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In my opinion culture should be at the heart of the school curriculum so that every child can have the kind of cultural opportunities I was offered early in my education

Kevin Spacey
Artistic Director, Old Vic

News

The BBC Get Creative Launch Debates

Published 04 March 2015
 

Get Creative launch

The BBC Get Creative Programme was officially launched on Thursday 19th of February at an event at Conway Hall in London. Deborah Bull of Kings College, David Lan, Chair of What Next? and Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC all gave speeches about the campaign; urging arts organisations and broadcasters to come together to uncover and celebrate the nation's creativity in a year long campaign. The BBC pledged more programming across TV and Radio channels, as well as a commitment to work more closely with arts and cultural organisations across the country.

You can watch the speeches at the bottom of this page here.

The campaign was kicked off by the fabulous young musicians in Kinetika Bloco, and was endorsed by celebrities like Johnny Vegas (a potter as well as a comedian, who talked about the way that art saved him in school) and Timothy Spall, who spoke about the way that a school project ignited a lifetime of creativity. 

The launch event was followed by more than 26 debates in cultural organisations and schools, and on radio and TV all over the country. It was extrememly heartening to see that everywhere in the coverage, the speeches and endorsements, the importance of cultural learning, children's rights and the CLA stats on the decline of arts in schools were being discussed. Curious Minds in Cumbria hosted a number of debates on Cultural Education in the rural landscape and the Liverpool Playhouse discussed creativity in education as a post show discussion after a performance of Educating Rita.

 

CLA debates: What is the future of education?

As you know from our post last month, the CLA is a core partner in Get Creative, and we want to make sure that the voices of children and young people and families, the excellent work of the practioners and teachers and the key issues facing education and learning are stranded through the campaign. 

We therefore want to use the opportunity of Get Creative to ask our members 'What's the future of education?' and to send our findings and ideas to all political parties in the run up to the election.

We've had a fantastic response to this, with sixteen partners across the country already getting in touch to say that they are holding events and discussions, or have created videos or documents to feed in. See this fab video from Freewheelers Theatre as an example.

On Thursday the 26th Feb The Egg Theatre in Bath and 5x5x5 Creativity worked with Writhlington School to host an international digital debate chaired by students and including schools in Rwanda, California and Europe as well as the UK via a series of live video links, webchats and recorded video messages. We can't wait to see their findings.

Towner ran a Teacher twighlight session on the 24th of February and have already sent through their top 5 ideas for the future of education.

Young people at Heston Community School worked with Writer and Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Actor Lucy Ellison, Dancer (and winner of So You Think You Can Dance) Matt Flint, Ceramicist Kate Malone and facilitators Nimblefish. They explored questions about what the future might look like and the value that arts and culture has to society.They then presented their ideas to a panel of experts, including Laura Gander Howe, Arts Council, Paul Reeve, of Into Film, Ben Payne, Director of Ministry of Stories, Sally Bacon, Clore Duffield Foundation, Steve Moffit, A New Direction, Sam Cairns, Co-Director of the Cultural Learning Alliance and their own headteacher, Phil Ward.

The young people talked a great deal about the way that technology is increasingly shaping their lives. They spoke about the opportunities for connectedness that this offers them, and the incredible design and creative potential that technology can support, but also about their fears that technology isolates individuals and inhibits social interaction, group discussion, friendship and collaboration. They felt that, even in a school like Heston which prioritises and champions the arts, the wider education system was pushing them to prioritise other subjects, and that their parents were often hearing negative messages about the arts from government and the media. They wanted their grades to be based on their performance over a whole year, and not on the assessment of a final exam, they wanted more media education - to help them navigate both social media and the national news and international issues - they wanted more debate and discussion, more arts subjects (and for these subjects to be valued), time for invention and innovation, and to be encouraged to explore.

You can read more about the session here on the Heston site, and you can hear Sam Cairns and student Sombol Tayer talking through these issues on BBC Radio London here (from 1:38).

We will be collating the results from the debates in to a dossier to send to the Education leads of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, so please do send us anything you'd like to see included by Friday 27th of March

 

BBC Arts Question Time

On Sunday evening as part of the BBC Get Creative campaign a Question Time with a difference was held. The Arts Question Time was chaired by Kirsty Wark and the panel comprised not of politicians but of leading creative people. They answered questions from the audience about the challenges, opportunities, failings and future of the arts in the UK. You canwatch it on iplayer here.

Cultural learning was a core theme in the discussion, with artist Cornelia Parker and writer Jeanette Winterson speaking particularly passionately about the right of every child to arts, culture and creativity.

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