Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Inspiring Jewellery - Working effectively with the creative industries sector and transferring skills across learning

What is this?

​This project shows how learning can be effectively planned to help young people make connections across the curriculum and with the world of work.

This study describes learners working with a Glasgow Botanic Gardens education officer and a professional designer who uses scientific research in her work.

The project was made possible through a partnership between a local authority and the Scottish Arts Council, providing an opportunity for the school to work with an external partner who specialised in jewellery design, as part of the creative industries sector.

Who is this for?

​This exemplar will be useful to both primary and secondary staff in schools. The outcomes were achieved in a secondary school but the approaches could also be applied in a primary school context.


PDF file: Inspiring Jewellery

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How to use this exemplar to improve practice

The information provided in this study, along with reflective questions, invites you to consider the impact of your own approach to broadening young people’s learning experiences.

You are invited to listen to the responses from staff and learners about the new knowledge and skills they have acquired and the realisation that these can be transferred between subjects and built upon.

Then, individually or as a team, consider the following improvement questions in your own context:

  1. How effectively do you work with a range of partners to broaden young people’s learning experiences and provide them with opportunities for personal achievement?
  2. To what extent have you developed successfully a shared language and understanding of skills, across the school, that can be transferred across learning?

What was done?

The science and art and design departments planned the project together.

Learners used plant forms at Glasgow Botanic Gardens as a stimulus to create jewellery designs through following a design process .

Jewellery designer Suilven Plazalska was approached to work with the school because she used aspects of scientific research as the starting point for her own work. Working with a professional designer enabled the S1 pupils to make connections between their own creative designs, a design process and the world of work.

Throughout the project, pupils learned about aspects of science, developing their curiosity about the environment. It offered the pupils opportunities to investigate the factors affecting plant growth and develop their understanding of why plants are vital to sustaining life on Earth.


The project aimed to provide an opportunity for learners to:

  • engage with a professional designer and find out about their working processes
  • use the learning context to develop skills and knowledge and make connections to learning in other areas of the curriculum.

In partnership with external agencies, the project provided effective learning opportunities for staff through:

  • promoting collegiate activity
  • CPD that related to their classroom practice and the world of work.

What was the impact?

The science department noted that, following the project, pupil interest and motivation had improved and that the profile of biology had been raised in the school. Staff felt it had inspired them to develop further opportunities for making connections across learning.

The pupils’ learning experiences were enhanced through their interaction with external agencies and individuals. It also enabled the school to foster partnerships and to provide and share CPD opportunities.