Wirral multi academy trust to lead on innovative practices in teaching for creativity

St Bernard’s RC Primary School and Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT) have been chosen as the lead organisations in the North West as part of a new initiative that supports creativity in schools. 

Following a report by Durham University, teaching for creativity in schools should be prioritised in order to equip young people with the skills they need in later life. Last year, Arts Council England announced funding of £2,780,000 to build a network of schools that will test a range of innovative approaches to teaching for creativity.

The networks will trial varied methods of teaching that help children and young people to develop their creative capabilities and evaluate their effectiveness. The pilot will run until July 2024, testing out teaching approaches and curriculum development which can then be applied more widely throughout the education system.

St Bernard’s, which is situated on Sherbourne Road, Ellesmere Port, has been selected as one of eight schools nationally to lead the programme. All four schools from HFCMAT will be taking part in the project along with eight others from across the region. The network of schools will be known as ‘Creativity Collaboratives’, with St Bernard’s naming its project group ‘C-Change’.

The C-Change project was recently launched to schools and partners on Zoom, detailing the purpose and importance of the Creativity Collaboratives. Emily Reid, assistant headteacher at St Bernard’s, together with Andy Moor, CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT), talked passionately about how the project will work. Professor Bill Lucas from the University of Winchester and Professor Louise Stoll from University College London also made guest appearances and spoke about why creativity matters in education.

Emily Reid will be the project lead for C-Change. She said, “St Bernard’s and HFCMAT are extremely proud to lead on this national programme. Creativity has been at the heart of our work for many years. It is integral to our curriculum, which serves our communities and enables our children to become lifelong learners. As a collaborative we will be able to further develop pedagogy and practice around teaching for creativity, so that our children can thrive in the future.” 

C-Change will work alongside existing school structures, teachers and educators around the region to co-develop creative strategy and pedagogy, test out approaches to teaching and learning, and evaluate their impact on pupils, schools and communities.

The schools taking part are: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Birkenhead, Our Lady of Pity Primary, Greasby, St John Plessington Catholic College, Bebington, St Mary’s Catholic College, Wallasey, Parklands Community Primary and Nursery School, Ellesmere Port, Hinderton School, Ellesmere Port, The Oaks Primary School, Ellesmere Port, Kelsall Primary School, Chester, Park Primary School, Wallasey, New Heights School, Liverpool, Everton Free School, Liverpool, and Everton Nursery and Family Centre also in Liverpool.

Each partner school will have a Creativity Champion who will influence and support the development of the Creativity Collaborative work within their schools.

Andy Moor said, “We are delighted to have been recognised for our work around creativity. I believe it’s the right of all our children to experience classrooms that help them develop creative thinking and creativity. Through this project, we will be working with international researchers and leading voices in creativity to help schools find different ways to reduce inequality and improve outcomes for our young people.” 

The first stage of the project will take place in the summer and schools will conduct research around the conditions needed to foster a culture of curiosity and creativity. In September, there will be a C-Change conference where the research findings are explored.

Any primary schools which are interested in being part of the programme should contact creativity@stbernards.cheshire.sch.uk More updates can be found on Twitter: @CChangeNW. 

More information on the Creativity Collaboratives can be found here: www.creativityexchange.org.uk/creativity-collaboratives

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