Making creativity normal at Thomas Tallis School

Find out how one secondary school has put teaching for creativity at the heart of its curriculum

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What is creativity? And what does it look like in a busy secondary school?

That’s the question that Thomas Tallis has been exploring over the last decade. And their answer, arrived at in collaboration with researchers at the University of Winchester, is that creativity is a set of five creative habits - Inquisitive, Collaborative, Persistent, Disciplined and Imaginative.

The Tallis Habits are highly visible throughout the school.

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Six practical ways to embed creativity in lessons from Thomas Tallis

  • Building opportunities to explicitly develop the Habits into schemes of work and lesson planning.

  • Focusing on a particular Habit as a starter or plenary in a lesson

  • Developing opportunities for students to engage in extended learning enquiries in order to exercise a range of creative Habits.

  • Rewarding students in Year 7 and 8 for demonstrating progress in acquiring Tallis Habits and reporting this progress to parents.

  • Encouraging Year 7 students to keep a Tallis Habits Journal.

  • Conducting action research about the impact of Tallis Habits across the curriculum.

Read more at the Thomas Tallis website.

Thomas Tallis School is a featured case study in the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education.

    • Type
    • Case studies

    • Interest
    • Pedagogy

The Tallis Habits Pedagogy Wheel

Most importantly these creative habits come together in a model which underpins the school’s approach to teaching and learning.

Tallis Habits Pedagogy wheel.jpg

In the outer ring of the model you can see examples of pedagogies which teachers can use to cultivate the specific habit of mind. So, for example you want to develop the imagination then you might use mind maps to organise information, focus on the use of metaphors to connect ideas or explore threshold concepts to deepen understanding.

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The Durham Commission Report