Introduction to Young Brits at Art 2010

Who are the awards for?

The awards are open to all 11-19 year olds who live in England, Scotland and Wales. We encourage young people from all walks of life to apply. This year, we are asking young people to show through artwork what the world would look like if we lived without prejudice

The awards also provide inspiration and resources for educators in schools and youth settings in England, Scotland and Wales to deliver art projects that complement and reinforce the national curriculum.

What are the Young Brits at Art awards for?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission's job is to break down inequality, build opportunity and support a civic society where fairness and the right of the individual to a life of dignity and respect is not merely an ideal but a fact. One of our key priorities is to work with young people to build a 'generation without prejudice'. This is essential if we are to develop a society in which everyone has the opportunity to achieve and lead a fulfilling life.

As part of a wider programme of work with young people, the Commission's Young Brits at Art awards are open to all 11-19 year olds from all backgrounds and walks of life who reside in England, Scotland and Wales. This academic year, young people are asked to show through their art work what the world would look like if we lived without prejudice.

The awards are not limited to schools. They can benefit young people in youth clubs, Connexions one-stop shops, Pupil Referral Units, faith groups, libraries and leisure centres and other local council facilities. Charities and museums can use the awards as part of their existing youth programmes. Individual young people can also develop their own artwork and enter independently.

Young Brits at Art challenges young people to make and share art that explores the meaning of equality and human rights and how these concepts can help us build a society free of prejudice.

A little history

The awards were launched in 2009 and received 1,639 entries. The standard was very high, both technically and creatively. In May we announced the top 100 shortlisted entries which were put to our panel of judges selected from the world of arts, media and education. The judges chose what they thought were the most creative, thought-provoking and engaging submissions: our 10 winners.

How is this year’s Young Brits at Art award different?

In 2009 the award criteria focused on portraiture and identity, and we asked for submissions that were two dimensional. This year we’re being more ambitious. We want to:

  • get even more people involved and make a bigger splash
  • support more young people from vulnerable and hard to reach backgrounds in taking part
  • encourage young people to choose from a wider range of themes to explore all the ways equality and human rights are relevant to our daily lives
  • reflect current art practice by inviting more varied visual artwork in a wider range of media, including 3D and digital art.

How do the awards link with the National Curriculum?

The award is not limited to schools but is aimed at young people in the UK from all different settings. The activities outlined here can motivate and help young people to enter. Entering shouldn’t be a compulsory aspect of a project. Projects are designed to be adaptable for groups in a variety of settings, including schools, Pupil Referral Units and youth groups. If you work in a charity or museum, you could organise a special project, for example recruiting individuals to do these activities. An individual young person could also develop their own creative project and enter independently.

These activities support the following areas of National Curriculum in England, Scotland and Wales:


These activities can support delivery in:

  • Art and Design, all the concepts (Creativity, Competence, Cultural Understanding and Critical Understanding)
  • Citizenship, in particular Rights and Responsibilities, and Identity and Diversity (Living Together in the UK)
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, in particular Personal Well-being
  • Also, they will help with implementation of the cross curricular dimensions including identity and cultural diversity and community participation and the new Framework in Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills.


In the new Curriculum of Excellence, these activities support delivery in:

  • Expressive Arts, in particular Art and Design and Participation in Performances and Presentations
  • Social studies, in particular People in Society, Economy and Business
  • Religious and moral education, in particular Development of Beliefs and Values
  • Languages, in particular Listening and Talking in Literacy
  • Health and Well-being, in particular Mental and Emotional Well-being and Social Well-being, and also two of the topics include Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood.


These activities can support delivery in:

  • Art and Design, in particular Developing Thinking and Developing Communication
  • Personal and Social Education, in particular Developing Thinking and Developing Communication, and also the Active Citizenship theme of PSE.

Common learning outcomes across the UK

Although the exact terms may vary in the formal curriculum statements of each UK country, these describe the learning outcomes of the activities as they are commonly understood by educators:

Citizenship: The activities give opportunities to develop a critical appreciation of rights and responsibilities, fairness and justice in relation to contemporary society in the UK, underpinning learning in the key principles of Citizenship: Democracy and Justice; Rights and Responsibilities; Identities and Diversity.

Personal and Social Education: The activities give opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to live healthy, safe and productive lives, to reflect on their own values and attitudes in relation to other people.

Communication skills: The activities give opportunities to communicate with authenticity and impact, sharing information and ideas through visual and written means.

Creative skills: The activities give opportunities to use imaginative thinking and creative processes such as sketching, photography and experimental making to aid enquiry.

Critical thinking: applying skills of research, problem solving and critical analysis, improving learning and performance across the curriculum.

Certificates will be awarded to all young people who submit an entry to the Young Brits at Art awards. 

What kind of art will the judges be looking for?

Entries that stand out to the judges will probably show a mix of these strengths:

  • The work will be a great example of a creative enquiry, which is an investigation of a focused issue or question, using imaginative methods to inspire your thinking and to gather, form and express your ideas. 
  • The entry will show or explain a process of discovery, not simply a finished work.
  • The work will come across as authentic, which means that it is driven by personal thoughts and experiences – it is ‘your way of seeing’.
  • The entry may show or explain some experimentation with media, techniques or imagery.
  • The work will have visual impact.
  • The work will make the judges think about how a world might look without prejudice.


Last Updated: 17 Dec 2014