Last Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Creativity 3-18 curriculum review (impact report)

What is this?

​This report evaluates practice in Scotland in the development of learners’ creativity skills across all curriculum areas.

Who is this for?

​Practitioners from all sectors.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

The report defines creativity within the context of Curriculum for Excellence, and identifies four core creativity skills: curiosity; open-mindedness; imagination and problem solving. It distinguishes between the creative process, creative teaching, creative learning and creativity skills. 

The report looks at the context for creativity in Scottish education, exploring what creativity is, and why creativity skills are so important. It provides examples of good practice in creativity across learning, and its conclusions are detailed along with next steps to improve outcomes.

It is based on a comprehensive range of evidence and data. There were 30 specific, exploratory visits to early learning and childcare settings, primary, secondary and special schools. The information from these visits was supplemented by reports and contributions from fieldwork undertaken by other Education Scotland colleagues. The report draws extensively on national and international research. 

It is intended to provide a stimulus for on-going professional discussion and development. 

When reading the evidence set out in the report consider the following reflective questions:

  • Are there aspects of the practice exemplified which could be transferred to, and used, in your school or setting?
  • What are the next steps that you would need to take to improve in this area?


PDF file: Creativity across learning 3-18 (1.43 MB)

Note: This document contains a number of links to resources that have been moved during the recent development of our websites. We aim to update these links very soon. In the meantime, you may come across some broken links.

​Explore this exemplar

What was done?

The report contains:

  • Introduction 
  • Context for creativity – including definitions of creativity in learning, creative teaching and creativity skills.
  • Findings from focused inspection visits exploring ‘how well are creativity skills being developed in children and young people?’. This section looks at leadership; planning and self-evaluation; staff understanding and confidence in creativity; the curriculum; learning and teaching approaches; impact on children and young people and on attainment.
  • Case studies describing a range of approaches being taken across the education sectors to develop creativity skills.
  • Conclusions and next steps for improvement.
  • Annexes providing further details about aspects of the review, including what is in place to support creativity with links to the partner organisations working together to promote creativity as part of Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan.

Why was it done?

In focusing on creativity, Scotland is aligning itself with other forward-thinking countries which aim to develop thriving economies based on innovation and high levels of knowledge and skill. We need to prepare our young people for life and work in an era of increasingly rapid change, and being able to apply creativity skills in a range of settings will be increasingly important.

What was the impact?

The report highlights the impacts creativity can have on learning. It makes recommendations on what needs to be done in order to raise the profile of creativity, to ensure it is considered in improvement planning.