As part of what I think industry and teaching call “continuing professional development” – in other words, learning new stuff – I spent my day today at the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough training as an Arts Award adviser.

Arts Award is a qualification that young people from 11-25 can take which can not only help boost their confidence and push them out of their comfort zone, but also, potentially, set them up for moving forward with a career in the arts. Encompassing all art forms from theatre and film to stone masonry (really), young people can do projects on Bronze, Silver and Gold levels to achieve certificates which will doubtless then carry weight with applications to Arts colleges, universities and – potentially – lead to avenues for employment.

It’s a great scheme and a really exciting thing for me to be able to deliver. Initially, I’m looking to set up a scheme within the Grove in Dunstable, but I can also register myself as an independent centre meaning I can run and assess young people on the award independently of a venue. It’s a great string to my bow and could open a lot of doors for me.

Yesterday I ploughed through a huge heap of work and finished off very proud of myself for getting through my to-do list, then had a really hard session at the Grove with the Youth Theatre. There are two participants who are really hard to engage and it’s totally baffling me – I don’t know what to do to get them into the fold. Having tried just about all areas of drama this term, the other practitioner in the sessions and myself are at our wit’s end trying to find out why they come and what they want from the sessions – it seems impossible to please them.

On a brighter note, the rest of the group really enjoyed it and seemed to get a lot out of it and we got some really good feedback to signpost where they’d like to go next term, which makes things much easier for us in eliminating the guess work from the planning process.

Got back and chilled out with K watching some random TV as she unwound after her exam which , after considering she’d probably just about managed a pass with 50%, she rocked up to uni today to discover she’s got yet another 1st. Can people please comment on here to show her that she needs to stop underestimating herself and realise that she’s actually pretty damn clever. Enough said. Love you.

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