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17 May 2023

Creatives in Schools: Is it making a difference?

Creatives in Schools

Can you imagine creative professionals and teachers harmoniously unified with the goal to produce a special kind of magic in classrooms resulting in engaging, unique learning experiences for our tamariki? Helping to expand their creative thinking skills, better their wellbeing, and provide a new and fun way to learn? It just so happens that it exists – and the impact is phenomenal.

The Creatives in Schools programme was introduced in 2020, with the Ministry of Education joining forces with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Creative New Zealand to encourage creative programmes for schools that ‘provide creative learning experiences that enhance the wellbeing of students and ākonga and develop their knowledge and skills in communication, collaboration, and creative thinking and practice.’

So, how does this vision work? Working together, schools, kura and creatives conceptulise a creatively motivated project that runs between eight and 20 weeks that inspires students and teachers alike. This is a meaningful opportunity that utilises the talents of professional creatives, and it is paid. For their time and expertise, the creative is paid $10,000 for a set amount of hours they spend in contact with a group of ākonga working on a project.

Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepulon is encouraged by the findings and reflect the kaupapa of the programme. She said, “The outcomes from the programme have been very encouraging.”

“Over 90% of teachers involved in 2022 projects reported they helped students to develop critical thinking skills and self-management skills and supported students to express themselves and become more competent using language, symbols and text.”

In fact, it has been so successful that funding for Creatives in Schools gradually rose from $340,000 in 2020 to $3,400,000 in 2023. Round five of the programme, which will hit the ground in 2024, has applications opening on June 16th, 2023.

The Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti, continues to hear positive stories about those who have been involved with the programme and the impact it has been having on the wellbeing of learners and creatives alike.

“The evaluation found that Creatives in Schools has helped some schools to connect with and motivate students in positive ways, and in some instances, has contributed to their wider work to re-engage students in education,” Jan Tinetti said.

The soul of the Creatives in Schools Programme is in student wellbeing. Providing learners with a connection to their identities and helping them to form a sense of self through engaging with their creativity allows them to imagine themselves as a part of a creative community that works together. This not only benefits students, the wider school, and the local community but establishes the value of having creativity integrated into our society and shows how it enriches our everyday.

Looking for a fulfilling creative opportunity? Join forces with a local school and apply to Creatives in Schools 2024.