Arts Award

Arts Award is all about encouraging and inspiring children and young people to find out about art and culture, take part in creative activities and share their learning.

Now your class or year group can do Arts Award Discover with us, it is really simple and fun and its free.

Because many schools aren’t able to visit museums and galleries at the moment we’ve created an online resource to help you run Arts Award Discover at your school.

What is Arts Award?

Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification designed to help children and young people develop their skills and interests in the arts and creativity. Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England. Many of the museums and galleries featured on Simply Schools website are Arts Award Centres and Supporters – meaning museum staff have been trained to deliver and support Arts Award. Discover is the entry level award and ideal for primary school children aged 5 and above.

What do I do next?

Below is all you need to start your pupils on their Arts Award Discover journey. We’ve included links to many other resources to help your pupils discover the arts and find out about creative people and their work. Many of these resources are inspired by the collections, art and objects from the museums and galleries in Pennine Lancashire.

We are looking for five primary schools to work with to help pupils achieve their Arts Award Discover by end March 2021 – contact Elaine Lees if you are interested


Teachers Guide and Pupils Log Book

Download, read and print out the Teachers Guide and Pupils Log Book (click on thumbnails to download/print out) designed to take you and your pupils stage by stage through Arts Award Discover.

Resources from our venues to inspire and discover

Each venue below has its own page full of links, videos, resources and ideas to help you find out about art, artists and inspire you to create your own art.

Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery

Towneley Hall

The Whitaker


What you need to know about Arts Award Discover


How long does it take?

Your pupils can complete Arts Award Discover in one day or take a few weeks to work through all three sections, doing a bit at a time. If your pupils are especially interested in one part, you can add more pages – as many as you like.

What resources do we need?

Make sure you’ve downloaded a copy of our Arts Award Discover Booklet here or you can create your own folder, using the same headings. The page headings are important if you want a certificate at the end.
You will need:
• Paper
• Drawing stuff like pens, pencils and crayons
And other materials you could find useful include:
• Scissors, glue, junk modelling stuff like packaging, magazines for collage
• Paint, pastels, charcoal sticks, chalk
• Props for acting or performing
• Instruments, real or made, for any musical adventures
• A camera for taking pictures of children’s artwork or performance

How do you get started?

Look through the booklet with your pupils and talk about the three different parts of the Arts Award, so they have a good idea of what they’re doing from the start. Refer to your Teacher’s Guide for support.

Part A1 Discover the arts all around you

Sometimes we don’t realise the arts that surround us – from stories in books, actors on the TV and dancers on videos to drawings, paintings and pottery, whether made by professionals or family and friends. Encourage children to take a good look around at all the creative things in our lives. You could use this guide from Arts Award to make your own art spotter wheel.


See the links here for information on local museums and galleries such as Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Towneley Hall and The Whitaker.

Or take a look at ArtUK a fantastic resource where you can explore lots of art from our local area and other places too.

Part A2 Take part in art

Children discovering the arts means having a go themselves. They need to take part in at least two different kinds of art. This could be things they do already or something new. Why not make up a dance, write a song, create a poem, illustrate a story or make models from packaging and other ‘junk’ materials?

Get some creative art ideas linked to our collections here.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Towneley Hall

The Whitaker

Part B Find out about an artist and their work

Finding out about amazing local artists and art works in our area is a great place to start. Most art galleries have online collections and just searching google images for paintings about subjects children are keen on can give good results. Wikipedia is often a useful place for children to find out about their favourite pop star, artist or actor.
Help children think about what inspired the artists and talk about each work – the materials or techniques they used, what it’s communicating and what it makes children think or feel. If they love a particular style, encourage them to see if they can create a painting, illustration or song using the same approach. Blackburn Museum have produced a short film to help your pupils with this, view the film on their resources page here.
Find out about local artists and exhibitions in some of our venues Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Towneley Hall and The Whitaker.

Part C Share your discoveries and your work

To complete their Arts Award children need to share what they’ve done and what they’ve learned. It doesn’t matter how they share, or with whom, as long as they write down, draw or stick a photo in their booklets of them doing it. If it is a group work/exhibition you can make a short video or presentation too.

What do we do when we’ve finished?

Hopefully, children will have had a lot of fun completing their folders and you’ll have enjoyed the process too. Your museum partner (see contacts on the left hand panel above) will mark the childrens’ booklets to make sure all the sections are finished, and let you know if they’ve achieved the Award. We will then apply to Trinity College for the official certificates – these may take up to 6 weeks to arrive, so we will issue an interim certificate for you to print out at school.