Last week I spent 4 days locked in a space with 30 creative types learning about creative learning. How did I end up in there? What happened to me? Read on…
The Arts Council for Wales have a fantastic scheme called the Lead Creative Schools Scheme which ‘aims to promote new ways of working, with innovative and bespoke programmes of learning designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning.’ Fab huh? I should mention at this point that a similar programme ran in England for 10 years, had a hugely positive impact upon attendance and attainment, and then the Tories got rid of it. Gove!
But we are in Wales and have a devolved government, even if as I write they are still trying to sort out who’s gonna lead – Labour have a clear mandate, but not an outright majority. Anyway, away from the politics the current scheme is just ending year 1 of a 5 year funded plan.
Simply put, the idea is that (primary and secondary) schools who are interested employ creative practitioners of any discipline to help the school deliver innovative, creative learning in areas such as literacy, numeracy and disengaged learners. The creative agent is the role that brings it all together, working with the teachers, practitioners and learners to meet all their needs and deliver a fantastic project, which has the potential to change learning culture in the school. Easy?
Being a Creative Agent
The four days were all about understanding the scope, philosophy and intentions of the role. It was four full days of presentations, discussions, games and of course innovative creative learning. Everybody in the room had a creative practice and vast knowledge, experience and ideas.
We got to learn about the details of the scheme and the role, but we did it many ways. PowerPoint was used, but we also worked in groups to discuss and hone ideas, share thoughts and reflect upon our learning.
Then there were the games. Some of these were warm ups or physical. Others were used to generate ideas. The highlight of these was probably the last one which was called Sticky Thanks (or something similar) and involved all of us in the space with a pad of sticky notes and a pen writing positive messages and sticking them on each other’s back. The photo below is the lovely feedback I received.
Very soon the Arts Council team get together to match each of the Creative Agents to a school. We then get the offer and if happy start work. Over the next school year we get between 10 – 15 days (dependent upon school level) to work with all partners to deliver an exciting project.
I am looking forward to the adventure, and hoping for one primary and one secondary school, not too far away. Stay tuned, I will be blogging our progress.