Creative Writing through the Arts 2016-2019. End of year report, Autumn 2017

Davis, Geraldine M., Luff, Paulette, Kanyal, Mallika, Acton, Faye and Feist, Alison (2017) Creative Writing through the Arts 2016-2019. End of year report, Autumn 2017. Project Report. Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.

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Funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation More and Better fund and from Royal Opera House Bridge has enabled a three year programme which develops primary school teachers’ creative classroom practice and impacts on children’s enjoyment and ability in writing. Working through five Teaching Schools Alliances, fifteen primary schools were invited to participate. The head teachers from each school nominated one teacher from their school to take part. Schools in the programme participate for two years and embark on a journey to achieve the Artsmark award. During the intensive first year of the programme teachers participate in professional development activities to develop: skills, knowledge and experience in creative and cultural practice; understanding of their roles as co-researchers in action research; and understanding of opportunities to involve children in providing feedback about their learning (pupil voice). Teachers then apply their new learning in their classrooms, and engage the children in writing. The teachers share their learning from the programme within the school. This report, written at the end of the first year of the three-year programme, captures the initial findings. The data demonstrate that: • Arts activities experienced by the children in their classes promote fun and excitement, which motivates children to want to write. The arts activities provide ideas for writing, and stimulate creative imaginations • Children’s writing changes, with greater and more varied use of vocabulary, an increase in the use of detailed description, an ability to sustain writing, so that children write longer pieces, and growth in generation and expression of ideas, demonstrating increased use of imagination • Children participating in the creative classroom activities feel valued and can contribute something of themselves, the children gain confidence in participating in the activities and in writing • Using the range of techniques learned during the year, teachers develop ways of listening to the pupil voice and increase the value they give to the children’s views • Despite the challenges of time pressures in their everyday work, teachers participating in the programme enjoy the autonomy within their classrooms, develop confidence in their use of alternative ways to teach and develop children’s writing, and rediscover the joy of teaching. They develop confidence to share their experiences with others in the school community, both informally and formally, to enable benefits to be shared across the school • School wide developments towards the achievement of Artsmark awards vary between schools. Schools are using their School Development Plan to focus on next steps in using the programme to strengthen the whole school creative arts offer The programme continues for two further years, and the findings of this report will be considered once data from the next cycles have been obtained.

Item Type: Research Report or Working Paper (Project Report)
Keywords: Children's creative writing, Teacher professional development, School improvement
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Geraldine Davis
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 13:21
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 09:50

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