A creative partnership is the connection between a group of professionals and a school year or class, which team together on a regular basis to share and expand ideas in order to create a final project that represents the creativity of the pupils.
Schools which have the involvement of creative partnerships 'have seen real improvements in pupil attendance, behaviour and attainment, as well as pupil engagement'. - Creative Partnerships (no date)
Hall and Thomson (2007) stated that 'creative partnerships aim to provide school children aged 5-18 and their teachers with the opportunity to explore their creativity, by working on sustained projects with creative professionals.
Creative Partnerships focus on ensuring children are involved in activities which promote competence, autonomy and allow a connection between other individuals and the community.
Objectives of the Creative Partnerships programme include promoting creativity and innovation in teaching across the curriculum, raising attainment standards, creation of a broader, richer curriculum which excites imagination and interest for learning.
Gorard (2010) argues that 'schools are 'mini-societies' that offer important learning experiences for young people, about for instance, 'how to interact, what to expect from wider society and how to judge fairness.' Schools that work alongside creative partnerships benefit from this point. They work with others; including their peers and other establishments and professionals, they experience outdoor activities and work practically; developing skills and ideas.
Locws is an International Public Art Programme across the city of Swansea. It is a charity based project that works as a creative partnership with local schools, to explore the city and create work that represents and develops the childrens' creativity; allowing them to explore new ideas and skills.
On October 14th, 2014, our lecture group attended Swansea Grand Theatre to view the final pieces of work that local schools had created.The children's work stemmed from the city of Swansea itself. All the work that the children had worked so hard to create, is now on display for the public in a mini art exhibition in the heart of Swansea. There were a variety of sculptures, paintings and photographs, all that had been influenced by the city and environment around them. This particular programme took children outside the classroom to explore and see things for themselves.
We had a brief question and answer session with the project leaders, which gave us the opportunity to ask any questions directly. Here I have a recording of our session; it includes a brief explanation of the benefits of working alongside creative partnerships like Locws.
Allowing children to see their work in a public exhibition creates a sense of achievement and confidence, which in essence is a real benefit to this type of learning.
The photographs below are from my visit to the exhibition, all of which were created by the pupils. There were several schools involved in the 2014 workshop, including; Townhill Primary School, Plasmari Primary School, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Bryn-Y-Mor and Talycopa Primary School.
Benefits of Creative Partnerships within schools include providing the opportunity for pupils to learn through a multifaceted approach. It allows children to express themselves through a creative, and more relaxed approach; one that less academic children will appreciate and respond well too. OFSED (2006) believe that most Creative Partnership programmes were more than effective in developing abilities such as: improvisation, risk taking, collaboration with others and the demonstration of resilience. Outside of the classroom, it has created employment opportunities which also benefit the economic state. However, these creative programmes take up a lot of time and planning, and without funding, these schemes may discontinue.
Creativity has, as Bragg (2011) states 'become part of a vision for a future and better world; for instance, suggesting that our current globalised economies and interrelated cultures and our awareness of the fragile ecological balance required for sustainability, meaning that societies need people who can work with others, co-operate, communicate, contribute their own knowledge to a collective and bigger whole, to find new solutions to pressing problems; who are able to look beyond their own horizons and selfish needs, to consider benefits or losses to the wider communities.' upon reflection of this, I believe that creative partnerships highlight and contribute to all of these assets and are highly beneficial to the future developments of the pupils involved.