Creative Schools Initiative

Our Lady of Mercy is part of the Creative Schools Initiative run by The Arts Council. This 2-year initiative aims to embed creativity into all aspects of school life.

The Creative Schools (CS) initiative aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. Our school and any participating schools will be supported to understand, develop and celebrate young people’s engagement with the arts and creativity. We will draw on the range of resources within our school and wider community, developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of the arts and creativity on student learning, development and well-being. Students will have a central role in the development of this process.

What is the Creative Schools Planning Framework?

The Creative Schools Planning Framework (CSPF) is designed to be embedded into our school planning calendar over the two year duration of your CS award. We are now in our second year of this process.

The CSPF supports our school, working with our Creative Associate, Denise (CA), to carry out an analysis of your starting point. This analysis is supporting us to develop a sustainable plan which will deepen the arts and creative opportunities for children and young people and develop their creativity. It will help our school to make considered decisions on the design and delivery of activities and to report on progress to the Arts Council. It is an aid to support our School Coordinator (SC) and your CA to have important conversations with the wider school including children and young people, school leaders and families.

Creative Schools at Mercy Beaumont

The CSPF is supporting the rolling out of two main plans over two years in our school. The first part we have already completed and is known as the understand phase. During this phase we have established student and staff Creative Schools committees. We have conducted workshops and surveys to ascertain student and staff knowledge and experiences of creativity. We also successfully ran a taster week in May in which all classes got to participate in an artist led workshop in the hall. We had a recycling art workshop, pottery workshop and music, drama and poetry workshops. And we were also fortunate to have the very talented Festival in a Van perform an abbreviated King Lear in the school car park. (Please see the photos below)

The CSPF supports us to create a long-term vision and aims for the arts and creativity in our school. It details the arts and creative activities our school wishes to undertake and celebrates our school’s achievements. It will enable our school to create a sustainable plan for the arts and creativity that will last beyond the CS initiative.

Our Creative Schools Plan will:

• Respond to our school’s needs and priorities.
• Identify challenges that will help us to develop further.
• Identify indicators we would like to use whether we have achieved our goals.
• Ensure that students participate in all stages of the planning, implementation and evaluation process.
• Strengthen or develop links between our school and artists and arts and cultural organisations.
• Enable us to share your school’s achievements in the arts and creativity together as a school, community and beyond.

Creative Schools Week

The inaugural Creative Schools Week was held in May 2020. Each class throughout the week had an opportunity to take part in a variety of workshops and events, held outdoors or indoors in small groups. Workshops included Recreate (using recycled materials), drama, pottery, ceramics, music, dance and Festival in a Van, an outdoor production of Macbeth. The week of activities was organised by The Creative Schools Team consisting of teachers, students, the Creative Schools Coordinator and our Creative Schools Associate.