Resources have now been published to inspire teachers across the country

Teachers and leaders from the Penryn Partnership in West Cornwall, along with University of Exeter experts, have created a toolkit to support educators in developing teaching for creativity in the classroom.

Their resources have now been published to inspire teachers across the country, as part of a national pilot funded by Arts Council England and Freelands Foundation:

The toolkit was officially launched during the Penryn Creativity Collaborative Symposium, which took place at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus on Tuesday 26th March.

Delegates from across Cornwall and beyond attended the event, with local industry and cultural partners taking part in a ‘sofa debate’ to explore the importance of creative skills in a modern Cornish workforce.

Following the toolkit’s launch, Penryn College Headteacher, Tamsin Schouten, said: “This toolkit has been written by teachers, leaders and researchers to inspire teaching and learning – not just in Cornwall, but nationally.

“We hope that these resources support others to discover the power that teaching for creativity can bring to both primary and secondary classrooms, allowing our students to become better prepared for a future workforce.”

The Penryn Creativity Collaborative toolkit has been created to support those wanting to develop creative pedagogy in the classroom, and has grown out of a year of Action Research during 2022/23.

Resources include ideas that ‘You Might Like to Try’, serving as lesson plans for teachers; ‘Creativity Is Everywhere’, exemplifying the Penryn Creativity Collaborative creative skills across the curriculum; and ‘Developing Creativity Across the Curriculum’, which includes resources from the University of Exeter on how to develop Action Research across schools.

Liz Westhead, Head of Humanities at Penryn College, was part of the team that helped develop the toolkit, and shared her thoughts following its launch. She said: “There is a moral imperative of embedding creative pedagogy and skills into classroom practice.

“Creative pedagogy deepens understanding; students are engaging in more memorable learning whilst also developing the creative skills they need for their futures.”

University of Exeter Associate Professor, Kerry Chappell, said: “Our research shows how teachers’ own Action Research embeds understanding of teaching for creativity much more deeply than if teachers are trained in techniques.

“We are extremely excited to be able to pass on this understanding through the creative toolkit for more teachers nationally to encourage their students’ creativity.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, who opened as the Symposium’s keynote speaker, said: “Each day, teachers and pupils at the schools in the Creativity Collaboratives are making changes – some big and bold, some small and simple, but all highly effective in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning.

“To thrive in a world where they [young people] will have to adapt to seismic changes and switch careers with greater frequency than their grandparents, or even parents, did – young people will need the confidence, resilience and spirit of enterprise that creativity encourages”.

The Penryn Partnership is now completing its final year of Arts Council England’s Creativity Collaboratives programme. The project, and its research, are funded by the Arts Council, with generous support from Freelands Foundation, and began in October 2021.

The Penryn Partnership is one of eight Creativity Collaboratives across England, each building a network of schools that will test a range of innovative approaches to teaching for creativity.

At Penryn College, the project is led by Sarah Childs as Lead Practitioner, with the research study led and facilitated by the University of Exeter’s Associate Professor, Kerry Chappell, and University of Exeter Creative Arts Lecturer and Researcher, Ursula Crickmay.

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