to do some more – it’s fun!”

The QEGS cohort who have gained the award this year are: Aimee Ashurst (drama); Samantha Bell (dress making); Meg Jeffery (photography); Christina Kirkpatrick (music); Jessica Laithwaite (photography); Libby Orton (dance) and Katie Turnbull (creative writing).

Arts Award certificates were presented to the students in a whole-year assembly by Mrs Vicky Marshall, QEGS Librarian, who runs the award. Mrs Marshall said: “The Arts Award offers students, who are not necessarily taking arts A-levels, the opportunity to explore their own creative side. We had a wide variety of arts mediums represented by this year’s group and the standard of work produced was very high. That they have been able to complete this award alongside their A-levels is a great achievement and I hope that the students have found it an enjoyable experience as well as increasing their skills in their chosen art form.”

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