Will this be in the test?

A few years ago I was producing a theatre company in residence at a school in Inverclyde.  We had been working closely with the English department who suggested the 5th year pupils could do with a different approach to understanding Chekov.  In response we invited a highly regarded and experienced director to work with the class for a day to bring their set text (Cherry Orchard) to life.  After 45 minutes into the workshop it was clear the pupils seemed disinterested.  The director intervened and asked if everything was alright.  One pupil simply said “how will this help us pass the exam?”  The workshop continued but the comment stayed with me.

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Why do I dig holes in the sand?

Ever since I was a young boy I recall digging holes in the sand.  Any beach, any country, and any time of the year – I would dig holes.  Sometimes they were no deeper than my wrist.  Others could fit my entire body. I once dug a hole so deep that both my brother and sister could fit in it standing up.  I love digging holes but until recently I’d never stop to wonder why – why do I dig holes in the sand? Continue reading

Creative and Employability Skills: Auchterarder

It is predicted by 2030 global youth unemployment will hit 60%.  This is coupled with 47% of jobs being automated.  The shift away from mass industry to a culture of freelance employment is unarguable.  The world of work is changing unlike anything ever experienced and with these monumental changes comes a new set of challenges for the next generations.  A future world full of uncertainty demands learners must be equipped with higher-order creativity skills that, as Education Scotland suggests:  will help children and young people not just understand the world, but be sufficiently equipped to influence its shape.
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A spectrum of uncomfortable truths

Change can be difficult.  We all have our favourite supermarket, a preferred route to work and choice of tipple on a Friday night.  In many ways the world asks us to find the things we like and stick with them.  Familiarity and safety can be a comforting feeling.   However the problem occurs when we forget to stray from our path – I call this creative disruption and unapologetically love it.

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Raising Attainment through Pupil Engagement

Paul and long time collaborator of Hidden Giants Matthew Sowerby worked with six teachers and more than 80 pupils in two primary schools over the space of 8 months on a research project with three aims:

  • We wanted to know how creativity could enhance pupil engagement in the primary school classroom.
  • We wanted to better understand what occurs when pupils take an active role in proposing, developing and deciding the focus and practicalities of their own learning.
  • Additionally we wanted to explore how teachers react and respond to enhanced pupil agency.

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