Category Archives: CLN News

Edinburgh Creative Conversation Christmas Celebration

Edinburgh’s Creative Conversation Christmas Celebration is on Wednesday 11th December 2013.This one has a slightly different focus and our Creative Catalysts are people who have been inspired by Creative Conversations to take action. Different ways of working, challenges to the norm, surprises, being outside the comfort zone and inspiring stories of deep pupil engagement can all be expected.

The Creative Conversation is titled ‘What Difference Does it Make?’ and that is exactly what you are invited to discuss with colleagues.

I would also like to thank all of you for coming to Creative Conversations and hope you can join Gillian Tee, David Cameron, Lucy Vaughan, Heather Lucchesi Eileen Littlewood and Lindsay Fullarton in what I am sure will be a very enjoyable conversation about Creativity across Learning.

Coffee is from 4pm and the Creative Conversation will begin at 4.30. Wine and seasonal nibbles will follow at around 6pm till 7ish.

Places will fill up very quickly – please email Linda Lees <> for an invitation.

Edinburgh Creative Conversation with Don Ledingham

Creative Conversations are Edinburgh’s now well established strategic response to developing the Creative Learning Network for the City. They feature as a case study in the recently published 3-18 Curriculum Impact project Creativity Across Learning. This successful approach has been picked up by colleauges in other local authorities and Education Scotland. You help make them the success they are and your invitation to the next Creative Conversation on Creative Leadership is attached.

Creative Conversation Invitation – Don Ledingham – download the pdf invite

Date for your diary:

The first of the 2013/14 Creative Conversations will be on Monday 25th November at 4pm for 4.30 till 5.45pm with wine and canapes afterwards (venue to follow with confirmation of attendance). I am delighted that our Creative Catalyst this session is Don Ledingham.

Don Ledingham’s Creative Conversation is titled ‘Try a Little Tenderness….’ which may seem like the wrong song title for a session on Creative Leadership, but with Don as the Creative Catalyst, you can expect a few surprises! Don talks about forgiveness in leadership and about creating space for creativity and innovation. He thinks aloud and in public, challenging other leaders to open up and let go. He now works with Drummond International and will go global soon, so catch him while you can. No mere theorist, Don has been a Head Teacher and Director. This will be a memorable start to this session’s Creative Conversations. Coffee is from 4pm and the Creative Conversation will begin at 4.30.

As with all previous Creative Conversations, David Cameron will facilitate the discussion. You are invited to continue the conversation with Don, David and colleagues over wine and canapes at around 5.45/6pm.

Places are filling up very quickly – please email the address in the pdf  if you would like to attend and receive full venue details and confirmation of your place.

West Lothian Creative Learning Network – Colouring Outside the Lines

Friday 8th November 1.30-3.30pm, Linlithgow Burgh Halls, Linlithgow

Download the event flyer here: West Lothian Creative Conversation 1

West Lothian Creative Learning Network will hold it’s first Creative Conversation event on Friday 8th November at the Linlithgow Burgh Halls

Our idea is to offer a platform for anyone interested in the future of learning in West Lothian to discuss, debate and create. The structure of the conversation will include specialist input, updates from the residency project we doing this year and space to explore practical implementation in classrooms. We are aware of some inspiring creative teaching in West Lothian and we want to bring these voices together.

Our first conversation…

• …will establish a shared language and vision.

• …will start the debate by identifying the people curious about continuing the conversation.

Although we will be discussing West Lothian, this event is open to all as we know that similar conversations and challenges are happening nationally and we want you to be part of the conversation. Please see the linked PDF for more information, to book your place please contact Fiona Macfarlane, Arts Officer (Learning) on 01506 773873 or email

Please book by Wednesday 6th November.

Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan and Curriculum Impact Report on Creativity Across Learning published

Exciting news this week as two important documents relating to creativity across learning were launched at the Scottish Learning Festival:

Published by Creative Scotland, Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan aims to inspire educational policy makers and practitioners to utilise creativity to benefit learners in schools and other settings.

The Creative Learning Plan is the result of work by a partnership of organisations working across Scotland in education and creativity and sets out an ambitious vision for creativity in education over the next 10 years.

Among the changes the partnership is aiming for are:

  • New policies and plans supporting creativity throughout Scotland
  • More creative teaching practices and support for creative initiatives within local authorities, schools and places of learning
  • More support for and understanding of the value of creativity and experiential learning by parents and carers.

Find out more and download the Plan here: Creative Learning Plan

Education Scotland’s Curriculum Impact Report on Creativity Across Learning sets out key findings from a review of current practice in Scotland and focuses specifically on the development of creativity skills in learners. It proposes a definition of creativity is and identifies a set of core creative skills or attributes.

‘Scotland needs to prepare its young people for life and work in an uncertain economic and social environment if they are to thrive in an era of increasingly rapid change. The need for a well-developed set of higher-order skills will be a key part of the toolkit they will need and the ability to think creatively will be one of the most important tools in that toolkit’.

Download the Creativity Across Learning 3-18 Curriculum Impact Report here:

Creativity Across Learning Report

Creative Minds on the Agenda

Author Gordon Brown, from Glasgow, gave the keynote speech – and food for thought – at a recent ‘Naturally Creative’ event in St Joseph’s Academy, Kilmarnock

Around sixty teachers, artists and students from across East Ayrshire interested in networking and finding out more about what’s going on in the arts attended the evening, which was organised by the Council’s Creative Minds Team.

“The Creative Minds Learning Network in East Ayrshire is growing both in numbers and diversity of  membership.  It’s fantastic to be part of this exciting movement of people championing arts and cultural education in our schools and the wider community.  Gordon’s presentation created a real buzz of dialogue and activity challenging the way we work and how we do things providing a stimulus for thought and action.”  Helen Duncan, Cultural Co-ordinator

Gordon, who delivers ‘creativity training’ under the Brain Juice brand as well as writing crime novels, shared his ideas about what creativity is and how it works. This sparked discussion about the role of creative minds in business and about the value of teaching creativity in schools.

Those who attended the get-together also had a sneak preview of the outstanding new St Joseph’s Academy art exhibition.

Many took advantage of opportunities to meet and chat with fellow artists, teachers and parents in a friendly, informal setting.

People were also invited to put their names down for future workshops, visits and experiences, as the new Creative Learning Opportunities training diary for 2013/14 was launched.  The network is part of a national initiative funded by Education Scotland and Creative Scotland.

Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, said: “There’s quite a network locally of artists, practitioners and people simply interested in the arts and culture.

“I’m delighted that the Creative Learning Network provides such a stimulating forum for like-minded individuals to get together and discuss ideas in this way, in order to enhance creative, artistic and cultural education for our young people, in line with Curriculum for Excellence”.

Helen Duncan

Cultural Co-ordinator

East Ayrshire Council

Educational & Social Services

Creative Minds Team

The Wallace Building

John Dickie Street



T: 01563 555 650!/helen.duncan.313

Creative Minds Learning Network, East Ayrshire: “Naturally Creative”

Tuesday 17th September, 4.15pm for 4.30pm, St. Joseph’s Academy, Grassyards Road, Kilmarnock, KA3 7SL

Keynote Speaker: Gordon Brown, Brain Juice

Once again the Cultural Co-ordinator Team within East Ayrshire’s Creative Minds Team has successfully secured funding from Creative Scotland and Education Scotland to continue to support our growing movement of professionals championing cultural education in our schools and communities.  This promises to be an interesting, informative and enjoyable event providing a platform to connect and collaborate with new partners, generate ideas and make things happen.  Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone you think would be interested in coming along or you feel would benefit from taking part.  All we ask is that they contact us with their details (name/designation, artist etc/establishment) so we have a handle on numbers. There will, as always, be an opportunity to connect with colleagues, teachers, artists, parents and pupils in a welcoming and friendly environment, enjoy our hospitality and a special preview of St. Joseph’s Academy Art Exhibition.

We will also launch our Creative Learning Opportunities Training Diary for 2013/14 which offers workshops, funding advice, visits and experiences to name only a few, and we invite you to book your creative learning opportunity of choice at the event.

As well as being a successful author, our keynote speaker Gordon Brown, has over 25 years experience in sales and marketing, including 14 years with Bass Brewers and as Director of Brands for the Tennents portfolio. He will share his knowledge and ideas to provoke discussion about the role and importance of creative minds in business and to fully recognise the increased value in teaching and nurturing creativity skills in schools.

We hope you will continue to support the network in order to safeguard and shape the future of arts and cultural education in East Ayrshire.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information at this time.

Please RSVP to confirm your attendance if you haven’t already done so through Facebook

Sent on behalf of Helen Duncan, Cultural Co-ordinator and Zara Smith, Dance Motivator

Creative Minds Team, East Ayrshire

Girfec: A creative approach

An innovative conference, entitled Girfec: A creative approach, was recently held in South Lanarkshire as part of the Creative Learning Networks scheme.

South Lanarkshire’s Cultural Co-ordinator team organised the half day conference which was aimed at colleagues from across agencies and aimed to explore creative approaches to achieving positive outcomes for children, young people and their families linking to the wellbeing indicators.

The Cultural Co-ordinators are part of Integrating Children’s Services with a key remit for vulnerable families so undertake a lot of targeted working with schools and also with children and families. The conference gave an opportunity to bring together a wide range of colleagues to highlight the value of creative approaches when looking at girfec.

The conference offered colleagues the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker David Cameron, hear about practical examples and to network and discover the range of services already available within South Lanarkshire.

The objectives of the conference were to encourage staff to:

▫       Identify areas of their work where arts, culture and creativity could be used to address the wellbeing indicators.

▫       Gain a stronger awareness of national policy in relation to arts, culture and creativity in education.

▫       Take forward innovative approaches within own practice.

▫       Adopt collaborative approaches across resources.

The event was targeted at a wide range of agencies including social work, NHS and the voluntary sector.  The following chart shows the breakdown of who attended.

The response from delegates overall was positive with people citing the importance to gather information as being an important part of the event, as well as the chance to hear an inspirational and motivational speaker. One delegate noted “Enthusiastic presenters who made me think about new ways to approach my work with children & families” and another “Really put GIRFEC into a context which will enthuse practitioners.”

A short film feature was made by South Lanarkshire TV about the event – it can be found at the following link

Mentoring performance makers…

I wanted to share with you a piece of work that Electric Theatre in D&G (who developed the Big Burns Supper Festival) are currently taking forward in our region. Its called ‘Make’ and its an incubator project that seeks to develop and promote the work of emerging performance makers from the region (most of which are young emerging artists).

Make is a residential laboratory for six performance makers who are about to start a year long journey to make six new pieces of original work in Dumfries & Galloway. Guest specialists will help to inspire and cultivate the performance making process by providing mentoring to each performance project through an intensive period of creative development. Each performance maker has created an idea for a new piece of work – and that work will begin it’s journey somewhere in Dumfries & Galloway.

I have attached information that tells you more about the project, but the incubation period also allows the makers to be mentored to understand and develop funding routes for their own projects.

I will let you know when performances finally hit the theatres!

One of the six makers is a former Transform Dumfries participant, and great to see that learning coming full circle! (he is second year student at the Royal Conservatoire – Directing). Electric Theatre is a key CLN partner in D&G and some of the other makers have worked directly on educational projects with us through CREATE and recent CLN activity.

We have other exciting work with Electric Theatre that I hope to share with you soon.


Make Performance D&G

Local Authority and College CLN Collaboration in the Borders

A joint event between the Scottish Borders Council and Borders College CLNs’ was held on Thursday 25th April with the aim of building links across the college and local authority networks. Participants came from Primary, Secondary, FE and HE.  Phil Orr, Borders College Creative Catalyst and Susanne Batchelor, Scottish Borders Council Creative Learning Manager led this initial session. The first part of the morning was spent looking at creativity in education, locally, nationally and internationally through film clips and presentations.

During the second part of the morning participants worked in groups to generate ideas using the ‘Ideas Trail’ toolkit, developed by UXL Ltd. Each group were given a question about Creativity and were asked to come up with 50 ideas.

  1. How do we create different spaces/environments for creative teaching and learning?
  2. How do we engage partners in creative teaching and learning?
  3. How do we assess/measure/capture creativity of students?
  4. How do we improve the way we teach to further develop creativity in our learners?

The ideas were then narrowed down during group discussions and two ‘Red Hot’ ideas were selected and presented. A general discussion was then held around the next steps and how to continue to develop the network.

Some comments from discussions:

“The creative process is a specialist term which needs an agreed definition so we all know what we’re talking about.”

“I love everything about teaching creatively but I’m really concerned about what exactly to write in my planning folder when my HT (and others I’m sure) expect teachers’ plans to detail every session to the nth degree. Looking forward to discussing it further with others.”

“Listening to like minded people – encouraged that teachers too could share the vision for change.”

“Thinking about my own teaching and that I do teach creatively but there is always room to improve and build on.”

“Networking, learning a strategy for starting creative thinking processes in my class and in other education groups of which I am a part.”

Discussion of where to go from here and take it back into the work place to develop. Opportunity to share ideas of how to overcome difficulties and promote ideas further”

“Continue to teach creatively and look to improve it, also to try to encourage colleagues to be open to creativity”


From the ideas generated and from the feedback received, the next steps for the partnership CLNs from Scottish Borders Council and Borders College are:

  • To continue the innovation conversation in schools and college through further planned joint sessions and CPD
  • To implement some of the Red Hot ideas through pilots on schools and college
  • To develop materials and use processes to allow the sharing of good practice and the continued development of creativity in teaching and learning in the Borders Region.

Creative Development and Connectivity with Dr Suzanne Zeedyk

Kildean Suite, Forth Valley College, Stirling

Thursday, May 9th 2013
4.30pm – 6.30pm
4pm for refreshments and registration

Forth Valley Creative Learning has invited Dr Suzanne Zeedyk to lead the final Creative Conversation in its current programme.

For the past 25 years Suzanne has been an academic researcher, studying babies’ innate ability to communicate and connect with other people. In 1993, Suzanne took up an academic post in the UK as a Developmental Psychologist at the University of Dundee and has remained there since, currently holding the post of Honorary Fellow.  She is an inspiring and thought-provoking speaker.

Suzanne has loved what the field of Developmental Psychology has taught her, why it is that a child’s earliest years have such a profound effect on their later years, including their emotional security, their trust in others, their self-confidence, their relationships, their connectivity. Now she wants to help ensure that this knowledge is spread as widely as possible and frequently acts as partner or speaker for a wide range of organisations throughout the UK and abroad including police, educators, health workers, nursery staff, parent groups and children’s theatre groups helping them to better understand the neuroscientific, biological, and psychological evidence concerning the human need for emotional connection, something creativity can be a channel for. Suzanne feels if we overlook emotional connection, then we all pay for it, through the services that governments need to fund such as prisons, mental health programmes, hospitals, fostering arrangements, extra support in schools and other services.

To book a free ticket for the event click on the following link:

For further information contact: or

Further events will be planned for the academic year 2013/14.  Please keep a look out on the Forth Valley Creative Learning Website