Norfolk and Norwich Festival wants to encourage more schoolchildren to build on their creative skills

Schools and other education groups in Norwich are being encouraged to get involved with two new awards that aim to give young people more opportunities to experience the arts.

The Arts Award Discover and the Arts Award Explore are aimed at young people aged seven to 25 and can cover anything from fashion to poetry, rapping to dance, and photography to film-making. They have been introduced by Arts Council England to give young people a chance to build on their creative skills and knowledge of the arts.

The Discover award is about young people discovering and recording their own arts experiences, while the Explore award is about getting young people to find out what interests them, learn about artists, and create their own artwork.

Next month in the city, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is inviting teachers to take part in a two-hour free training session to find out how their schools can get involved in the awards and also obtain the Art Council's Artsmark status, which is now recognised by Ofsted.

Nicola Peacock, the festival's director of participation and engagement, said: 'These two new awards give young people a chance to explore creative possibilities and to set them on a journey which can lead to future opportunities and ultimately a possible career in the arts.

'The festival is delighted that as part of our role as a bridge organisation (for Arts Council England) we are able to support local schools and young people to access and enjoy the arts across the region.'

One of the Norwich schools already taking part in Artsmark schemes is Catton Grove Primary School that has achieved a gold Artsmark award for its range of creative work, which includes a colourful mural at the school representing the tree of knowledge.

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Headteacher Tim Lawes said: 'I think the award establishes that our provision for the arts in the schools is as good as it can be, and for our pupils what it presents is an opportunity for them to enrich and broaden their experiences across a range of different mediums.'

He said the school was now looking into the opportunities offered by the Explore and Discover awards.

The Norwich Artsmark training session will take place on Tuesday, July 10 at OPEN, in Bank Plain, from 2.30pm until 4.30pm.

There is also another session on Wednesday, July 4 at King's Lynn Arts Centre from 2.30pm until 4.30pm.

For further information about Artsmark, or to book a place on one of the courses, call Oliver Payne on 01603 878285 or email oliver@nnfestival.org.uk

Are you involved in a new arts project in Norwich? Call Evening News reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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