Creativity Collaboratives Second Year Celebration
Creativity Collaboratives is a national pilot action research programme that aims to build networks of schools to test a range of innovative practices in teaching for creativity, with the explicit intention that learning is shared to facilitate system-wide change.
Anglian Learning is one of the eight collaboratives involved in this national action research and we have finished our second year of the three-year project. As a Trust, we have focused on creative thinking in the classroom, specifically inquisitiveness.
The Celebration Day 2023
On Thursday 6 July, the project leads from across the Trust and headteachers met to hear the findings of the Year 2 projects and look forward to Year 3.
This year, the project leads conducted action research in their own settings, testing out approaches to teaching and learning that aid our students to think creatively and to be more inquisitive. These projects built on the action research projects from Year 1 and were upscaled. Pedagogical approaches included: exploring and investigating through project-based learning; mantel of the expert; wicked questions; wondering and questioning; oracy prompts to aid inquisitiveness and collaboration.
In the morning, the project leads presented their action research projects and we had enriching conversations about the pedagogical approaches which had the greatest impact. The conversations in the morning mirrored the findings from the data collection:
• Firstly, one of the strongest emerging themes was that students perceived that having autonomy in their learning made them more inquisitive, alongside having exploration in their learning.
• Secondly, classroom culture was significant; students perceived that the whole classroom dynamic enables them to be inquisitive, or not. This included how inquisitive the teacher was themselves and having the opportunity to collaborate with peers.
• Thirdly, students perceived that inquisitiveness is a skill that could be learned and teacher’s perceived that students lacked some of the skills to be inquisitive, for example, working collaboratively. As a result of this, the Research Team will be working collaboratively with both primary and secondary colleagues to develop a strategy to explicitly teach oracy for collaboration.
Feedback From Students
Student voice was an important part of our data collection, and the Research Team had the opportunity to visit schools across the Trust. It was clear from the feedback that students presented that they benefited from action research conducted in both expected and unexpected ways.
• “I asked loads of questions, it’s a new thing for me.”
• “I liked that we could choose whatever we wanted and then we could make it however we wanted as well.”
• “I’m free to make my decisions with my piece of art so that’s cool.”
In the afternoon Head Teachers from across the Trust met to hear the findings from the action research projects and discussed how the project could be upscaled next year. In Year 3, each Head Teacher is going to oversee the upscaling of the projects and consider how we can further enable conditions for creative thinking in the classroom and how this will complement existing school structures.
The Research Team will be working with an educational consultant to compile a playbook of pedagogies that have been successful across Anglian Learning in fostering creative thinking in the classroom, for both primary and secondary classrooms.