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Our Creative Learning Spark

St. Peter’s Creative Learning Project was born out of a reflection about what we should understand by Education nowadays. “Show-and-tell” teaching practices form part of a bygone area and the image of a class full of students sitting in rows at desks, dutifully listening and recording what they hear has already become an ancient postcard to file away amongst old memories.
 
We live in a world where change is the only thing which is constant and adapting has become a need. Innovation and creativity is a must for everyone, and that includes our children, the next generation of minds, the ones who will change the world and transform it into whatever they wish.
 
Here are some answers we found when researching into creative projects:
 
What is creativity?
‘It’s something that has that little…spark. Like in art it has to be creative or it doesn’t mean anything. You can’t just copy other people…if you’re doing a picture or something, you have to put in your own little…your own little…spark, otherwise it’s not being creative it’s just doing what you’re told to do.’
‘It could be an idea that you’re trying to work on to make it better, or sometimes just putting things into your own words.’
‘Even learning French verbs could be creative if you used puppets or something… if you were allowed to put something of yourself into it.’

How does being creative make you feel?

‘I just feel like I’m free…like I’m free, you know? It’s relaxing. I do like…abstract things and I can do what I feel – it makes me feel better…it clears my mind. You don’t just have to do what you’re told…there’s a choice’

Is Creativity adding our own “spark” to what we learn or experience? Is it about freedom, choices, confidence and space to think and decide? These were some of the questions we had when we were designing our Creative Learning Project.
After one year, here there are some thoughts about what we think children were asking for while participating in their chosen creative activities:
  • Collaboration/sharing ideas helps.
  • Give us more open tasks: ‘don’t tell us exactly what to do.’
  • Give us ‘free’ time during the day to be creative; to ‘express ourselves.’
  • Give us more choice.
  • Give us confidence; help us ‘do things for ourselves’.
  • Give us ‘space to put ourselves into it’.
  • Don’t give us too much help.
  • There shouldn’t be a ‘right and a wrong answer’.
And these are also the reasons why we have decided this year to extend our CLP to Foundation Stage. You just have to have a look at them to understand it.

Gardening, cooking, drama can be creative. But also Geography, History, Maths, Physics, making jewellery or learning languages. That’s the point.  
 
However, our CLP is not the first and final step. We firmly believe that creative and innovative thinking must extend across the curriculum. We need to teach and learn by inspiring education with that little spark that makes us all who we are.
 

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