Developing Creativity in the Primary School

Jill Jesson is an experienced educator with many years of experience of working with children in schools, working on Creative Partnerships and Higher Education in the Arts (HEARTS) projects

This helpful book brings together theory, research and practical examples of creativity in Primary schools. It’s written in a scholarly but accessible tone and offers teachers a concise guide to thinking about creativity.

Included in Developing Creativity in the Primary School are sections exploring:

  • The major theories of creativity
  • How to develop creativity in a Primary school
  • Teachers’ own creativity
  • Group and individual creativity, and
  • Creativity in subject teaching

At the classroom level the book offers practical strategies for teachers suggesting how they can be good creative role models for pupils by sharing their own love of questions, making new connections between ideas, being open to new concepts and exploring and reflecting on ideas and events.

The author’s approach to leadership for creativity is summed up when she says:

For school leaders, the first step in developing a creative school is the fostering of a whole-school approach. Creativity is a foundation stone not an add-on and it cannot be imposed by the teacher.

The book asks useful questions of teachers such as:

  • Does your school improvement plan refer to the creative development of staff, pedagogy or pupil development?

In each section there are what the author calls ‘creative challenges’, practical suggestions for any teacher wanting to teach for creativity. These include:

  • Ask your class what helps or hinders their creativity and try to respond to what they say.
  • Choose three areas in which to develop your creative potential.
  • Take a look at the unproductive or dull moments of time in your school and see how they can be made more engaging.

Takeaway ideas

Perhaps the most immediately practical ideas come at the end of the book when the author suggests how creativity can be embedded in every subject of the Primary curriculum.

Examples include:

  • Exploring nonsense rhymes in English.
  • Creating and using maths trails around a school and its grounds.
  • Setting creative challenges to explore big ideas in science.
  • Using role play in history.
  • Making a journey stick in geography, a way of recording a journey by attaching items of significance to a stick which can then be shared and explored in geography.
  • Devising and exploring an obstacle course in PE.

Find out more about Developing creativity in the Primary school.