Creativity is intelligence having fun.
Our school breaks boundaries to create a fertile culture where creativity flourishes. A creative circle which constantly reinforces itself; a whole school approach, driving creative teaching, community and students.
Ryburn is known as a creative school, a strength recognised by our Artsmark Platinum, and we understand the wider benefits it brings. Cultivating creativity is a priority here. It gives our students life skills, creating innovators and problem solvers who will succeed in a changing world. It builds confidence and wellbeing, helps students withstand academic pressures, and enriches lives. And, as our results show, improves performance.
Much of this can’t be taught but must be built through experience or example, so how do we make this possible?
Magical learning experiences for the iGeneration
In 2017, we exploded PSHCE, replacing it with our Identity Curriculum. In iGen, classes read a novel together, creatively exploring key themes. Everyone teaches it, so the impact across school has been huge, developing an expressive confidence in teachers. Students build greater knowledge of the world, expanding their cultural capital, compassion, and gaining insights that help their own mental health.
In iD lessons (and iDays with normal lessons suspended), students do applied activities to consolidate theories around attitude and neuroplasticity, and are inspired by numerous role models. This could look like learning BSL, making music deaf people can enjoy, or persevering and performing with Luke Lenihan magician.
Staff training also benefits from this approach, understanding that resilience, mindfulness and creativity start in the staffroom. Wellbeing activities have included coffee and clay, singing, dancing, embroidery and trampolining.
Feel it, create it, lead it!
Our culture empowers students to act and problem solve creatively. Like the LGBTQ+ group, formed in 2017 with the goal of supporting diversity and tolerance. They held our first Pride Week, school-wide activities ranging from a Science rainbow workshop to a festival featuring 100 students vogueing and a gender swapped Broadway performance.
Our charity leaders are proud holders of a World Record for the largest toast mosaic, a major whole-school project involving the community and much creative problem solving.
We believe in Arts for all, offering high needs students the Arts Award, and using activities including drawing, sand and Lego therapy to ensure students with additional needs can grow creatively.
Creative partnerships, creative community
Many strong connections with community groups, businesses and arts organisations benefit our students and staff. Students experienced a real tv set, and collaborated with professional artists on events including Winterlight Festival and Piece Hall’s ‘Enchanting Windows’. Teachers are working with the Crafts Council ‘Make Your Future’ project, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We’re founders of a new MAT, bringing our creative philosophy to that partnership. All such connections enable students to blossom creatively, connecting what they do in school and the real world.
Many schools sideline creativity as a result of a narrowing curriculum. At Ryburn, we want to share our story of how enabling creativity to flourish inspires the innovators needed in our ever-changing world.
We are proud of our Artsmark Platinum Award, the highest level of the Arts Council standard recognising schools who demonstrate their commitment to embedding arts and cultural provision at the heart of their school.
Artsmark awarded October 2017.