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Evaluation of the Creative Learning through the Arts programme

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  • Release date: 13 March 2018
This report explores the changes that it is anticipated Creative Learning through the Arts will generate and how we can measure those changes.

This is the second of an independent evaluation of the Creative Learning Through the Arts programme.

This report focusses on assessing progress made to date and beginning to explore the evidence of emerging outcomes. 

Research undertaken during this phase of the evaluation included:

  • Surveys of teachers , artists and arts organisations involved in the programme, primarily via the Lead Creative Schools Scheme;
  • ‘Case study’ visits to seven schools supported by the Lead Creative Schools Scheme; and
  • Interviews with stakeholders involved in various elements of the Creative Learning through the Arts programme, including Welsh Government officials, Arts Council of Wales staff, and individuals involved in the delivery of different elements of the programme (e.g. the Regional Arts and Education Networks).  

Key findings

  • Although still at an early stage in the evaluation process, the findings of this phase of the evaluation process are generally positive, with progress being made in respects of the delivery of the programme and some evidence of positive outcomes being achieved.
  • The scale of the Creative Learning through the Arts programme differs from anything previously delivered. There are now hundreds of teachers and Creative Agents and Creative Practitioners who have benefitted from the training and a consistency of approach throughout Wales, compared to what was only a handful of schools in the past. The programme is therefore providing capacity within both the education and arts sectors that had not existed previously.
  • The Lead Creative Schools Scheme is the most advanced element of the programme to date, with its progress coming, to some extent at least, at the expense of further developing the Strand 2 activities. The interest in the scheme from schools has been strong, with a broad range of schools participating to date
  • From an administrative perspective, the Lead Creative Schools Scheme will peak during the upcoming 2017/18 academic year, when it is likely that around 400 schools will be participating in the scheme.
  • The case studies also begin to identify important lessons learnt, including the following:
  • The scheme is particularly effective where it is building on an existing shared and explicit school commitment to exposing pupils to a broad range of creative arts activities;
  • Delivery varies substantially between participating schools, depending on the issue(s) that they have sought to address and the medium in which they deliver during their time as a Lead Creative School;
  • The School Coordinator and the Creative Agent (and the relationship between them) play a critical role, especially in respect of their vision and understanding with which to maximise the opportunities presented by the programme;
  • The importance of an effective balance of partnership between the artist and the teacher; 
  • Sustained reflection prior to planning helps to target learners and give focus to the intervention design; 
  • Built-in approaches to knowledge sharing mean that all teachers in a school are able to engage in and gain insights into the artists’ approach; 
  • Senior leadership buy-in makes long-term use of creative approaches easier to adopt by all; and
  • A focused approach to evidence gathering on the part of the school means that pupil perceptions, quotes, teacher-moderated work, parent feedback and teacher reflections can be part of their final evaluation report.

Contact

Researcher
Tel: 0300 062 5485
Email: david.roberts@gov.wales

Media
Tel: 0300 025 8099

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