Launched in 2015, the Performance Support Award has been created in order to recognise and encourage the achievements of young people who want to be involved backstage outside the classroom.
It has been developed by STSG members in response to demands for a non-academic course which can be tailored to suit the needs of technicians/tutors responsible for pupils undertaking extra-curricular activities in the school theatre.
The Award provides a reference framework for busy technicians/tutors to use as the basis for a regular activity programme, in a similar way to a teacher using a scheme of work or lesson plan.
This is not an academic course and should not be delivered as such. It is intended to be delivered outside of classroom hours in whatever format works best for your learners. There are no time limits or exam dates.
The scheme is divided into Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. The modular nature of each level will allow tutors to adapt the content to suit the time available, the facilities and equipment available, and the specific interests and skills of the participants.
STSG members can download the latest version from the Members' Portal
The Award is mainly for secondary school pupils (age 13-18) at an extra-curricular level, such as those participating in a ‘Tech Club’ or helping backstage on school productions. It is designed to support and encourage development outside of the classroom, and to offer a standardised method of recording skills and achievements.
Progress through the scheme is intended to encourage a potential future career path in the backstage industry, but can equally be used by those seeking a hobby activity. Bronze is aimed to start at Year 9 (13+), but the Award can be used with any students or young people.
The Award is designed to be managed by any technician or tutor involved in the extra-curricular support of performance activities. The tutor does not need any teaching training or qualifications. Tutors can use as much or as little of the scheme as required to suit your environment.
It is free for STSG members.
At the very least, we want schools to use this scheme to increase the level of interest and participation in backstage activities, by rewarding pupils who may otherwise be unrewarded. It should encourage those pupils to consider the possibility of a future career in the theatre industry, and could be used on a CV or university interview to demonstrate skill and interest.
Certificates can be awarded for completion of each level.
The PS Award is only available to STSG members, so the group network is ideally placed to provide advice, support and feedback. Members can share experiences, problems and achievements. It may even be possible for STSG members to create 'hub' schools where other schools can visit to combine resources.
There is usually a discussion session at the annual STSG conference, and specific PS Award training symposiums have taken place. STSG also has an online discussion hub, which can be used for asking questions or providing suggestions.
Progress is assessed internally by the tutor(s) delivering the course. The intention is that participants gather evidence as they work through the course to create a portfolio of work. Evidence can be photos, video or audio recordings, reports, notes, plans, lists, cue sheets, scrapbooks, etc.
Each unit contains a number of learning objectives, against which the tutor should record an assessment with evidence for each participant. The specific details of the assessment criteria are intentionally broad, so that the tutor can adapt the programme to suit the particular learning environment.
There is a flexible pathway through the modules and levels, in order to cater for those with specific interests or time/resource restrictions.
We recommend using an online facility such as Google Drive or OneDrive in order to share and compile work from participants ready for moderation.
STSG is currently developing methods for recording and submitting participants' evidence, and the ability for a network of voluntary STSG moderators to quickly monitor and approve the submitted work.
Tutors will be able to continue to use the Award in its present stand-alone format, or will have the option to use the moderation. There may be a small charge for this additional service, which will also be used to issue appropriate certificates to successful participants.
Moderators will be given free access to the system, in exchange for checking a limited number of other members' submissions as required.