A Unique Creativity Curriculum

A Unique Creativity Curriculum

The power of creativity

Chatsworth Schools has created a unique Creativity Curriculum under the leadership of Rob Wallace, Head of Creativity. We will embed the shared understanding that everyone is creative and has the ability to improve how creative they are. Creativity is not an inherent skill.

Rob Wallace explains:

“Creativity is a misunderstood subject, often thought of as an inherent skill, and generally considered to only exist in a handful of subjects, mainly creative arts. Looking back over the past few decades, much has been written about creativity in education, for example the 2004 QCA guide Creativity: Find it, Promote it, yet, looking at more recent research such as the 2019 Durham Commission on Creativity and Education and late 2021 Creative leadership to develop creativity and creative thinking in English schools: A review of the evidence, a lack of progression is clear, particularly in England.

Research shows:

  • Learning to become more creative boosts self-esteem and motivation, leading individuals to become more interested in discovering things for themselves.
  • Creative learners are more open to new ideas and are reported as being keen to work collaboratively to explore.
  • There are clear links between creativity and positive mental wellbeing; individuals who develop the courage to fail and try again build resilience and consolation, nurturing a growth mindset and increased confidence and positivity.

As Daniel H Pink explains in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, our ‘left-brain directed’ education system and employment landscape will shift, creating desperate need for ‘right-brain directed’ skills of creativity, imagination, and intuition. UCAS advise ‘when [employers come] to recruiting graduates, attitudes and aptitudes are often seen as more important than formal qualifications’ along with stating the importance of resilience and interpersonal skills. Now, at the dawn of the generative AI boom and with the employment shift clearly evident to all, my mind turns to what are still referred to as ‘soft skills’: empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork, adaptability, openness to criticism, work ethic and, of course, creativity to name just a few. When a computer programme can now recall practically all documented human knowledge and convey it in myriad formats, it is vital for us to learn to do what AI cannot.”

What is Creativity?

  • Imagination
  • Purpose
  • Origin
  • Value

Creativity involves thinking or behaving imaginatively. This imaginative activity needs to be purposeful and directed to achieving an objective. We must always ensure we are creating something original and the outcome must be of value in relation to the objective to have made the process worthwhile.

To be Creative we know our Girls will need to develop:

  • Courage
  • Confidence
  • Conviction
  • Resilience
  • Consolation

Being creative takes courage and bravery. Pupils will need to develop confidence in themselves and show conviction when delivering their ideas. Resilience plays a key part in being creative as setbacks are unavoidable, particularly when an idea does not work as planned or is found to be unoriginal. For older pupils, the term consolation will be explored to promote recovery skills.

How can our Girls learn to be more creative

We have designed three activity types to help individuals learn and develop their creative skills:

  • Repurpose
  • Alchemy
  • Mystery

Within each activity the creative qualities of Imagination, Purpose, Origin, and Value are always considered.

Repurpose activities involve taking a well-known, everyday item and giving it new purpose. For example, plastic cups: these could become pots to hold items other than drinks or a musical instrument Repurpose activities provide an entry level of challenge as the item already has original known use(s) which the learners can work away from.

Alchemy activities provide the next level of challenge. These involve taking a mixture of known, unremarkable elements and making something new. For example, the learners are presented with some string, straws, BluTack and assorted Lego blocks. The focus in this task is on incorporating the basic elements to create something purposeful and valuable.

The most challenging activities involve a Mystery item. Here, the learners must fight the urge to try to identify what the item truly is and instead, give it their own purpose and value. They must be competitive in their imagination and create truly original, convincing ideas.

References:

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/durham-commission-creativity-and-education
https://www.danpink.com/books/whole-new-mind/
https://www.ucas.com/careers/getting-job/what-are-employers-looking#:~:text=A%20positive%20attitude%20to%20work,to%20recruit%20a%20young%20person.

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