‘Extreme Art School’ awarded DYW Quality Accreditation at Gold Level

Transition Extreme has been awarded another Gold Level DYW Quality Accreditation for its ‘Extreme Art School’.

The ‘Extreme Art School’, which was created through a collaboration between Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s School of Art, and Transition Extreme, is a 10-week programme to target young people aged between 16-21 in Aberdeen City and Shire who are not in education, training, or employment, and have an interest in a career in art, design, or media.

Along with Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Cultures Team, John Lewis Partnership and a number of other community arts organisations, RGU has supported the ‘Extreme Art School’ as part of its ongoing commitment to promote arts and culture, civic engagement and developing new means of widening access into further and higher education.

Rachel Elliott, Manager of DYW North East, said: “We are delighted to present Transition Extreme with a gold award for the Extreme Art School programme.

“The programme plays an important role in raising the aspirations of young people who may find it challenging to enter into employment or training. These young people may not yet be ready to enter into employment and so are supported to develop vital skills for the workplace, like teamwork and communication.”

The ‘Extreme Art School’ assists participants in building an arts portfolio to help them access creative industries and/or further education, while improving on key employability skills, such as confidence, motivation, and communication. Throughout the 10-week programme, participants are given the opportunity to work under the guidance of professional artists and designers, work collaboratively on projects, and exhibit their work.

Due to the partnership with Gray’s School of Art, Transition Extreme is able to deliver the programme successfully with the resources, knowledge and commitment needed to promote the development of young people interested in creative arts. The skills development on offer through the ‘Extreme Art School’ aims to help young people progress to a positive destination upon completion of the programme.

The ‘Extreme Art School’ offers creative skills development and activities to act as a diversion for young people to encourage them to build self-esteem and make positive choices, and therefore increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for participants. The structured 10-week programme provides opportunities for young people to gain practical hands-on experience in various artistic techniques such as lino and screen printing, filming and photography, illustration, painting, graphic design, textiles and sculptures. This unique approach improves engagement and participation from the young people who choose to take part and resulted in very positive outcomes and feedback.

Chief Executive of Transition Extreme, Grahame Patterson, said: “We are delighted to receive this Gold Level DYW Quality Accreditation for our academy programmes.

“Our programmes have been well designed in partnership with RGU, Gray’s School of Art. However, the key elements of success are how the young participants and our staff work together to achieve the outcomes, that the young people themselves want.  This comes from a person-centred approach taken by our specialist Youth Work team in coordination with the Gray’s School of Art Team. Their passion and dedication, allied with professional methodologies meant that we create a dynamic and aesthetic place for young people to play, develop and achieve.”

Professor Chris O’Neil, Head of Gray’s School of Art, said: “The Extreme Art School is an almost perfect example of collaboration between a university and a specialist provider because it has changed lives and created futures.”

Data collected from the programme’s pilot in 2015/2016, which involved 3 participants, highlighted that 1 progressed on to a 12-week full time work experience programme, 1 progressed to the Activity Agreements programme with Aberdeen City Council, and 1 participant was taking part in further training with shmuTRAIN and Aberdeen Foyer. The programme hasn’t been run since this pilot due to funding being unavailable, however it is hoped that it will be run again in 2017.


Posted by Anna Duthie
Senior Communications Officer

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