Simple steps to creativity

29th August 2003 at 01:00
Inspectors identify straightforward ways to encourage children to use their imaginations. Helen Ward reports

TEACHERS do not have to adopt radical methods to draw out children's creativity - but simply listen and work closely with pupils, say inspectors.

Office for Standards in Education inspectors visited 42 schools to find the best ways of developing creativity in children.

Their report Expecting the Unexpected identified five key qualities that teachers who promote creativity in children had. These teachers:

* demonstrated their own creative thinking to pupils;

* made opportunities for creativity;

* had good subject knowledge;

* were good team players;

* saw both success and failure as ways of learning.

The report added that headteachers' support for teaching that stimulated children was vital.

The inspectors found creativity was stifled by teachers who were unwilling to let pupils experiment, rigid timetables and demands for high or much-improved test results.

The report also found some teachers wrongly thought being creative meant using the arts to teach a non-arts subject. One example was as an RE lesson where pupils made drawings of religious concepts, but only came up with the visual cliches.

The report said uncertainty about funding and the amount of time it took to bid for relatively small amounts of money made schools consider pulling out of some projects aimed at improving creativity by working with outside agencies.

A second Ofsted report Improving City Schools: How the arts can help found behaviour in arts lessons is often better than in other lessons. It also found nearly half the 500 secondary schools with the lowest number of pupils gaining five good GCSEs did better than average in at least one arts subject.

Chief inspector David Bell said: "These reports are proof that teachers are taking creativity seriously and acknowledging the importance of innovative activities in the classroom. Crucially, we have found that such an approach can help to motivate and inspire young people."

Leader, 12

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now