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Scottish Borders: Creative Meets

Scottish Borders Creative Learning Network

The Scottish Borders 2013/14 Creative Learning Network focused on three key elements: strategic development; communication; and a programme of CPD training. The CPD programme included a series of six ‘Creative Meets’, held in each of the learning communities and aimed at Cultural Ambassadors (nominated representatives for creativity in their school).

Raising the profile of creative learning

The programme, which took place between October 2013 and March 2014 aimed to raise the profile of creativity across learning. The sessions were an opportunity for Cultural Ambassadors to meet and discuss creativity in their practice, school and learning community. Recent documentation around creativity, such as Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan and the findings of the HMIE Aspect Review were shared and discussed. Participants took part in creative workshops and discussions with creative partners.

The events were devised and delivered by Scottish Borders Council Creative Learning Team in partnership with the Borders College Creative Catalyst. A total of 45 teachers participated in the programme. Workshop sessions were also delivered by partners: Archaeology Scotland, Createaspace, Where’s the One and The Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre.


    Group discussions

    The Creative Meets allowed teachers to explore the definition of creativity and creativity skills. Each event involved an element of facilitated group discussion around the following questions:

    • How do we know if learners are developing creativity skills and attributes?
    • How can you/we encourage creativity across the curriculum?
    • How could we make our learning spaces more creative?
    • How can we measure and assess creativity skills?

    The questions formed a starting point for interesting discussions and debates around creativity in education. These were captured through animation workshops, which allowed participants to take part in a creative process at the same time as talking about what creativity is. The animations were shared on our Glow Blog and Facebook sites.

    Shared learning

    The events also included guest practitioners or speakers, such as Caroline Adam, General Manager of the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, who talked about the Peebles Creative Place Award and opportunities for schools to engage with future programming.

    Mat Clements, from Where’s the One delivered a creative drumming workshop, in which he shared his creative process and explored how the creativity skills are developed through the Big Drum Adventure, which he runs in schools. Riona McMorrow from Archaeology Scotland took the Teviot & Liddesdale participants on a site survey of a local graveyard and discussed plans for the forthcoming ‘Heritage Heroes’ project in the learning community.

    Many of the sessions involved participants sharing their lesson/term plans and discussing where and how they planned for the development of creativity skills in their learners. Various resources were shared with participants such as the Creativity Portal and the Brewstometer.

    "The team have worked hard to ensure recognition of creativity continues to develop within Scottish Borders Council. The creative meets over session 2013/14 have encouraged discussion and provided an opportunity for practitioners to continue to explore this area. We are working on a strategic three plan year plan which will allow us to work together to improve the outcomes for children and young people." - Senior Education Officer, Christine Brown.

    What difference has the programme made?

    Evaluation from the events demonstrates that for many participants the information provided has broadened their understanding of creativity. They believed that creativity was solely related to the Expressive Arts, but through these events they could see the role of creativity right across the curriculum. Many of those who took part will now ensure that they plan for the development of creativity skills in their learners and use creative teaching in their classrooms. Participants left the events with enthusiasm and excitement for creativity and were keen to share this with other practitioners in their schools.

    The course has allowed me to see creativity in a different way, across the curriculum.- Creative Meets participant

    "As a result of today’s event I will be more aware when planning of how I ensure I build in regular opportunities to be creative look at how/where we use creativity and how best to record creativity skills and include in current evaluations."

    "A very productive day. I felt that I was much more aware of policy developments with regard to creativity than I was before the course."

    "As a result of today’s event I will…

    • Raise the profile of creativity in my 2 schools
    • Be inspired to push the boundaries
    • Take more risks and research more"

    Next steps

    • Development of a 3 year strategic plan for the authority. This is currently in draft format and is awaiting approval from Senior Managers within education.
    • Deliver a series of sessions with Head Teachers focused on the findings of the Creativity Review.
    • Work with Subject Leads to explore creativity in the subject areas in greater depth.
    • Continue CPD programme of Creative Meets and twilight sessions.
    • Plan a creativity conference.