Connecting teachers of the arts to share ideas and best practice

20 June 2019

Connecting teachers of the arts to share ideas and best practice

Culture Bridge North East (CBNE) launched Secondaries Create in September 2018. It is a digital initiative focusing on creative education in secondary schools, engaging with and informing teachers of the opportunities available to them including support networks, funding opportunities and training sessions. It also helps connect educators and creative practitioners, cultural organisations and participatory arts groups together to share ideas, case studies and best practice. 

CBNE understands the pressure that secondary teachers face with regards to exam outcomes and often this can impact on extracurricular activities and therefore on creative learning and the arts. 

Bethany Robson, Teacher of Music, North Durham Academy, said: "Extracurricular activities impact our pupil's lives, and it's important that opportunities are available to all young people, not just the ones that decide to study a creative subject full time." 

Throughout the campaign, CBNE has engaged with 18 schools in the North East and has created a whole host of downloadable content for teachers, including blogs, case studies and a support guide. 

Elvie Thompson, Culture Bridge North East Programme Manager, explains: “We believe that arts and cultural education is not only the spark that creates the artists, performers, makers and curators of the future, but that it is essential to young people's quality of life. That's why we are supporting teachers at all levels, especially secondary school teachers who can often feel isolated as they may be the only music, art or drama teacher in a school, to better develop their practice through the use of external support networks, cultural organisations and arts funding to help them deliver meaningful cultural and creative experiences.”

Another critical element of the Secondaries Create campaign was to show how confidence and self-worth are increased when young people are exposed to continued creative practise. Here are some quotes from students at Duchess Community High School in Alnwick that express how the arts have impacted on their lives:

Oscar: "Since taking part in drama classes I have a greater amount of empathy, I feel more confident, and it has made me feel secure enough to reach out to others if I think they need extra support."

Lauren: "Art and engineering have helped me to become more confident with who I am, and I also find it easier to engage with people of all ages."