Exercising the creative muscle



by Carys Owen (Cuckoo), Partnerships Manager

In January, we often reflect on the year gone by and make resolutions for the year to come. Whether it’s a fitness goal, a work achievement, a promise to be more environmentally friendly, or a pledge to your personal wellbeing: commitment and dedication is the best way to create lasting change.

At Artis, we believe that creativity needs to be exercised regularly in order to develop, with dedicated time, space and support. One of our core values is that an ongoing interaction between schools and the arts is the most effective way to develop creativity in children and young people.

In the same way that you need to undertake regular physical exercise to build and stretch muscles, we need to engage children with the arts on a regular basis to really see the impact it can have and create deep long-lasting transformation.

Over the past 15 years, we have seen first-hand the long-term effects that a week-in, week-out engagement with the arts has on children’s learning. On a daily basis, we see how building relationships with whole schools and integrating creative activities into the curriculum means that there is a culture change in how arts is embedded within a school.

Artis is about making magical, creative opportunities part of the everyday school experience, to excite children with classroom topics – whether that be numeracy, literacy, topic work or PSHE.

There is significant value in one-off experiences that wow children and young people, whether that be in the school setting or outside of the classroom. We run Sparkly Starts, Arts Weeks and Transition workshops that do just that – but to create a lasting change on a child’s cognition, the arts need to be built into everyday life.

The Artis Specialist going into schools on an ongoing basis makes a huge difference. A lot of performing arts work in schools tends to be on a project basis and the children have a wonderful time and taste of the experience of what that involves but unfortunately don’t get the opportunity then to continue that and build up the skills which enables them to do it better and enjoy it more through doing it better. So the fact that the Artis Specialist is in the school week-by-week will give the child the best possible learning experience and opportunity to develop their creative selves.

Lord Michael Bichard

Artis’ highly trained professional performing arts educators usually work with schools for a full academic year to embed a creativity across the school. Teachers not only take part in Artis-led CPD sessions, but they learn by-proxy and embed creative teaching methods into their own delivery, to bring about a culture change in the school environment.

The arts should not be a tick box, nor should it be a smattering of short bursts throughout the academic year, it should be embedded deep within the school development plan.

Artsmark is a great way to hold schools accountable to that ongoing relationship with arts activities, and as an Artsmark Partner, Artis can support schools who are looking to further develop and embed their arts and cultural provision through this programme.

Whether a school opts to get involved in Artsmark or not, by partnering with Artis, it shows an ongoing commitment to arts provision and a creative way to engage pupils with learning. A partnership with Artis also demonstrates that a school recognises the value of the arts across the curriculum, and taking steps to actively promote an ethos of arts and culture.


If you’d like to discuss how Artis can work with your school to bring regular arts activity into your classrooms, email our Partnerships Manager, Carys (Cuckoo) or call 0207 324 9880.

15 Jan 2019

Registered Charity Number 1174635