Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I had a great chat with one of our TAs last week.  It was the snowy day and we had all gone up to the village field to make snowmen and throw snowballs, the kids came too.  She is doing a foundation degree and aspires to be a teacher.  'What do you think about what creativity is?' She said as we sat down after school.  When I related this tale to my husband that evening he expressed surprise that we were not still sitting there with me talking and her having glazed over several hours before!  Anyway, it turns out they are 'doing' creativity at uni at the moment and she has been hearing a lot from other students about 'off the shelf' creative curriculums.  The sort that became popular after the excellence and enjoyment document and cost megabucks to buy in.  She said that it had occured to her that buying in a scheme to follow isn't all that creative.  I congratulated her on that insight and then reminded her of some of the games the children had played in the snow at the field that day.

A group of year 5 and 6 children had built two snow forts to hurl snowballs from.  But then they had made thrones, crowned a king and queen of each and the game had gone up a level.  The back stories for the dynasty of the snow kingdom could have inspired a Sky 1 drama!  I then reminded her that several years ago, when those children were in her class, they had done a fabulous creative project on castles. Part of that had involved them role playing outside.  She immediately remembered how much she had enjoyed playing with them and developing their language.  I explained that this was the hook onto which they then hung learning, and even better than that they will have those skills forever.

Ken Robinson gives a fantastic talk on creativity in which he talks about the aesthetic aspects of the arts. He then goes on to say that children need aesthetics, rather than the anaesthetic of calming medication or an overprescriptive curriculum.  We all hang memories and learning onto music, art, drama and above all fun. 

My favourite creative moment in the snow that day was a year 6 boy who was walking across a fresh, untouched patch of snow hitting it with a stick.  When asked what he was doing he replied 'I'm making dinosaur footprints Mrs Moore, if you looked down from a helicopter later you would think there had been a velociraptor here.' Now, that's creativity!

As ever though, our AHT cut through my eulogy on creativity with brilliant simplicity.  'All you have to do is work out what the kids need to do, find out what they love, put the two together and use your noddle!' Amen to that!


  1. Lovely post. Short, makes a point and tells a story. I like your AHT's views at the end. Admire your perspicacity with this blog- keep em' short and regular, and I'll keep tuning in :)

    1. Thanks Tom, I will be keeping them short! I always used to struggle with a high word expectation on essays at Uni. I shall keep them coming as the inspiration ebbs and flows. Appreciate your comment.