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Raising the profile of creativity through CPD

Susanne Batchelor

The Scottish Borders 2013/14 CLN focused on three key elements; strategic development, communication and a programme of CPD. The 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).

October 2013-March 2014

To raise the profile of our CLN and of creativity in the context of Curriculum for Excellence. The sessions were an opportunity for Cultural Ambassadors to meet and discuss creativity in their practice. We shared key documentation around creativity, such as Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan and the HMIE Aspect Review. Participants took part in creative workshops and discussions with creative partners.

45 Class Teachers

The Scottish Borders Council Creative Learning Team in partnership with Borders College Creative Catalyst. Workshop sessions were also delivered
by Archaeology Scotland Simone Russell – Createaspace Mat Clements –
Where’s the One Caroline Adam – The Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre

It was an opportunity for class teachers to explore creativity in their practice and meet with creative partners. This is the only opportunity for class
teachers to meet for a whole day with teachers from other schools in their
learning community. It was also the first opportunity for most to hear about

the Aspect Review and Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan.

Participants were given the task of animating the creativity skills using ipads and a range of materials. They used their imagination to come up with
interesting ways to use the materials to express the creativity skills. They
had to be inquisitve and open-minded to the process and had to solve

problems along the way.

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

We already do a lot of creative things in different areas of the curriculum – be more confident

45 teachers are more aware of the role of creativity in learning and teaching and are keen to encourage creativity in their schools. The staff are aware of the findings of the Aspect Review and Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan and know where to find resources and contacts. They are also aware of how to work with creative partners. This will be evidenced through a report as all discussions were captured and documented at the events. All participants completed evaluation forms and the comments have been summarised and added to the report. The report, along with a 3 year development plan will be put forward for approval from Education Management Team in the near future.

Animations on Vimeo

CreativiTEA Rooms

Nicole Gildea

01224 814736

The CreativiTEA Rooms were a series of bespoke events in Aberdeen exploring creativity in education, providing stimulating environments that promoted and facilitated peer knowledge exchange in this area. CreativiTEA Rooms provided a framework for practitioners of all levels of experience, from a broad range of relevant fields, to explore and engage in conversation around many aspects of creative learning. Some sessions were facilitated; others were open discussions around a theme or conversation prompt. CreativiTEA Rooms also ran daily during the Arts Across Learning Festival 2014, bringing creative and education practitioners together in productive conversation in a bespoke tea rooms environment.

2013/14. CreativiTEA Rooms facilitated workshops at Aberdeen’s Integrated Children’s Services Conference and at Aberdeen Learning Festival, with creative challenges and drop in CPD workshops highlighting the potential of combining a teacher’s toolkit with an artist’s toolkit to achieve high quality arts education. CreativiTEA Rooms daily during the Arts Across Learning Festival, bringing creative and education practitioners together in a bespoke tea rooms environment. CreativiTEA Rooms also explored creativity across the curriculum with student teachers at the University of Aberdeen, and through the CLD PgDip offered by the University with workshops which explored the role of an artist in partnership delivery.

Creative Learning wanted to explore creativity in education in a stimulating way, in unique environments, with a focus on both local and national contexts. During the Arts Across Learning Festival in particular, a vintage tea rooms space was carefully constructed for teachers, artists, cultural providers and students of art and education to meet up, engage in conversation and exchange knowledge, skills and ideas. Throughout the CreativiTEA Rooms series, a relaxed aesthetic was balanced by structured conversation starters and more formally facilitated sessions with the aim of delving into questions of quality, approach and connecting to the curriculum through arts education.

1 Artists from across Scotland and teachers, cultural providers and students of art, education and community learning in Aberdeen City were all impacted by engaging with the CreativiTEA Rooms, either on a drop in basis or through attending one of the workshops or facilitated discussion sessions. A CreativiTEA Rooms blog also documented and shared some of the discussions in order to reach a wider audience.

The project was coordinated by Creative Learning at Aberdeen City Council May 13, 2014 3:40 PM and delivered by Creative Learning and a range of creative and education

1 The Tea Rooms extended both the reach and the profile of the Creative Learning team both locally and nationally. It utilised a format we have not tried before over such an extended period. A significant amount of Creative Learning’s creativity in education programmes to date have seen the delivery of high profile conference style events that have reached a wide range of participants across different sectors. The CreativiTEA Rooms facilitated focused smaller significant discussions of depth, engaging directly with selected groups to nourish enthusiasm, generate discussion and ultimately generate ideas to further the creativity agenda across learning contexts in Aberdeen.

Participants were encouraged to develop core creativity skills through both the open and the more structured workshops and discussions. Sessions stimulated constructive inquisitiveness around creativity in education, bringing practitioners from the fields of art and education into contact in productive conversation and sharing of knowledge in this area, across a broad range of relevant topics. Some sessions were focused around practical creative activity, with discussions developing from this, and some involved group work and problem solving exercises directly related to the real work of delivering creativity in education and developing thinking around creativity in education contexts.

discussions were inspiring and practical skills were also shared between practitioners.

workshops, sessions and discussions were carefully facilitated and supported as appropriate, to include everyone’s voice who attended,
whatever their level of experience.

through group work, active sessions and the developing of networks of practitioners, informally and formally and both locally and nationally.

Artists, students and teachers who attended gave feedback through recorded evaluations to record impact and areas for future development, including: “An opportunity to share ideas and practice with other artists. New contacts and potential future collaborators! Interesting conversations that twice continued well into the evening. Oh, and nice cups of tea and cake.” “It was a great opportunity to meet others and discuss professional issues in an informal environment. I also attended Tracey Smith’s session which was useful and good that it involved a more structured activity with an opportunity for group discussion.” “Great to speak about opportunities as well as ways of overcoming issues…with applying new and inspiring learning experiences for pupils and teachers.”

Horsecross Arts, Hooks + Bites (a Co-Create demonstration project)


The ‘Hooks + Bites’ project involved developing a digital art bank for Glow, working with nursery, primary and secondary pupils. The ‘hooks’ were topics, in this case focusing on ‘transition’ and what it means at critical life stages as children move from nursery to primary, primary to secondary, secondary onwards. The ‘bites’ were the digital sound and image files created by the children. A series of workshops run by a team of artists and musicians, Plan B Collective, were held between May and June 2010 to develop the bites, which included sound recording, animation and videos.

A project celebration took place in June 2010 at Perth Concert Hall, where project partners, schools and members of the local community were invited along to view the Hooks + Bites exhibits, including a showing of all pupil work on the Threshold Wall – a bank of 22 monitors in the Concert Hall’s main front of house space.
The project was focused on producing an end result for Glow, rather than using Glow throughout the process, however Glow was also used as a means for posting project updates and materials, and to upload project work to show the project in progress. The resulting Glow Group provides a model which teachers across Scotland can use for inspiration and practical advice on how to make digital animation and sound artwork.

Click here to watch 5 minute video

The project involved:

  • Horsecross Arts
  • 1 combined model campus (nursery, primary and secondary) in Perth and Kinross
  • 110 pupils aged 4-5; 10-12 and 15-17
  • 6 teachers


  • Plan B Collective
  • Creative Links Officer, Perth and Kinross
  • Perth and Kinross Council


The project aimed to:

  • create a digital art bank for Glow, providing a model which teachers across Scotland could use for inspiration and practical advice on how to make digital animation and sound art work;
  • explore how creativity can support the transition stages, delivering Experiences and Outcomes across Music, Art, ICT and Health and Wellbeing.


  • Expressive Arts
  • Technologies
  • Health and Wellbeing


Early Years – P1; P7-S1; S5-S6


The project encouraged lots of group work and active learning, listening skills, digital technology skills. It promoted inter-disciplinary learning and space to be creative.


An independent evaluation was carried out by Blake Stevenson. Their research shows that the project had the following impacts:

New skills, knowledge and approaches for teachers

  • The project provided an experiential learning CPD opportunity for teachers, supporting them in developing new thinking on using cross-form art as a tool to explore different themes with pupils;
  • Teachers grew in confidence to use creative methods in teaching and gained a greater understanding of creating digital art;
  • Teachers realised the possibilities of using new technology and using Glow, and recognised their power to inspire pupils;
  • The project reinforced the benefits for pupils of learning outside the classroom and the importance of breadth and diversity in learning and teaching;
  • The mix of teachers working in partnership with arts professionals was a productive learning experience for all.

New skills and knowledge acquisition for pupils

The project promoted the following key learning:

  • creating high quality digital art works;
  • gaining skills and experience in sound recording and digital animation;
  • increased experience and awareness of Glow;
  • exploring the concept of transition, and expressing emotions about the changes associated with this;
  • presenting their work to others at a public launch event in an arts venue.

The project supported pupils to achieve progress in the following ways:

Successful Learners – during the work of the project pupils were enthusiastic learners, became open to new thinking and ideas and were determined to reach high standards of achievement. Pupils became better at communicating, thinking creatively and independently, learning independently and as a group and using technology for learning.

Responsible Citizens – as a result of the project pupils became better able to make informed choices and decisions, and develop informed and ethical views of complex issues.

Confident Individuals – the project increased pupils’ self-respect, and their sense of emotional and mental well-being, helped them to have more secure values and beliefs and increased their ambition. Pupils became better able to relate to others and manage themselves, and achieve success in different areas of activity.

Effective Contributors – the project supported pupils to work in partnership and in teams, take the initiative and lead, communicate in different ways and in different settings, apply critical thinking in new contexts, create and develop and solve problems.

New skills and knowledge for Horsecross Arts and Plan B Collective

For Horsecross Arts the project was the first time they had extensively used new media art with school pupils. They felt they had learned a lot from the process and would feel more confident doing so in future.

Through the project, Plan B learned that:

  • working with teachers to plan the project was extremely beneficial;
  • children were much more creative when they were facilitated rather than told/taught (e.g. when they had more control over their choices and actions);
  • young people needed lots to do; any gaps and they lose focus quickly;

For both organizations this was the first time they had used Glow; now they are familiar with it they will continue to use it in future when appropriate. A number of relationships were formed, and existing relationships were strengthened by the project.


Although some participating teachers had experience of Glow, the majority involved were not familiar with Glow before the project started and did not yet have Glow accounts; the use of Glow was not consistent across the participating schools. Plan B therefore spent more time developing the Glow group than they had expected to, and also had difficulty in using Glow Meets to communicate with project partners.


Teachers had enjoyed the experience of using Glow during the project, despite some early apprehension. Responses to a survey conducted with teachers by Horsecross Arts suggested that staff felt Glow would be useful for sharing information and ideas within the school, and possibly between other schools in Perth and Kinross. They also showed some interest in linking with wider groups and organisations using Glow.

Horsecross and Plan B found that working with groups at this level of involvement has had a lasting impact on teachers’ and pupils’ understanding and interest in digital art.

The project has raised the profile of Glow in the schools and local authority.

The project also brought together partnership between Education Services and creative industries, opening doors for staff to work with arts organisations in future.


Co-Create was funded through a partnership between Learning and Teaching Scotland and Creative Scotland’s National Lottery Fund. 

For more information contact:

Jenn Minchin, Horsecross Arts,

Hooks + Bites Glow Group

Horsecross Arts Website

The Giant Gaelic Arts Project


The Giant Gaelic Arts was developed as the result of collaboration between the Cultural Co-ordinator, the Head Teacher of Kirkstyle Primary School, the P3 class teachers and 2 artists. The lead artists, both Gaelic speakers delivered 8 workshops sessions in school where together with pupils, they explored how to extend the pupils’ Gaelic vocabulary by using the traditional Gaelic story ‘Two Giants’ as the theme. Each class was introduced to the story, created their own storyboards, made ‘giant’ puppets and props and learned two Gaelic songs. Artists communicated with pupils in Gaelic throughout the project.

Gaelic 3 with Eoghann and Linda

The workshop sessions culminated in a final performance of the story, embracing visual arts and language elements of the project, and designed to convey pupils’ own interpretations of the traditional story to their school and parents/carers.

The project involved:

  • – 45 P3 pupils in two classes
  • – 4 class teachers
  • – 2 lead artists, both Gaelic speakers



In addition to learning and consolidating new Gaelic vocabulary, the project was designed to introduce young children to the rich and diverse cultural life of Scotland in a creative and inspiring way.

The project aimed:

  • – to contribute to learners’ wider education and life experiences
  • – to promote and encourage the use of new vocabulary in Gaelic language
  • – to give increase pupils and staff confidence in speaking in Gaelic
  • – to support the learning and teaching of Gaelic learning
  • – to consolidate overall learning of First Level Gaelic (learners)
  • – to inspire staff to develop new ways of creatively teaching Gaelic and transferring these skills and ideas to other areas of the curriculum


Gaelic 4 with all     Gaelic 7 class 


Follow up conversations with the class teachers confirmed the project had an effect on pupils as the following quotes demonstrate:

“The children were involved in this project from the very beginning. Eoghann (Lead Artist) read them the story ‘An dha fhuamhaire’ which immediately held their attention and then they demonstrated to him their own knowledge of the Gaelic language. Using the different medias to retell the story, such as the storyboards and creating the giants, giant pies and props allowed the children to take ownership of the project and bring the story to life.” (P3 class teacher)

“The songs Mary McLeod taught them slotted in to the play seamlessly and the children decided to add their own favourite ‘Brocham Lom’.” (P3 class teacher)

“I really enjoyed learning Gaelic and making the giants’ heads” (P3 pupil)

“I was nervous being on stage and speaking Gaelic but it was great.” (P3 pupil)

“It was great fun mixing the paint to make the flesh colour for the giant’s faces. I didn’t think you could add blue and yellow.” (P3 pupil)

“I enjoyed working with the other class and being in the play and making people laugh I‘d like to learn more Gaelic.” (P3 pupil)

“The children from both classes have benefitted from being involved in this rich, unique and interactive experience from which they have gained confidence, a variety of skills and have extended their vocabulary in a fun way which is indicative of CfE” (P3 class teacher)

“Cross curricular, multi-discipline, bi-lingual projects such as ‘An da fhuamhaire’ come into their own when the class teacher and school staff become engaged and bring their skills and knowledge into the creative process. It is a partnership and this project was the perfect example. It was a real pleasure to be involved with. The kids were magic and really shone.” (Lead Artist)

 Gaelic 2 with Eoghann     Gaelic 6 action performance     Gaelic 1



  • Creative Minds Team
  • Determined to Succeed
  • Kirkstyle Primary School


Levels and Stages:

  • First level
  • P3



  • Determined to Succeed
  • School fund


For More Information:

Helen Duncan, Cultural Co-ordinator on 01563 555 634 or email


Science and Art: