• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

New Cultural Leadership programme aims to promote creative learning in North East schools

24 North East school leaders and teachers are among the first in the region to complete a new programme at Newcastle University, designed to promote cultural and creative learning and to build a network of cultural leaders within schools in the region.

The Cultural Leadership in Education programme has been developed and delivered by Culture Bridge North East and Newcastle University North Leadership Centre.

Elvie Thompson, Culture Bridge North East Programme Manager, explained: “The programme is for aspiring school leaders who want to learn more about the positive impact that art and culture can have on children’s learning.”

The teachers who have completed the course came together at a celebration event held at Newcastle University.

Jack Gardener from Hotspur Primary School, Newcastle, said: “The Cultural Leadership in Education training was hugely beneficial. As well as being thought provoking and inspiring it reminded me about the reasons I originally went into education and of the powers of culture and the arts within school. I would thoroughly recommend it to other teachers and practitioners.”

Rachel Dembry, Head of Art at Whitburn Church of England Academy, describes her experience of the programme. “I found it enlightening and inspiring; for a head of subject with 16 years’ experience that is a wonderful thing,” she says. “I felt safe and nurtured to be around other like-minded individuals who also saw the value in the arts. 

“I feel a whole new creative world has opened up in front of me because of the Cultural Leadership in Education programme and now that the door is wide open things will never be the same. My next steps are to spread the word to the staff at my school. I hope to encourage them to place more value on culture and include it more in day to day lessons by sharing fantastic examples. The course has helped me become a cultural leader who can inspire other staff and help enrich the lives of our students.”

Twenty four teachers took part, gaining skills which enable them to assess and articulate the impact of arts and culture on children and young people, and learning about cultural organisations.

Elvie Thompson, Culture Bridge North East Programme Manager said: “We want every child in the North East to be able to take part in exciting arts and cultural experiences, and following on from the first Cultural Leadership in Education course, we hope to grow a network of cultural leaders in schools across the North East. Teachers need support to plan how to make every day in school creative within the curriculum and assessment guidelines in which they work. Those are the skills participants have gained on the course.”

Jeanne Hale, consultant for Culture Bridge North East, was involved in the development of the programme. She explains: “Research shows that effective leadership at all levels is key to the success of schools. The development of this programme means that a rich cultural offer in schools across the region will be supported by a growing number of senior and middle leaders who have gained the confidence and skills to lead cultural development, to inspire their colleagues and build partnerships.”

Dr Anna Reid, Deputy Director, Newcastle University North Leadership Centre, says: “The Cultural Leadership in Education programme is an alternative dimension to curriculum and leadership development. I hope it will prove to be of benefit to our region’s children and young people.”

By Emily