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Creative education should be fundamental to school culture

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Future Creatives Tonbridge Student Work by Aless
Written by
Ozel Rowland
Published date
13 August 2021

New Future Creatives art classes open at Varndean College, Brighton.

UAL Future Creatives has teamed up with Varndean College, Brighton, to provide extra-curricular art workshops for local young people.

Along with seven other regional locations across the UK, Varndean College is the latest college to join the initiative, offering fun and engaging lessons covering everything from drawing lessons, cartooning and sculpture to graphics and screen printing.

The news comes following the UK’s decision to cut higher education funding to arts subjects by 50% from September 2021. Major players in the UK’s creative industry argue that this will have a cascading effect on the uptake of arts in schools.

At Future Creatives, our main aim is to support the next generation of children and teenagers with accessible art courses so they can continue to explore their creativity outside of the classroom.

Classes are tailored for each age group, available for young people aged between 7 and 17 years old, with session for teenagers aimed at helping them to develop their skills for GCSEs, A-levels and beyond.

Young students working in class with teacher.

The proven benefits of providing a creative education to young people is clear. In 2019 the Durham Commission on Creativity in Education found that opportunities like those provided by Future Creatives stimulate young children’s curiosity, creativity, and imagination, and support the development of communications skills.

Antonia Harrowing, who got back to teaching face to face Future Creatives classes over the summer in Tonbridge says: "I've loved nurturing a lovely environment online with my students this year, but it's really special getting to show techniques face to face again and observe as they create art and form friendships during our time together.

"My groups spent their summer workshops playing with print and exploring how to visually use their creative voice to influence the changes they want to see in the world.

"It's a really lovely way for them to engage their brains and build discipline in mastering a craft. [and] it's wonderful when they are excited and encouraged by each other's work.

"We don't want them to go into the adult world knowing how to sit an exam paper, we want them to have a sense of identity, community and creativity to take on life's challenges."

Seán Myers' who recently taught two classes at Sandringham School - St.Albans says: "I was so happy to see the joy on the faces of both groups of students aged 7-17 eager to be back in the physical workspace, positively interacting and happily chatting with new-made friends, asking interesting questions and discovering new ways of making art."

In their most recent report, which assessed the impact of Covid-19 on young people, the Durham Commission highlighted the necessity of regular creative and cultural experiences, arguing that they play a fundamental role in the development of young people. These experiences should be an essential part of the return to in-school education.

Having experienced teaching arts classes both online and now, back in the classroom, Antonia says: "The great thing about creative experiences in a school setting is that unlike literacy and numeracy classes where ideally your students will reach the same answer, here the students won't create the same thing.

"It takes focus and patience to create a drawing, and it takes energy and creativity to experiment with materials."

We believe the importance of art in a child’s development is key. Arts and creativity cultivate well-being and help young learners create connections between subjects.

Would you like to enable your child to explore their creativity outside of the classroom? Our Future Creatives art and design workshops are the perfect opportunity for young people to explore a range of artistic skills and disciplines, make new friends and have fun.

Taking place during October half term 2021, our Brighton workshops at Varndean College are taught by a fantastic range of tutors, with bags of experience in the creative industries. Find out more about what your child can expect and how to enrol.

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