Last Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Art of Learning - Year Two – Creative Learning is Effective Learning

What is this?

​​​Six three-minute videos sharing the learning from a large teacher development programme that brought artists and teachers together in classroom co-delivery, using a creative learning pedagogy.

Who is this for?

​Aimed at practitioners and school leaders in primary schools, this resource will be valuable to all educators interested in creative learning approaches.​

​How to use this exemplar to improve practice​​

The Art of Learning videos offer an insight into a creative learning pedagogy which can engage learners in new ways, challenging them to use all of their higher order thinking skills, take responsibility for their own learning, and develop executive functions which can support more effective learning and behaviours in the classroom.

As a practitioner, you might use this resource to reflect on your own pedagogy and teaching practices and take small steps to embed creative learning in your classroom.

As a school leader, you might use this resource to begin a journey towards a new model of partnership working with artists or creatives that develops teaching practice in your school and delivers a sustained impact on the quality of teaching and learning.

The videos can be used for personal professional development or shared as part of CLPL for staff.

Improvement questions

  • Are your learners using all of their higher order thinking skills by engaging in creative learning?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of creativity skills and how they can be developed in your classroom?
  • Are there opportunities to engage the least engaged in your classroom, through empowering imagination, exploration, creation, problem solving and highly visible outcomes?​​​​


PDF file: Art of Learning Year Two Report (310 KB)

PDF file: Final report to Paul Hamlyn Foundation Teacher Developm​ent Fund (1.4 MB)

See exemplar lesson plans and a 'Things That Work' visual on the 'Art of Learning' page​.​​​

Explore this exemplar


See the full playlist (6 videos - see menu at top left of window) below or the individual films further down.

What was done?​

Five primary schools from South, East and North Ayrshire participated in the project (Auchinleck Primary School, Girvan Primary School, Heathfield Primary School, St Mark’s Primary School, and St John’s Primary School).

Artists and teachers worked together to plan arts-based creative learning activities which the teachers went on to deliver autonomously with their learners.

The work built upon a previous year of activity and encouraged teachers to become increasingly independent, drawing on a bank of tools and techniques and in applying them to their own curriculum plans.

A rich overview of the project is available from Creativity, Culture and Education.

Why was it done?​​

The project had multiple objectives but at its heart sought to develop the teaching practices of primary school teachers whilst exploring the connection between executive functions, creativity skills and learning.

What was the impact?

The project provided primary children with enjoyable, engaging and motivating learning experiences that created an ethos in which creativity across the arts and other subjects was promoted and nurtured. It improved pupils’ learning skills by developing their ability to work collaboratively and reflect on their learning, and developed the confidence of some pupils through taking part in a range of challenging activities.

The project provided teachers with an enhanced range of strategies to promote creativity and ways of organising pupils for different types of learning activities.

Teachers changed their practice by applying new techniques from the lesson plans, adopting a more creative approach to all lesson planning and applying these approaches to other curriculum areas.

Teachers reported that working with artists in the classroom helped them to try new methods and be less risk averse.

Some of the schools involved created clear strategic plans to take the approach forward independently in the following academic year.​​​ 

Art of Learning and Beyond

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Creative Learning is Effective Learning

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The Results Are In

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Creativity Your Way

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Final Reflections

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​ ​The Arts and You

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