Creative Partnerships began in 2002, as a way of bringing togetherschools and practitioners from a wide range of creative backgrounds tocollaborate on innovative projects for children and young people.As the delivery agency for Creative Partnerships in London, A New Direction hasseen thousands of young Londoners develop their creative skills, and engage intheir learning in new and exciting ways through taking part in the programme.As Creative Partnerships comes to a close, and A New Direction gears up to takeon a new and strategic role for children and young people and the arts in London,we present this set of Case Studies to celebrate the programme, exploring thethemes of: creativity and change (looking at whole-school change), co-constructionof learning, staff development and learning, creative teaching and learning, andoutcomes for the 21st century (looking at outcomes for young people).A New Direction would like to thank all of the students, teachers, school staff,practitioners, and Creative Agents who have given so much to the programme.Congratulations on all you have achieved. Steve Moffitt, Director
‘There is a remarkably broad consensus on what would be in the curriculum ifit started with children’s present and future needs rather than what’s familiarto policymakers or teachers. What’s required includes systematic reasoning,creativity, collaboration and the ability to communicate, as well as mastery ofdisciplines.’(The Young Foundation)In England, there has been a growing awareness amongst academics and educationalistsof the need for change. Social and emotional learning (within personal, social and healtheducation and citizenship) has been boosted in primary schools through the SEAL (Socialand Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme and in secondary schools through anew framework for personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) that includes creativity,critical thinking and community participation. SEAL and PLTS are voluntary, however, andsometimes seen as an adjunct to the ‘real curriculum’.This case study explores how Creative Partnerships’ Change Schools programme hascontributed to the development of young people fit for the 21st century. Drawn from theexperiences of four schools, the study is based on project observation and interviewsundertaken with young people, Creative Partnerships Coordinators and other school staffin spring 2011 (towards the end of the projects). Additional evidence is drawn from projectdocumentation completed by the schools’ Coordinators and Creative Agents. The studyfocuses on projects undertaken in the final year of the programme.
Berger Primary School, HackneyBerger is a large primary school situated in an inner-city housing estate. Pupils come from a wide rangeof backgrounds and a high proportion come fromfamilies where English is an additional language.Ofsted judged the school to be good in 2009 and Enquiry 2010/11: How can wenoted: ‘What is immediately obvious to visitors to artistically interrogate outdoorBerger Primary School is the positive influence of space for use with the curriculumthe school’s Creative Partnership on the vibrantand enriching curriculum which has galvanised and raise attainment in literacy?enjoyment in learning.’Berger has a commitment to cross-curricularlearning and the first two years of Change Schoolssaw the whole school working on a single topic.In year one, architects worked with the school toexplore London’s buildings and bridges and in yeartwo, the school explored Earth and space with afilmmaker.Berger moved into its newly built school inMay 2010 which has a large outdoor space withintriguing architectural features. With some of thespace still to be landscaped, the school wantedto explore how they could develop an outdoorcurriculum. A second aim was added when theschool received its 2010 Year 6 SATs results; thosein English compared unfavourably with former yearsand improving writing became a whole-schoolpriority. Two writers and a visual artist workedwith Years 3, 4 and 6. An initial, exploratory day ofworkshops with the children was used to informthe direction of the project. The writers focussedon creative writing whilst the artist’s brief was tocreate a 3D learning resource for the playground.Children created and shared writing, story boxes,story bricks and a large, decorated, sculptural tree.
Keys Meadow Primary School, EnfieldKeys Meadow is a large primary school that openedin 2003. The proportion of pupils from minorityethnic groups, and the numbers with English as anadditional language, are much higher than average.Ofsted judged the school as good in 2009. Enquiry 2010/11: How can we embed the use of multi-media inKeys Meadow has worked with Creative school to promote our aspirationsPartnerships for five years (the final three as aChange School). Each year, the school has increased to reach a wider audience and tothe number of children involved in projects, starting achieve our dreams?with a single class and progressing to a whole-school project in the fourth year. All projects haveexplored creative teaching and learning througha cross-curricular theme and all have encouragedparental engagement. In the first year of theChange Schools programme, the school focussedon storytelling linked to topic work in Year 2 andYear 5. In the second year, the school undertook anambitious whole-school project to develop thinkingskills, language and writing through work in music,art, technology and story.In the final year of the programme, the schoolreturned to the school motto ‘You can Fly’ andan exploration of its symbolic meaning. TheHeadteacher described how ‘local families arestuck within their own circumstances and childrenperpetuate this cycle.’ The school’s motto suggestsan alternative but the Head asked, ‘is theresomething we can do to prove this to children?’The project was inspired by Miles Hilton Barber(who visited the school), an adventurer who has notallowed his blindness to restrict his life ambitions.His mantra ‘The only limits in our lives are those weaccept ourselves’, informed the project.Having developed the skills and confidence tocoordinate a whole-school project in year two, theschool again expanded its ambitions, incorporating
the Creative Partnerships project within a whole-school challenge to ‘realise their dreams’ Eachyear group or phase decided on a dream projectthat would push participants outside their comfortzones and raise money for charity. Two filmmakersworked across the school to explore how digitaltechnologies could be used to capture and promotethe projects and have a wider application across thecurriculum. In the Key Stage 1 project for example,‘DOSH 4 GOSH’ , children wrote, staged and filmedan adventure movie that they screened at a redcarpet premiere. As with the other school projects,promotional videos were posted on Facebook andYouTube. A theatre practitioner also supportedYear 6’s dream of staging a production at the localMillfield Theatre.
St Michael’s Church of England Primary School, LewishamSt Michael’s is a large voluntary aided primaryschool. The school is socially and ethnically diversewith the majority of pupils from Black BritishCaribbean heritages. The school has above averagenumbers of pupils from vulnerable circumstances. Enquiry 2010/11: How can we seeIn 2007, Ofsted judged St Michael’s to be a good philosophy introduced to ourschool. pupils through a fun and accessible medium?In the first year of the Change School programme,St Michael’s undertook a whole-school projectaddressing scientific problem-solving throughdrama and story. In year two, the theme of ‘forests’was explored through photography, film andanimation in a Key Stage 2 project.The Headteacher at St Michael’s explained therationale for the third year’s project focusing onphilosophy and poetry.‘There are two things holding our children back.First, speaking: they don’t have an extensivevocabulary and find it hard to express themselves.Second: they don’t have positive ways to achievewhat they want; they need negotiation skills andto know how to stand up for themselves in a non-confrontational way.’The school worked with a Philosophy for Children(P4C) consultant from SAPERE and with two poetsfrom Apples and Snakes. The project commencedin January 2011 with an assembly and a full-staffInset day delivered by all three practitioners. TheP4C consultant returned for two further days duringthe spring term, modelling enquiry sessions witheach class. One idea adopted was for each classto determine a ‘Question of the Week’. The poetsworked throughout the spring term with the fourclasses in Year 4, 5 and 6 introducing a range ofmethods to craft poems, inspired by and/or askingquestions.
The project culminated in a poetry evening when allthe children performed their poems to an invitedaudience.
Rush Croft Sports College, Waltham ForestRush Croft Sports College is a small 11-16comprehensive school. The proportions of studentsfrom minority ethnic groups and those who speakEnglish as an additional language are much higherthan average. The school is a specialist sportscollege and was judged in 2010 by Ofsted to be Enquiry 2010/11: What can we do atsatisfactory and improving. Rush Croft to create a passion forThe first year of the Change Schools programme learning?coincided with the introduction of a new Key Stage3 curriculum at Rush Croft; one that emphasisedskill development rather than subject content.In the first year therefore, the school exploredcross-curricular practice with a Year 9 carnivalproject. The whole of Key Stage 3 were involved inthe second year’s film project which challengedstudents to respond to thematic questions usingphotography, audio and film on mobile phones.Reflecting on the school’s work with CreativePartnerships the Coordinator concluded, ‘it hasbeen valuable but for limited numbers of staff andstudents. Now we are looking for significant impactin school.’ To support the strategic aims, one ofthe school’s Deputy Heads took on the role ofCoordinator.Inspired in part by Ken Robinson’s book, TheElement (which explores the idea of findinga personal passion for learning) the projectcommenced in January 2011 with an Open SpaceTechnology (OST) day facilitated by the school’screative partner, Scarlet Theatre. Scheduled on anInset day, all staff participated in the event and aninvitation was extended to students, parents andgovernors.The next phase was informed by issues andinterests shared during the OST day. A range ofprojects and initiatives developed, some facilitated
by the creative practitioners, others lead by staff.Practitioners (in sound, story and theatre) fromScarlet Theatre worked with staff and studentsto explore creative classroom environments, thenature of learning and support for students withEnglish as an additional language. A CreativeLearning Team (including staff and students)was facilitated by an additional practitioner,educationalist, Jonathan Barnes. Perhaps the mostsignificant unexpected outcome from the OST wasthe establishment of the ‘Respect Committee’. Thisgroup, convened by two Assistant Headteachers, isaddressing issues of behaviour and discipline at theschool.
In the section above, quotes from two Headteachers curriculum. At Berger, the Year 6 children wereprovide the rationales for creative projects that preparing for SATs and feeling the strain,sought to improve the life chances of their students. I did some sessions with Year 6 and [the teacher]In fact all four schools shared similar challenges of said this is the first time that we have donetackling underachievement and raising aspirations. anything other than maths and literacy for ages andWhilst all senior leaders stressed the importance of said it was so nice for the children to do somethingattainment in core subjects, they also highlighted creative.the need to embrace a much broader definition of (Practitioner, Berger)education; to develop capabilities needed in thereal world; in the 21st century; creativity, resilience, Employabilityrisk-taking, bravery... The Head at Keys Meadow questioned traditional(Head, Keys Meadow) models of education,Why are these skills and capabilities important? The classic model of education is that knowledge is imparted and then youre tested on it. But you useAs a parent, its the primary reason to your intelligence when you dont know the answer. Children could go through school and achievesend a child to school. I could educate the academically but this doesnt prove anything orchild at home if its just about knowledge. set them up for life. Are these the people who willBut social skills, team-working... holistic innovate and inspire; the people we need?learning is why were here. Research offers answers to this question. Leon(Coordinator, St Michaels) Feinstein of the Institute of Education, for example, reported that a child’s dedication and capacity forResearch internationally and in the UK has concentration at the age of 10 has a much greaterconfirmed the importance of these capabilities and impact on earnings 20 years later than his or hera number of initiatives have been set up to support ability in maths. A sense of personal agency at theschools develop new competence-based curricular. age of 10 is also more important to life chances thanSome of the reasons for the importance of these reading skills.skills and capabilities were raised by participants inthese projects. Social mobility through personal agency and educational attainmentWellbeing of children At Rush Croft, all the staff interviewed for the caseThe UK performs particularly poorly with regard to study agreed on the central challenges facing thethe wellbeing of children . Resilience is seen as a key school. Students live in a suburban environmentskill that enables children to cope with the stresses dominated by gang culture. They see school asof life. Creative activity helps to promote resilience an oasis where they feel safe but, explained theby encouraging risk-taking and challenge in a safe, Coordinator, we need to change the trajectory ofsupported and fun environment. Creative activity young peoples progress; raise their aspirations.is also an essential part of a broad and balanced Giving them a voice at school is vital. A class
teacher explained the long-term aim, as adults, theyneed to have some agency in their lives; understandthey can make choices; take decisions. SeniorLeaders at the school have made a commitmentto increase student voice in the firm belief (basedon evidence from partner schools ) that this willultimately raise attainment.The role of creativityThe Coordinator at Rush Croft reflected on thebenefits of creative practices, Theres somethingdifferent about creativity, co-construction comesin automatically. Its giving students a sense ofagency. A class teacher commented, learning isemotional; it requires emotional engagement andcreativity demands and develops this. A secondteacher added, In the current climate you needto be able to cope with change. Creative projectsintroduce problem-solving, you learn to cope withnew experiences... expect the unexpected.The Coordinator at Keys Meadow reflected,Creative practitioners get childrenthinking and curious; they inspire andengage. They ask unusual questions andbring a different approach to lessonstructure or behaviour management orhow to focus children... through physicalactivity for example.
There was evidence of wide ranging outcomes skills such as negotiation, project planning andfrom arts-based skills to time-management. For the organisation. The Head developed a self-assessmentpurposes of this case study however, the focus is on framework for pupils that translates the qualitiesoutcomes linked to social, emotional and creative of creative learning into I can statements. He haslearning. started to use these as a basis for discussion with Year 6 pupils and has added this area of learningTeachers at St Michaels noted a marked and development in reports to parents. Manyimprovement in the childrens debating skills; an of these qualities were evident in the childrensincreased ability to justify and own their views reflections about their learning recorded in thewith phrases such as for me.... The P4C consultant midpoint evaluation. Examples included,reported progress in the childrens understandingand use of open questions and their ability to pick We have gone out to make a DVD to give peopleup on cues to develop themes in a conversation. like famous people and the mayor to get them toChildren responded positively to these new help our project. (Self belief)opportunities. At the midpoint evaluation forexample, one child commented, We were having When you have ideas and you can combine them toa discussion with [the P4C consultant] and our make a better idea. (Imagination and collaboration)teacher was joining in and I felt like we were having It doesnt matter if you do it wrong, you can deletean adult discussion. Another child added its new to and do it again. (Risk-taking)talk like this. How to work as a team because everyone has aAn unexpected outcome arose from the fact that job like cameraman, director, interviewer, soundthe two poets working at the school were men. The person. (Teamwork)Coordinator explained, theyve been positive rolemodels for the boys; men expressing themselves Not to try and take over because other people havethrough words. One boy said, Im surprised ideas as well.(Collaboration)because I never knew I could do poetry before. The first time we used the vado we did somethingDidnt think I was that sort of person but they made really good but we accidently deleted it so we did itit fun and [made me] confident. again. (Resilience)At Berger, raising attainment in literacy was a key How to get on with it and learn by yourselfaim. A Year 6 pupil reported, what is best. (Concentration, independence and persistence)[The writer] taught us how to use our imaginationto make our story a lot better and using punctuation You shouldnt do lots of messing because you dontand some wow words that we had never actually have much time...you have to use your time wisely.used before. (Discipline and self-awareness).At Keys Meadow, children learnt a range of I was quite shy but I learnt to be more comfortablefilmmaking skills together with transferable and confident in front of the camera. (Bravery)
The project at Rush Croft grew organically around Endnotespeoples enthusiasms and particular themesemerged, many connected to personal agency 1. Yvonne Roberts (2009) Grit: the skills for success and how they are grown. The Young Foundation.and social relationships. After having spoken tostudents participating in a range of initiatives, for 2. Freelance creative project manager responsible for managing the process of a creative partnership within aexample, the Creative Agent concluded, school. 3. 61% of pupils reached level 4 or above which comparedThere is a strong sense that they want to be unfavourably with the previous three years’ results whichinvolved in a deeper dialogue about their learning. ranged from 71%-81%.They really liked being asked to reveal different 4. Developed in the first Creative Partnerships project inaspects of who they are and how they like to learn. 2006.More strategies to develop co-construction across 5. Raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.subjects and lessons is something they are really http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NTDooZStDYkeen on. 6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL7iVfXArKo&featureOutcomes for students is inextricably linked to =relatedstaff development and learning. The Deputy Head 7. Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry and Reflectionat Rush Croft reflected on the success of the in EducationChange Schools programme, 8. Robinson, K (2009) The Element. How finding your passion changes everything. Penguin Books.The reason we could do this project is the 9. An event that starts with an overall purpose but no agenda.openness of colleagues to try something new. This Participants are invited to raise pertinent issues and pose questions that become the focus of small focus groups.is a creative school. Participants are free to join any group and/or move betweenexample, the Creative Agent concluded, groups. 10. See the Young Foundation’s report Grit for a summary.There is a strong sense that they want to be 11. See for example, RSA Opening Minds and the Whole Educa-involved in a deeper dialogue about their learning. tion network.They really liked being asked to reveal different 12. In 2011 for example, Save the Children ranked the UK ataspects of who they are and how they like to learn. 23rd out of 43 ‘more developed’ countries for children’s well-More strategies to develop co-construction across being.subjects and lessons is something they are really 13. Leon Feinstein referenced in Whatever it Takes, Paulkeen on. Tough. 14. A sense of personal agency is a group of characteristicsOutcomes for students is inextricably linked to based on believing you have control over your own life.staff development and learning. The Deputy Head 15. Through initiatives including Gaining Ground, run by theat Rush Croft reflected on the success of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust on behalf of the De- partment for Education.Change Schools programme,The reason we could do this project is the 16. Structured formative evaluation facilitated by Creative Agents during a Creative Partnerships project.openness of colleagues to try something new. Thisis a creative school. 17. Pocket-sized video camera.
A New Direction is an organisation that works with and for youngLondoners, providing powerful ways for them to access the best of arts andculture.We do this by working with Londons creative and cultural sector, schoolsand other partners, to generate more opportunities for young people totake part in arts and culture and develop their own creativity.Through our work, more young people are able to develop their own talents andpassion for the arts, and we are committed to helping more young people to identify,experience and move into careers within the creative and cultural sector.From Spring 2012, we will take a strategic lead for children, young people and the artsin London, working alongside Arts Council England, and in partnership with Apples andSnakes, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Roundhouse and Sadlers Wells. A New Direction Discover 383-387 High Street Stratford London E15 4QZ email@example.com www.anewdirection.org.uk Photography: Christa Holka; Simon Way; Rush Croft Sports College Designed by: Yejide Adeoye