All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education
A summary of All Our Future: Creativity, Culture and Education has been published by the National Campaign for the Arts - September 2000. It is being distributed by a range of organisation because they believe the arguments and recommendations need to be more widely debated. The DfEE/DCMS response to the report is available on the DCMS webstie www.culture.gov.uk - press release 14.1.00.
The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education calls for the promotion of the creative development of pupils and the encouragement of an ethos which supports and values cultural diversity. It argues that creativity will be increasingly important to businesses and the economy in the next century and that the school curriculum will need to reflect this.
The Committee was chaired by Professor Ken Robinson of the University of Warwick, and its members included the conductor Sir Simon Rattle, comedians Dawn French and Lenny Henry, West Yorkshire Playhouse Director Jude Kelly, and Nobel prize-winning scientist Professor Sir Harry Kroto and Lord Stone of Blackheath.
The report's key recommendations are that:
- creative and cultural education should be explicitly recognised and provided for in the curriculum, in pupil assessment and in school inspection;
- consideration should be given in future to removing the distinction between core and foundation subjects and reviewing the structure of Key Stages 3 and 4;
- teachers should be trained to use methods and materials which help develop young people's creative abilities and cultural understanding;
- partnerships should be formed between schools, arts organisations and the community to provide the creative education that young people need and deserve;
- innovative approaches to funding creative activity in schools should be explored.
Other suggestions in the report include:
- improving teachers' expertise in creativity through staff development plans;
- a national arts education award scheme to encourage schools and arts organisations to improve their arts education provision;
- pilot projects to promote creative thinking in primary and secondary schools and develop advice for schools;
- support for the setting up of creativity summer schools.
Case study from the report
Stories that sing Over the 1998 summer term Children's Music Workshop ran a pilot for a three-year project to explore ways of using creative class music to enhance Key Stage 2 children's understanding of the use of language.
The pilot in three Tower Hamlets primary schools, combined composition, storytelling and performance and encouraged the teachers to link the work with the literacy programme. Two of the schools have 99.9 per cent Bengali intake and the third school has an 80 per cent Bengali intake. The children in each of the school were alert, attentive and highly motivated by the project. All of them participated, often to the surprise of their teachers, throwing themselves into the work with real enthusiasm. The pilot began with a workshop for the class teachers , to give a taste of the work that would be done by the children, this was followed by eight weekly sessions with each class, culminating in a performance by each class to the rest of the school. To stimulate the children's imaginations, the projects focused on wishes, a drawing a 'magic' hat and mat.
The children worked in small groups to create poems, verses and stories that they developed into whole-class songs and instrumental pieces. There were considerable differences between the school and the teachers in terms of their experience and attitude to music, although all of them embraced the project with energy and enthusiasm. The pilot was considered by the teachers, headteachers and musicians to have been very successful. All the teachers want to continue to be involved, the children are hugely enthusiastic, and the musicians found it exciting and stimulating.