The Creative Writing through the Arts project is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation with additional investment from the Royal Opera House Bridge and schools from five Teaching School Alliances in Essex.  

The aim of the project is to promote children’s creative writing skills through integration of writing with art, dance, drama, film and music and visual art activities in primary school classrooms (Foundation stage to year six). The project offers teachers professional development in arts subjects, through ‘Inspiration Day’ workshops and school mentoring visits from creative practitioners. The project seeks to assess the value of creative learning in schools through collaborative action research between academic staff from Anglia Ruskin UniversityChelmsford and project teachers, taking into account pupil voice. Overall the project explores and celebrates the value of working in partnership with the cultural sector to develop curriculum and pedagogy.

Following successful pilot projects, the most recent research project ran for three years from September 2016 to July 2019 – working with 45 teachers and schools in total. The project aims to provide evidence of the benefits of creative learning and teaching with and through the arts, with a specific focus upon the development of children’s writing. 

A mapping exercise for writing following a visual art inspiration
‘My understanding is getting better, it’s not so muddled anymore…’.
Testimonial from a Year 5 Pupil