Real Ideas member Jane Norris runs sewing courses for home educated children at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard. She been offering Arts Award as part of her courses and she’s here to tell us all about the impact it is having.

“Arts Award opens up more opportunities and broadens their view.” Jane talks about how offering the qualification as part of her courses allows the children to understand the learning in a wider context. As part of Arts Award, children get the opportunity to develop a skill and keep a journal of this, review an event, learn about an artist or crafter, and share their skills with someone. Jane says she loves the way this depth of learning can allow the children to start to think about fashion as a career option. “I’ve seen first hand how much it motivates them and starts to channel them in towards further and higher education.”

Based at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, Jane runs a variety of sewing courses for home educated children aged 12-16, and is looking forward to opening this offer up to all children aged 12-16 in the summer holidays.

Jane also talked about how the courses and award encourages “community participation”. Offering these beginner sewing courses for home educated teens allows them to build relationships with others and boosts their confidence. They start as total beginners and complete the course with a tangible achievement; a brand new garment designed and made by them! Having documented their progress in a journal, they get to see their achievements and how much they have learned in a short space of time, which Jane says then “gets the children thinking, ‘what can I offer?”

It’s not just the children who experience the positive impact of the Arts Award offering. Jane spoke about how the award “adds value and encouraged parents to book again. It gets them [parents] to start thinking about qualification, which is important.” Having the Arts Award offering is great for the children who are starting to think about their future as it’s “good for UCAS”. Learning a new skill and having an extra qualification “makes students stand out.” This is a great way for creatives offering courses to make their offer “hold more value and look more professional.” says Jane.

Jane has many years of experience in her speciality; sewing, and expertise in teaching from her years at a local Steiner School. Her knowledge has allowed her to build a fantastic offer of sewing courses for young people, with many more exciting things to come in the near future!

Coming up after half term- Saturday Sewing for Teens! Jane is starting a Saturday course for young people wanting to gain skills in making clothes.

Jane has more workshops coming up in the summer holidays and the new academic year, keep an eye on our What’s On page to book your place, or, if you’d like to keep up to date with Arts and Culture events and workshops, join our monthly what’s on guide here.

To find out more about Arts Award, visit their website here. If you work in education or are a home educator and would like to find out more about educational arts and culture opportunities, sign up to our Educators’ Newsletter here.