Eildon West – Creative Meet

Cultural Ambassadors from the Eildon West Learning Community joined creative practitioners Mat Clements and Simone Russell on Friday 10th May in Galashiels.

The Cultural Ambassadors spent the morning exploring creative learning through discussions and video clips. They then took part in short workshops with Mat Clements using the format of the Big Drum Experiment. Mat then led a discussion around the creative learning which takes place in his practice.

In the afternoon the ambassadors worked with Simone Russell to animate questions around creativity. Simone also captured workshops and discussions throughout the morning.


Creative Animation CPD with Createaspace

Simone Russell (Createaspace) led a group of 15 Primary and Secondary teachers through the creative animation process over the course of three twilight sessions. The animation below was created as a record of the processes used in stop frame animation. 


Teacher Feedback:

‘Finding animation was simple and fun to learn. If you have the tools and software. It’s not expensive to set up, would bring imagination and creativity into the classroom.’

‘I will attempt to use stop frame animation to model particles (s1 science) with pupils.’

‘I have started animating with my class & other classes. I will teach teachers from my school and my partner school as a CAT session.’

‘I will enthuse about using animation as a way to engage pupils. A great tool for CFE. Continue to develop the skills learnt.’

For more information: http://www.createaspace.org.uk/

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.


Turnbull’s – Past & Present

The Vision 2014 Junior Working Group

A number of pupils from Hawick High School have recently been involved in a three-month project as part of Vision 2014. This project has entailed the pupils researching and developing their own exhibition to be shown in the Borders Textile Towerhouse. The Vision 2014 Project is a four-year project based in Hawick. It aims to inspire young people to be proud of, and work towards, excellence within their community.

For this project the young people initially thought to explore and learn about the businesses on Hawick High Street, past and present. Realising that this was a very broad topic, the pupils decided to focus on one particular business from the High Street, Turnbull’s, as this business has a particularly rich history. The pupils had the opportunity to talk with local business proprietors and historians as well as work with acclaimed Glasgow-based illustrators Metaphrog in order to gather research and create material for the final exhibition.

The aim of this project was not only to inspire young people to be proud of their community, it also endeavoured to strengthen connections between the young people and their local museums as well as their local youth group based in the Escape Café. The project provided creative learning experiences for those involved which is the main aim of Scottish Borders Council’s Creative Learning Network, a partner in and funder of the project. 

The pupils’ involvement in this project was voluntary and all of the participants will receive a Saltire Award in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the project. 

To realise the Vision 2014 Junior Working Group and this project, a partnership was developed between Escape Youth Cafe and Scottish Borders Council Museums and Galleries Service, Arts Development and Community Learning and Development. The project has been funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and Scottish Borders Council’s Creative Learning Network, based within Arts Development.

The information regards the Vision 2014 Junior Working Group’s exhibition at Borders Textile Towerhouse, Hawick. The exhibition is entitled ‘Turnbull’s – Past and Present’. The exhibition will be shown at Borders Textile Towerhouse from 28th March until 15th April.

The Borders Textile Towerhouse is situated at 1 Tower Knowe, Hawick, TD9 9BZ. Tel: 01450 377615

Wheelchair access available.

Please visit the Futures Gallery at Borders Textile Towerhouse to view the pupils’ exhibition, celebrate their achievement and learn more about their Vision 2014 Project.

Working with illustrators Metaphrog
Learning about Turbull's history with current proprietor Ross Irvine

Wee Stories present a package of two science-themed shows

Galashiels Volunteer Hall

Thursday 25th & Friday 26th April 2013


Hickory and Dickory Dock

Thursday 25th – 10:00-10:45am

Friday 26th – 10:30-11:15

Suitable for ages 3-7

 One Giant Leap

Thursday 25th – 1.30-2.45pm

Friday 26th – 1:30 – 2:45pm

Suitable for ages 10+

There are 100 spaces available per performance. Places will be allocated on a first to respond basis.

Please contact us to book places for your school.

‘Wee Stories have earned a reputation not only as the best children’s theatre company in Scotland, but also as one of the very best companies in any genre’ Daily Telegraph

Creativity in Teaching and Learning – An Opportunity to Innovate

Led by Phil Orr, Creative Catalyst and Core Skills Lecturer, Borders College

Thursday 25th April 9.00-12.00

High Mill, Borders College Campus, Galashiels

Lunch included – 12.00 at the Borders Campus Restaurant

The session will give delegates an overview of the innovation process, followed by an opportunity to generate and share ideas on how we make our teaching and learning more creative in school, college and lifelong learning …

Phil Orr is the Creative Catalyst for the Borders College Creative Learning Network and a lecturer on Core Skills. Phil previously worked with Lawrence Alexander on the Determined to Succeed Initiative for Scottish Borders Council, where he delivered CPD for teaching staff.

Supply cover costs will be provided for up to 20 members of staff for a half day session. Places will be allocated on a first to reply basis.

Please contact Susanne as soon as possible to book your place.

YMI Showcases 2013







CREATIVE SHOWCASES 2013 – 3 showcase events will take place next week to highlight the YMI projects across the Learning Communities.

  • Tuesday 19th March – Cheviot, Kelso High School – featuring Edenside, Broomlands, Morebattle and Yetholm
  • Wednesday 20th March – Eildon West, Volunteer Hall, Galashiels – featuring Langlee ASN Unit, West Linton, St. Margaret’s, Balmoral, Glendinning, Tweedbank and Burnfoot
  • Friday 22nd March – Eildon East, Earlston Primary School – featuring Yarrow, Channelkirk, Earlston and Philiphaugh

The Youth Music Initiative (YMI) is funded by Creative Scotland. Its’ purpose is to ensure that by the time they reach P6, all pupils will have received one years free musical experience. These musical activities and experiences take place within the classroom to enable access and participation for all and are particularly aimed at children who would not normally have access to music opportunities.

Scottish Borders Council use the YMI funding to employ 4 YMI Instructors (Ian Lowthian, Jon Jacobs, Ross Milligan and Jenni Borthwick), a Traditional and World Song Development worker (Kaela Rowan) and a Traditional and World Music development worker (Shona Mooney). These instructors work in schools on a termly basis with class teachers to deliver music and song based projects which link into topics being studied in the class. For example, African drumming as part of a world cultures project or local, traditional songs as part of a Scots Language project.

In addition, funding is also provided for various music projects involving the wider music community. The very popular Big Drum Adventure and TRASH bring their unique whole class projects into schools. Partnerships with local and national organisations maximise the opportunities for pupils to broaden their musical experiences. Most recently YMI has collaborated with Drake Music, who for over twenty years have pioneered the use of assistive music technology to make music accessible and have developed a wealth of innovative and imaginative approaches to teaching, learning and making music.

The YMI Team are based within the Arts Development Department of Scottish Borders Council.

Burke & Hare

Charades Theatre Company have been working with 4 schools in the Borders this term as part of the 2012/13 YMI Programme. Lilliesleaf, Howdenburn, Tweedbank and Burnfoot Schools are in the process of staging their own musical productions of Burke and Hare.

Over the course of twelve weeks a team of highly motivated and highly skilled musicians guide a cast of up to 120 children through the various stages of putting on a musical theatre production in their school. There are three workshops in the 12-week process. The first workshop introduces the children to the songs, characters and material of the show.  The second workshop will commence after the children have memorised the songs and will focus on staging the production, bringing dance and drama to the fore in preparation for the final workshop.  The final workshop will include a run-through, a dress rehearsal, and the performance for family and friends.

“Our class has made this their complete topic. It’s easily been cross curricular with RME (Victorian beliefs and Superstitions vs Scientific discovery and morality), Health, Historical and Political issues and Drama. I was skeptical on how much could be achieved in such short bursts but the guys and their websites and resources have been spot on. They have a lovely rappor with the children and are very skilled in what they do.  I’ve never had such enthusiasm in every curricular area for such a sustained time and I think the children will be sad to leave it behind. ” (Marina McMillan, Howdenburn Primary)

For more information or to follow Charades blog – http://www.charadestheatre.co.uk/index.html

Children’s comments:

“I learned that Burke & Hare murdered the Brigadeer in a graveyard.”

 “I learned a lot about the human body.”

 “It’s been fun learning about Burke & Hare.”

“Life must have really difficult back then.”

 “It’s been an awesome topic.”

“It’s been interesting learning about medical advancement from the Victorian era.”f twelve weeks a team of highly motivated and highly skilled musicians will guide a cast of up to 120 iends.

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