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Mrs Bower's Thought for the Term: Creativity

Posted on: 03/12/2021

Thought for the Term: Creativity


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There is a prevalent myth that some people are creative and others aren’t and, in the context of education, that some subjects are creative and others aren’t. I don’t agree. I believe creativity is synonymous with inventiveness.  It is making something new from the pieces of your knowledge. It requires flexibility and responsiveness. It requires thinking hard on topics so that you create your own viewpoint or opinion.  It is not without discipline.  In fact, subjects such as music, dance, cooking, writing, design technology and drama all need high levels of skill and lots of practice.  Doing scales or bar exercises everyday might not seem very creative.  Sitting alone at a laptop for hours might not seem very creative.  But that time and those skills are important foundations for the creations which are to follow.

To take an example, I have written a novel.  It is about 80,000 words long.  Some experiences of writing it fit in with a stereotypical idea of ‘creativity’.  I had one (just one) day in the 18 months or so of working on it when I wrote 4500 words in an unbelievable rush. It is true that many times when I sat down to it, I did experience a strange power of momentum as the next sentence emerged and the next and then the next, which at times did feel mysterious and I was literally creating sentences and paragraphs and chapters out of thin air.

But I’ve been reading books for 40 years and I have an English literature degree.  And I needed the discipline and deadlines and feedback of my teacher and writing group to actually make me write it.  And I took time away from work to free up enough space in my head for the hard thinking required.  And I spend a lot of hours crafting and redrafting. My mysterious creativity didn’t come from nowhere.

Opportunities for creativity are everywhere in school.  Are you using the knowledge you have been taught in Maths and Science to solve problems which you have never previously encountered? Are you asking questions and seeking to expand your knowledge in Geography to apply it to the new situations which you see developing in the world around us? Are you taking an active role in your own learning, experimenting and taking risks so that you can achieve more in Art? Are you building your vocabulary in English and then using new words to make your writing more engaging? Are you practising your skills in Music and Drama and Dance to take your performances to new heights?

If the answer is yes to any of these, then you are harnessing your powers of creativity too!

Mrs Bowers, Deputy Headteacher
St Birinus School

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