£360k grant from Arts Council England for new research collaborative to support creative education for children

19 Oct 2021
Small boy crouching and looking through a magnifying glass at a plant

A new 'Creativity Collaborative' in Hampshire is set to help revolutionise creativity across the curriculum in schools, after securing a £360,000 grant from Arts Council England (ACE).

The Collaborative is made up of the University of Winchester, the University of Winchester Academy Trust (UWinAT), including the lead school Halterworth Primary, and an extensive network of Hampshire schools. It will combine the development of teaching for creativity with applied research in this area.

Over three years, the project aims to enrich children's life chances by developing them into confident and creative problem-solvers, engaging them through authentic, meaningful problems, embedded in their lives and communities.

Paul Sowden, Professor of Psychology, Cognition and Creativity, is leading the project for the University of Winchester, with colleagues in Psychology, Creative Writing and the Institute of Education.

"We are excited to be part of this national pilot scheme to test a range of innovative practices in teaching for creativity," said Professor Sowden.

"Our research will explore the enablers and barriers of teaching for creativity and the interaction with inequality and disadvantage, to help develop teachers' and pupils' understanding of creativity and to foster their creative self-beliefs. We will also build a sustainable network of creativity mentors, and develop leaders who communicate a belief in the power of creativity to transform lives."

Jo Cottrell, Executive Leader of UWinAT, said: "I am thrilled that the close working partnership between our schools and the University of Winchester has enabled us to achieve this fantastic opportunity. The benefits this will bring to all our pupils present and future are significant, being able to work with creative practitioners to enrich learning across the curriculum is wonderful.

"I passionately believe that great learning is memorable and challenging. Children that can think creatively, solve problems and be resilient have the chance to be successful and happy adult leaders of the future."

Lorraine Pattinson, Assistant Headteacher at Halterworth Primary School, said: "At Halterworth, we have developed a rich curriculum offer over time, ensuring that our values are at the heart of learning. This project will now help us to further develop the principles of teaching for creativity."

The Arts Council is funding eight collaboratives nationally, following 93 bids for funding.

Nicky Morgan, Director of Special Projects at ACE, said: "I'm delighted to see the launch of the Creativity Collaboratives national network where we will work closely with teachers, their school networks and with the wider education sector to test approaches to teaching for creativity which all schools can adopt. This innovative work reflects Arts Council's commitment to reach children and young people across the country and in all phases of education to nurture their individual curiosity and creative potential which we know has a crucial impact on improving their life chances.

"We want to highlight the professionalism and determination of teachers who work so hard to support and care for their students and look forward to sharing their work and the impact of the Creativity Collaboratives programme over the next three years."

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