This project arose from a collaboration between a Cultural Co-ordinator in the Arts Education Team and Aberdeen’s Enterprise in Education Co-ordinator. Beginning with an in-service event modelling creativity and enterprise, teachers engaged in activities that combined creative exercises, active learning, critical skills and enterprising attitudes. The in-service event led teachers through a process of thinking about and planning for the level and stage they teach, choosing principles of curriculum design and experiences and outcomes from at least two curriculum areas. Creativity and enterprising skills were woven through every activity and 40 teachers explored how the arts could be used to develop these attributes in pupils.
At the end of the day, teachers were invited to take the experience back to school and work with pupils to develop a project proposal that would creatively and enterprisingly address a school improvement priority. A professional artist would be contracted to work with the winning proposal.
Following an application deadline, 4 shortlisted schools were invited to make a pitch to a panel comprising The Director, convenor and the vice convenor of Education, Culture and Sport, a Cultural Co-ordinator and the Enterprise in Education Co-ordinator. Pupils accompanied by staff, presented their ideas and discussed with the panel their plans and reasons for developing the project.
The winning school was Bucksburn Academy, whose proposal was for the art department to work with the geography department and make a short animation film about energy conservation and re-cycling. The proposal was impressive in that it was clearly pupil driven and fully inclusive with ASN pupils working together with S1 pupils to plan and realise the idea. The project had good aspirations to develop integrated, inclusive and inter-disciplinary work.
All of the other shortlisted projects were well planned and had been thoroughly researched by pupils. They were each offered Arts Education Team support and a small sum of targeted money to realise their plans, albeit without the dedicated input of a professional artist.
The following people were involved in the Creativity and Enterprise project:
• – 40 teachers from 20 schools (2 secondary) at the in-service
• – 12 lead teachers in 6 schools supported pupils to prepare the ‘challenge’
• – approximately 70 pupils were involved in researching and developing ideas
• – 4 schools were shortlisted and 30 pupils invited to present their plans
• – various teachers and community members were included in planning ideas
• – one visual artist co-delivered the in-service event
• – an animation company (Red Kite) was contracted to work with the winning school
Click here to see the animation film about the environment
The Creativity and Enterprise and follow on project was developed in response to teachers seeking guidance on Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers were looking for ways to translate the high level information on the new curriculum into real classroom practice.
In recognition that creativity and enterprise require development in learning and teaching, the Cultural Co-ordinator and Enterprise in Education Co-ordinator set out to model approaches that could be used by teachers at any level and stage. Providing the incentive of an artist was felt to be a good way of inspiring teachers to work with pupils immediately following the CPD and put the ideas into practice.
Because teachers and pupils invested time and energy in project proposals, it was clear that even without winning an artist there was a relevance and purpose to each idea. The project was designed to inspire and encourage teachers to begin looking at different ways of working to achieve a clear priority.
CHALLENGES and LEARNING
- – Not enough time for the in-service – a whole day would have been better.
- – Will be addressed in future in-service events
- – Continuity and follow up – one seconded co-ordinator had to return to school the other left to go on secondment.
- – Addressed by a new member of the Arts Education Team supporting the schools and taking the project forward.
- – Keeping schools open to the idea that any artform could help – too many were fixed on a particular artistic solution and forgot the process could work with any artform and creative thinking.
- – Addressed through reminding teachers of the purpose and referring to the original application that won the artist.
- – Ensuring that the contracted artist understood the nature of team teaching and achieving several outcomes simultaneously.
- – Addressed through clear communication with both artist and teachers in the school.
- – Because the winning project included an art department, it was important to keep the purpose clear – that it was about creativity and enterprise and not only animation.
- – Addressed through clear communication with both artist and teachers in the school
- – Letting down schools and pupils who had put in a lot of effort.
- – Addressed by communicating clearly and offering support to realise the project ideas without the input of an artist
- – Supporting schools to realise their ideas without a professional artist – each acknowledged that an artist would have added value and contributed creative ideas to the process, as well as giving high quality artistic outcomes.
- – Addressed by offering support to make applications for funding to Awards for All.
- – Lack of sufficient technology in school to support the animation packages.
- – Addressed by offering to support the school set up a group that could apply for Young Scot funding to purchase the equipment for the school.
The impacts fall into 3 categories:
1. teachers participating in the in-service:
- – The majority said they would try out the ideas and techniques in class
2. schools that developed proposals
- – pupils directed their own learning with an understanding of the purpose and benefits
- – pupils worked with teachers to identify a school priority they could address creatively
- – pupils gained skills through investigating, working together, planning and presenting
- – motivation to see ideas through to conclusion
- – pupils in one school decided to fundraise for their own artist
- – pupils appreciated the significance of the issues they wished to tackle such as improving the school playground, local planning and economic issues, working with older people in the community etc.
teachers and pupils in the winning school:
- – new ways of working – different departments working together
“as teachers we were asking different questions of the pupils and inviting them to think about more than one perspective” (teacher)
- – other departments use animation as a communication and presentation tool using the skills the arts department developed as a result of the project
- – good for inclusive practice providing appropriate challenge for all:
“in several instance there were no major apparent differences in ability and pupils were working as equals” (teacher)
“pupils knew they had earned the experience through the efforts of some members of the class” (teacher)
“it taught me that if the project is really hard, just keep trying and you will succeed” (pupil)
“Our group worked well at keeping in contact about what we were doing. I think it has boosted my communication skills because now I can speak to people I have never met before. It has boosted my confidence in drawing and painting.” (pupil)
- – Arts Education Team
- – Enterprise in Education (Determined to Succeed)
Levels and Stages:
- – Potentially all – particularly targeted at first, second, third and fourth levels
- – The CPD was delivered by the 2 co-ordinators and 1 artist who was contracted for a half day delivery time
- – The artist for the winning school was funded through Determined to Succeed (£3,000)
For more information contact:
Arts Education Team, Aberdeen City Council, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org