The Creativity Collaborative

Working with schools to enrich children's life chances by developing them into confident and creative problem-solvers.

Programme overview

In October 2021, Arts Council England launched a Creativity Collaboratives programme to build a network of schools across England focussed on developing and testing innovative approaches to teaching for creativity across the curriculum. This £2,780,000 investment has funded eight collaboratives of schools, each with a focus that reflects their specific contexts and needs. Each collaborative is working with a university partner to collect evidence on the impact and value of teaching for creativity for children, schools and their communities.
The collaboratives are unified by two overarching aims:

Find out more about the programme

Read about the work of some of the collaboratives and the different approaches to teaching and learning for creativity.

Latest news

25 Jan. 2024: Creativity - what it is, why it matters and what you can do to cultivate it in schools

This event, a collaboration with the University’s Centre for Real-World Learning, brought together four key researchers and educators from the University of Winchester and school leaders and teachers from schools across Hampshire to explore:

Our Creativity Collaborative

Our aims and objectives

Our collaborative 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 schools and lives. We passionately believe that creativity is a force that enables our learners to develop capabilities that will facilitate them to build successful and rewarding lives, as members of communities in an ever-changing world. We further believe that creativity must not be limited to specific curriculum subjects and that success as a learner is not defined solely by traditional academic outcomes.
A driving principle underpinning the activities of our collaborative is that change needs to be systemic and multi-level. Consequently, our project activities have included working with pre-service teachers in education, in-service teachers, headteachers and school leaders, governors and, of course, pupils.

Our activity strands

Our work has been focussed around five interleaved streams of activity:

Context for creativity focusses on identifying barriers and enablers of learning and teaching for creativity in our participating schools and their interaction with inequality & disadvantage.

Knowledge for creativity focusses on building learners’, teachers’ and leaders’ knowledge and understanding of creativity.

Agency for creativity focusses on supporting learners and teachers to develop their sense of being able to be creative and to teach for creativity.

Pedagogies for creativity focusses on developing evidence-based pedagogies to foster creativity, working with teachers, and pre-service teachers undergoing initial teacher education.

Leadership for creativity focusses on effective leadership, governance, and collaboration strategies to grow a climate for creativity and sustainable change.

Our research

To assess the impact of our project activities we have deployed a range of research tools. Questionnaires were administered, and interviews and focus groups took place, when each of our schools joined the collaborative. These are being repeated part-way through and at the end of the project, to assess whether project activities result in measurable changes in the information gathered, thereby providing evidence of project impact.

Read our first report Context, Knowledge, Agency, Pedagogies and Leadership for Creativity in Schools, which contains some of our initial findings.

Our collaborative leadership team

University team

Research Lead: Professor Paul Sowden

Research Co-Investigators: Dr Marnie Seymour and Dr Frances Warren

Researchers-in-Residence: Mrs Sandra Mansfield, Mrs Clare Martin and Dr Ellen Spencer

Visiting Specialist: Dr Judy Waite

Schools team

Schools Lead: Mrs Nicola Wells, Co-Executive Leader, University of Winchester Academy Trust

School Creativity Champions:

Kerry Somers, Halterworth Primary School

Bronte Bailey, Stoneham Park Primary Academy

Cheryl Burton, Awbridge Primary School

Contact us

For more information on our collaborative, contact Prof. Paul Sowden

Our partner schools

We are currently working with:

Halterworth Primary School
Awbridge Primary School
Wellow Primary School
Stoneham Park Primary Academy
Barton Farm Primary Academy
Cupernham Junior School
Valentine Primary School
Orchard Infant School
Orchard Junior School
South Baddesley CE Primary School
Droxford Junior School