School in Ipswich putting the focus on creativity

Principal of Chantry Academy in Ipswich, Craig D’Cunha. Picture: CHANTRY ACADEMY

Principal of Chantry Academy in Ipswich, Craig DCunha. Picture: CHANTRY ACADEMY - Credit: Chantry Academy

An Ipswich school is putting the focus back on creativity in education, in a bid to develop key skills.

The principal of Chantry Academy in Ipswich, Craig D’Cunha, is spearheading a programme of work to pay more attention to artistic subjects. As part of the Active Learning Trust, Mr D’Cunha has seen the valuable life skills that the arts can teach pupils.

Mr D’Cunha is concerned by recent reports that creative subjects are being squeezed out of schools. He said: “Educational provisions are constantly changing, and in recent years we have seen a broader focus shift towards the more academic subjects and less attention on the arts.

“However, it is those arts subjects that teach pupils key life skills such as empathy, resilience, collaboration and help to build confidence.”

Stephanie Lincoln, a drama teacher at Chantry Academy is conducting research into the effects that the arts have on pupil development; including drama, production, music and theatre.

The Active Learning Trust has formed a strategic partnership with Festival Bridge. Using funding from Arts Council England, Norfolk & Norwich Festival Bridge provides support to nine schools from within the Active Learning Trust, which forms the basis for its 2017/18 programme of work.

Chantry Academy also works with Dance East, and the school held a production in February, which involved more than 10% of its students.