It’s difficult to teach creativity. Instead, inventiveness and a creative approach to problem solving needs to be fostered and encouraged. Teachers and parents alike have such fantastic an opportunity to inspire creativity in so many different ways.
At All Hallows, creativity is championed and celebrated from the moment children arrive in the bustling courtyard in the morning wearing their bright cherry jumpers. Our Creative Centre was opened “to encourage children to take a creative approach to all that they do”. We aim to foster diversity, critical thinking, imaginative insights and fresh ideas through ensuring children are in touch with things that inspire and excite them. We encourage children to express themselves, to collaborate, to exchange ideas and build collective solutions to complex problems.
Creativity is at the heart of our curriculum, with a particular emphasis on cross-curricular projects. With a design studio, workshop, two art studios, photography department, ceramic studio and display areas of inspirational work, we offer a fusion of traditional and modern approaches to creativity.
With a new Head of Art, the department leapt into a new creative direction for all children from nursery upwards. Projects were collaborative, innovative, cross-curricular, child-led, teacher-inspired and community focussed. Highlights of the vast amount of creative work during the year, included:
The Big Draw: taking inspiration from the magic of the zoetrope with students contributing by adding their own contribution to the bigger picture. The evolving installation was documented by a surveillance camera, turned into a video, edited and presented by our media scholar
All The Fun: an exceptional exhibition of art, design and photography held in a local gallery. Abuzz with visitors from far afield who were transfixed by the variety of art work on display: shoe lasts (a part of shoe design process) made in CDT, photographs, sculptures, drawings, masks, pupil-made videos, as well as poetry and singing. Every pupil had at least one piece of art on display (art was not chosen on merit but on a collaborative basis).
Mother Teresa matrix: a 2D portrait comprised of 32 abstract rectangles made by different students
Creative Showcase: an installation on school life and cranes (of the avian variety forming part of the school logo) - executed by students from all years, work included origami tape sculptures, 2D paper work and a looping video
Our Creative Design facilities encourage an exciting approach to design enabling pupils to immerse themselves in an increasingly technological world; a flexible scheme of learning, develops increasing knowledge, understanding and skills whilst embraces opportunities to work with outside artists and organisations.
The many and varied cross-curricular projects led by CDT (Creative Design and Technology) include making working trebuchets to destroy model castles in History; tessellation project using laser cut shapes in Maths; a travel project making passports; a collaborative project with Clarks shoes creating vacuum formed shoes.
Across the elaboratively decorated and colourful fun-filled classrooms, creativity is continually harnessed, and departments work closely together to fuel ideas. For example the Year 3 topic ‘Active Planet’ involved shelter building, water filters and foraging; Year 2 ‘Transport’ included a bicycle made from nature items and boats they designed, made and then launched on school river; Year 3 ‘Rivers’ saw the children making rafts, building mountains and adapting river flow. Many of these projects involve working closely with the Forest School team.
Creativity of thought is also cultivated through skilled teachers using higher-level questioning, prompting debates as a regular part of pupils’ learning, prompting self-reflection through a variety of feedback methods – rather than the teacher grading every assignment.
On Saturdays, a voluntary Enrichment Programme (over 95% of children attend) is in place, giving us even more scope for creative projects including photography, cookery, journalism, bushcraft, animation, performing arts and school productions (most recently the Addams Family and Aladdin, involving students working behind and in front of the stage; scenery, props, music and lighting).
Inspired by the year of creative buzz throughout the school year, the theme of the annual Speech Day was Carnival. For the first time the marquee was decorated entirely by works of art by every pupil (in various medium) and the key speech was given by the world-class ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.
Although creativity is difficult to measure, we are very proud of the number of creative scholarships our pupils achieved to senior schools in 2018: 4 CDT (including the only 2 CDT awards given by Marlborough College), 3 Art and 2 All Rounder (encompassing music & art) (20% of awards given to the year group). Further, the 2018 ISI report stated “ICT is fully embedded across the curriculum and very successfully employed by pupils to further their academic work and greatly enhances independent learning. Art and DT examples of pupil work are excellent”.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”. (Maya Angelou)