High School helps lead a 3-year teaching for creativity pilot in the North East

02 November 2021

Duchess’s Community High School in partnership with Creativity, Culture and Education leads a three-year teaching for creativity pilot for the North East

Duchess’s Community High School (DCHS) and a network of schools across the North East are delighted to announce that they have been chosen to participate in a three-year pilot programme which will explore teaching for creativity across the curriculum. 

Following a fiercely competitive process, the new North East Creativity Collaboratives Network (NECCN) led by DCHS was selected as one of only eight pilot Creativity Collaboratives across the whole of England. This exciting initiative funded by Arts Council England and the Freelands Foundation was one of the key recommendations of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education which aims to make the development of creativity skills an important education policy priority. 

DCHS Co-Heads Alan Rogers & James Wilson said “We have a strong culture and ethos of creative learning embedded at the heart of our curriculum and are deeply committed to supporting all our students to reach their potential as creative capable learners. We are excited to be working with not only some of our feeder primary schools, but also schools with a similar ethos across the North East. Leading this network for the North East is an amazing opportunity and we look forward to the challenge”. 

This region wide school led network will explore and experiment with a range of approaches to embedding teaching for creativity across the curriculum. As a professional learning community, it will model school-led improvement focusing on leadership for creativity, teaching for creativity and engaging children and young people as Creativity Champions. 

Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) the international creative learning foundation, based in Newcastle, has committed to working with the NECCN over the life of the pilot. Its Director, Diane Fisher-Naylor said, “We are passionate about unlocking the creativity of children and young people across the region, supporting them to be imaginative, inquisitive, collaborative, disciplined and persistent learners. The North East needs its young people to leave education equipped with these skills which are in demand by employers the world over and are also key to the strengthening the region’s economic recovery”. 

Ruth Brown, Head of Creative Arts Faculty, Duchess’s Community High School said: 

“As one of only eight lead schools chosen across the whole country, this pilot project reflects our commitment to putting creativity at the centre of learning and to raising aspirations and improving the life chances of children and young people in the North East. We are excited 

and proud to be working with an amazing network of schools who are also passionate about this commitment”. 

Nicky Morgan, Director of Special Projects, Arts Council England said: “I’m delighted to see the launch of the Creativity Collaboratives national network where we will work closely with teachers, their school networks and with the wider education sector to test approaches to teaching for creativity which all schools can adopt. “We want to highlight the professionalism and determination of teachers who work so hard to support and care for their students and look forward to sharing their work and the impact of the Creativity Collaboratives programme over the next three years.” 

The eight pilots will run until July 2024, testing out teaching approaches and curriculum development which can then be applied more widely.