Chapel Break Infant School is a hive of creative learning. For many years the school has been innovative in its approach to teaching and learning.
The school has been at the forefront of Philosophy for Children with a dedicated studio (accessed by all pupils 4-7yrs) since 2009 for Enquiry and the ARTS called the ‘TARDIS’- Thinking Arts Reflective Dialogue Imagination Studio. In 2014 when schools were given the opportunity to develop their own curriculum, the school seized this with enthusiasm. It teaches the National curriculum through an authentic and connected pedagogy.
The emblem is the Honeybee, and six hives of creative learning were established:
Hive 1 Be curious, be creative
Hive 2 Be independent/collaborate
Hive 3 Be an able communicator
Hive 4 Be a critical thinker
Hive 5 Be a problem solver
Hive 6 Be reflective.
Although these are not new skills, (people for centuries have been using these within society), the context for the use of these skills within the modern world has changed and is changing rapidly. Capacity for developing new thinking within our children has never been more important.
‘At Chapel Break we feel passionate about developing children’s natural powers of imagination to enable them to hypothesise, speculate, see others points of view (applied empathy) and bring into mind any discipline to solve a challenge. Creativity is not the sole bedfellow of the Arts; it is evident across all subject disciplines, and in fact there is the utmost rigour to enable children to connect to the world around them. You cannot be creative in engineering or maths if you are innumerate therefore high levels of curriculum discipline have been put in place.
Creativity can be taught. At Chapel Break we achieve this through cultivating the conditions for creative thought:
Firstly, The Learning Landscape. We immerse our children in a learning landscape and asking Big Questions such as ‘What is our treasure?’
Secondly, Authentic (cross curricular) Outcomes. For example, children have learnt how to be authors. They have raised funds to write and publish a book, culminating with their own book-signing event in a bookshop, all disciplines interconnecting with each other. Another example is the TARDIS that has a public exhibition every year and sells the artwork produced by the children. This element of authenticity enables creativity to have value – a purpose that is worthwhile and meaningful.
Thirdly, through Challenge or Catalysts for Learning. With teachers facilitating the learning, children are enabled to collaborate, have composure, and centre themselves – understand and assess each other as learners (critique) through the six Bee characters.
All of these elements of REAL© Projects and Challenge Based Learning enable individualised and highly engaged learning which inspires children’s curiosity.’
Creative learning is embedded within Chapel Break culture. To quote Sir Ken Robinson: ‘Creativity is at the heart and pulse of humanity’.