For the past few weeks, I’ve been delivering online training with practitioners in Ireland. At the beginning of each session I’ve asked the question ‘what do you know for sure?’ It comes from Oprah Winfrey’s new book (my partner introduced it to me)! It turned out that everyone agreed on the same thing – uncertainty […]
What doesn’t exist but is needed now?
One of the largest projects we have undertaken in 2020 (and potentially ever) was the Creative Bravery Festival. We collaborated with inspiring people from Edinburgh College, Napier University, The Scottish Government, Education Scotland, and a freelance Architect/Design Educator to imagine and stage an online, global, learning festival. It was held over a week in September […]
Creative Systems Theory – A Post-covid-19 model for education? (guest)
Since the lockdown and closure of schools to the majority of pupils brought about the sudden out-sourcing of education to everyone, education shifted overnight from being something that happens in schools, mostly of concern to teachers and briefly to parents for the time that their child passes through the system, into open space and of […]
We work closely with practitioners and partners from the creative, arts, and cultural sector. Here are two blogs posts that provide insights surrounding agency, creative learning, and productivity.
Schools out for summer (guest)
“A stopped clock is right twice a day” – Lewis Carroll Does life under lockdown feel like a stopped clock to you? Who knows – feelings are capricious these days and mutate on the hour. Or maybe it feels more like a pause, like the old business cliché about change, a comma as opposed to […]
You’re all in it together, again (guest)
Every pupil currently enrolled in school across the UK has only ever known Austerity. Austerity was a deliberate cull of public spending, made possible by the distraction of a crisis. What was unacceptable was accepted – because we were told there was ‘no money’. ***
Forgetting to ride a bike (guest)
People often use the phrase ‘it’s like learning to ride a bike’ to describe something you learn and never forget. So why is it every time I ride my bike I seem to forget how to work the gears?
The benefits of Covid-19 (guest)
For weeks on end we’ve been listening to and talking about the dangers of Covid-19 which has fuelled fear and anxiety in our society. But I want to look through another lens and share my experience of the benefits of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The beginning of making it new (guest)
THE BEGINNING OF MAKING IT NEW  “It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men [sic] suffer miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” Asphodel, That Greeny Flower and Other Love Poems – William Carlos Williams
Measuring Up (Guest)
You’ll never amount to anything. My primary five teacher did not have high expectations of myself and my nine-year-old classmates. But it wasn’t our fault, he said. It was our primary two teacher to blame, he said. I don’t recall exactly what it was she had done to ruin the life chances of our entire […]
Life Rescue? (Guest)
It’s interesting how life has turned upside down, but I feel like it’s all very peaceful. In these early stages, I am transported back to the two years I spent teaching in a rural boarding school in Southern Africa. Life was very much about living the school as a community – life amongst pupils, staff […]
Nurture and Transform (guest)
On my way home on the day my school closed I was reflecting how strange it was that the things we had been discouraged or disallowed from spending our PEF budgets on were exactly what we were going to need right now. Resilience, wellbeing and creativity.
The next Parents’ Night
The Bruce had his spider, Burns had his mouse, I seem to have a skip. Not that I want to put myself into the same historical significance as Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns, but I think I share their love of a story and a metaphor. It just so happens my story and my […]
Preparing for Uncertainty
During these strange times we believe individual stories can help the collective find new ways of working. We invited Katy Anderson, a teacher in Blackburn Primary, to reflect on how she prepared her class to continue to learn and grow through periods of uncertainty. This is her and her pupils story . . .
Learning to Stop
It probably took me ‘til Wednesday to figure out no matter how many 6am runs I did, I had to address some serious concerns within my mind and soul. I had spent Monday and Tuesday in a constant state of panic – my body and mind was in fight mode. I had ordered a skip […]
This week we are excited to collaborate with two internationally recognised and outstanding Scottish cultural organisations: Room 13 from Fort William and Jupiter Artland on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Our event is part of the brilliant Firestarer festival curated by the Scottish Government. We will gather 30 people at Jupiter for an afternoon of brainwash […]
Disrupting the daily experience
One of our associate practitioners, Jack Stancliffe, is about to start a collaboration with a school involved in our ‘What you shouldn’t do in a school’ project. We asked him to reflect on the journey ahead . . . .
What you shouldn’t do in a school?
Some rules have been written down for centuries, others exist in folklore, whilst a few are conveniently made up on the spot. Rules have the capacity to liberate or constrict. They help us understand who we are and pave the way for what we will become. But are we all clear on the rules that […]
Time to Listen
Recently Hidden Giants devoted a morning to work with the entire staff of a large primary school – a school the size of three, four or five primary schools. We asked the staff to place themselves into their teams – their own notion of who they worked with, in their perceived role(s) within the school. […]
Maybe your brain doesn’t wander like mine but I recently considered the question: would a butterfly make a good teacher in a caterpillar school?