‘Creative learning through the arts’ is a ground-breaking programme, which puts art and creativity at the heart of education and has transformed teaching methods in Wales over the last five years.
More than 119,000 pupils from 1,200 schools across Wales have benefited from ‘Creative learning through the arts’. Central to the programme has been the ‘Lead Creative Schools Scheme’ which has seen 604 schools engage with creative professionals in order to explore creative approaches to teaching and learning, improve attainment and develop the skills of teachers. Another strand – the ‘Go and See Fund’ – has supported over 800 visits to high-quality arts events in galleries, theatres, arts centres and other venues. These visits have often been the catalyst for inspiring arts activity back in the classroom.
As schools prepare for Curriculum for Wales 2022 a further 2 years of funding will allow us to engage with more schools and harness the knowledge and expertise of the schools already engaged in the Lead Creative Schools Scheme. It will also provide Continuing Professional Development for teachers and artists, support the development of creative skills in our learners and continue to offer new opportunities for young learners in their exploration of cultural and arts experiences.
Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said, “Access to Creative learning through the arts not only helps students develop their artistic skills and creative thinking, it can improve other disciplines such as languages or applying their learning to science and technology-based subjects. Applying skills across different subject areas like this is a key aspect of the new Curriculum for Wales. There are some excellent examples of the Go and See element of the programme introducing pupils to new experiences in the arts. I’m pleased to continue to support these opportunities for young people in partnership with the Arts Council of Wales. I look forward to seeing even more pupils and schools benefit from creative learning over the next couple of years.”
Jane Marchesi, Head of St Mellons CiW Primary School, Cardiff, whose school has benefited from this way of working said, “The Lead Creative Schools Scheme has allowed us as a school to prepare for the new curriculum in a variety of different ways. It has helped us try out different learning strategies and made us think about what we do, in the way that we do it. It’s made us question our whole classroom environment and our approach to learning and teaching.
“Our young people have thrived under the opportunities offered to them as part of the Creative learning through the arts. They have developed as active learners, but we’ve also seen their characters grow as they gain the courage to explore new ideas and express opinions.”
Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Phil George, said, “The Arts Council of Wales is delighted that the second phase of this ground-breaking programme will continue to see the arts sector support schools as they develop creative approaches to teaching and learning. Creative Professionals will support schools as they begin to develop their vision for learning and teaching within the context of Curriculum for Wales 2022 which was published last week.”
An investment of £3m of Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales, National Lottery funding will extend the scheme for another two years.