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Highlighting Creative Learning

As it’s the last chance to nominate in the Creative Learning Award for the Scottish Education Awards 2016, we thought we’d take this opportunity to reflect on some of our recent Creative Learning highlights.

Creative Learning Award

The Scottish Education Awards recognise schools and centres that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation.  The culture and ethos should promote respect, ambition and achievement while improving outcomes for all learners in ways which eliminate inequity. Creative Scotland has sponsored the Creative Learning Award since its introduction in 2013 and the award celebrates schools that have developed innovative approaches to creative learning and to embedding creativity within their development across the school.

Nominations close at 12 midnight on Monday 15 February 2016 – for more information on how to nominate a school for this award please see the Scottish Education Awards website.

Winners of the 2015 Creative Learning Award Dalry Primary School, Edinburgh with Joan Parr, Head of Creative Learning, Creative Scotland 

Scottish Learning Festival 2015

In September 2015 the Creative Learning team from Creative Scotland took  part in the Scottish Learning Festival at the SECC in Glasgow. This annual two day event brings together a range of professionals from teaching and learning in Scotland, providing new ideas, an opportunity to network with peers and a range of options to enhance the learning and teaching experience for all.

The Festival was a great opportunity to highlight some of the programmes and resources that teachers and learners might find useful, including the recently launched Artworks Scotland Artists & Teachers resource, developed for teachers and artists looking to embed creativity into school plans, offering relevant policy, evaluation and funding information, tips on planning together and case studies from artists and teachers who have worked in partnership.

 This year we also collaborated with Education Scotland to promote the importance of creativity and creativity skills within learning. Using some of the key messages from the Creative Learning Plan the Festival was an ideal space to share a vision of what creativity is across the curriculum; the capacity to generate ideas to look at things with a fresh eye, to examine problems with an open mind, to make connections, learn from mistakes and use the imagination to explore new possibilities.  We believe in every subject there is the opportunity for learners to develop, use and hone their creativity skills; curiosity, imagination, open-mindedness and problem solving.

Even though we have our shared definition of creativity, we wanted to use the opportunity to find out what visitors to the Festival regarded as being creative, whether in their professional or personal life.  We invited visitors to the Creative Scotland stand to share what creativity looked like in their sector, classroom, subject or life. We got a huge range of responses from both adult visitors but also from some of the young people who attended the festival, including maths, creating science experiments, learning new Gaelic words.

While the responses we got from the postcards helped us to understand more about what visitors felt about creativity, we wanted to find a way to share the feedback we got. We engaged Edinburgh based art collective the Too Much Fun Club to produce a live art mural using the responses from the postcards. The Too Much Fun Club specialise in working on murals, illustrations, installations and exhibitions, in addition to live art projects similar to this one. Over the course of the two days the mural grew from the initial sketches, incorporating the visitor feedback and ideas we had received in witty and visually engaging ways.

image of the finished mural from SLF (photographer credit: Lloyd Smith Photography & Film

The Festival was also a way for us to share some of the work that we do for schools in Scotland through our partnership with Education Scotland, including:

Creative Learning Networks

This year there are 24 Creative Learning Networks delivering creative learning opportunities and activities within 28 Local Authority areas across Scotland. The Creative Learning Networks champion creativity, the arts and culture in schools and communities within the overarching context of Curriculum for Excellence. They bring together practitioners and creative partners from a range of backgrounds and specialisms to provide high-quality learning experiences, practical support and professional dialogue on creative learning and teaching and the development of creativity skills. Among the work that CLNs will be undertaking include work around raising attainment, youth employment, Continuous Lifelong Professional Learning  for teachers and practitioners and exploring new ways of connecting the work of the Education, Culture and Communities sectors within Local Authorities.

You can find more information about your local Creative Learning Network on the Creativity Portal

How Good is Our School? 4th Edition

The Scottish Learning Festival also saw the launch of Education Scotland’s  How Good is Our School 4 (HGIOS). The framework provides a suite of quality indicators that support staff in all sectors to look inwards in order to scrutinise their work and evaluate what is working well for learners and what could be improved. Since the first edition of HGIOS was launched in 1996 it has become nationally and internationally recognised in supporting continuous improvement and for the first time ever, creativity has its own quality indicators!

This article was published on 15 Feb 2016