Great Britain has a strong creative and cultural heritage. Its worldwide reputation for creative performers, artists, film makers, designers and writers is formidable.  Tourists flock to our cultural and creative landmarks to experience the theatre, music and our heritage.  They admire the work of our designers, film makers, musicians and performers.  Some of our leading cultural exports are Britain’s creative talent and experiences.

This does not happen by accident. The grass roots of this is high quality formal creative arts experience in our schools.

Education systems from other countries are ensuring that the arts are in education as they can see the benefits e.g. USA and China, why is the British Government seeking to marginalise the Arts?

We believe the arts and cultural future of this country is under threat if the arts are marginalised within education.

Arts education is fundamental to cognitive development. There are people who do not associate the Arts with ‘thinking’. They are aware of the art ‘product’, e.g. the song, the picture, the play but they are less aware of the process which creates that product. Yet the Arts are not so much a result of inspiration and innate talent, as they are a person’s capacity for creative thinking and imagining, problem-solving, critical judgment, and a host of other mental processes. The Arts represent forms of intellect every bit as potent as the verbal and logical/mathematical forms of cognition.

Cognitive Acceleration

Heads for the Arts believe high quality arts education…

  • Stretches the most able in a way that complements traditional academic subjects
  • Intellectually challenges students as much as the cognitive stretch of the most traditional of subjects
  • Develops critical thinking skills, the ability to appreciate and differentiate, and make informed judgements.
  • Impacts other learning, any reduction to the status of Arts Education will affect students’ ability to achieve in other subjects, as well as in the Arts.
  • Is an investment in learning.

Inclusive Education

  • Heads for the Arts believe high quality arts education…
  • Engages the most disaffected
  • Makes many aspects of life accessible for those with Special Needs
  • Energises the relationships between schools; its students and their community.
  • Enables children to learn to appreciate the work of others as they learn to be an audience – this has helped to build the core British values of our society.
  • Allows a genuine understanding of many and different cultures

Preparation for Work

Heads for the Arts believe high quality arts education…

  • Develops the entrepreneurial potential of many young business people
  • Helps children develop vital higher level skills. Learners must be equipped with the ‘basics’ but basic literacy and numeracy are not enough. To function in a world where the amount of information doubles in months and people will change jobs many times during their working life, students need a broader set of skills. To succeed in the workplace and in a changing society, people must develop higher order skills, including creativity, problem-solving, the ability to communicate in different ways, self-discipline, tolerance and critical thinking. A growing body of research over decades of practice demonstrate that Arts Education can help children develop these critical higher order skills.
  • Assists employers who are looking for people who are creative, able to think critically, solve problems, communicate well, and make decisions. The sought after worker is a continuous and highly adaptable learner and an imaginative thinker who possesses a wide range of higher order thinking skills. Arts Education can help students develop and reinforce these.
  • Gives students the opportunities and preparation to move into careers within the creative sector.
  • Prepares young people for jobs within the critically important creative skills sector; one reason other high-ranking PISA countries are increasing curriculum time for the arts.

Preparation for University

Heads for the Arts believe high quality arts education…

  • Develops the portfolio of life experiences that the best universities see as a pre-requisite for access
  • Delivers the skills Universities value – creativity; independent thinking and learning; the ability to improvise and meet unexpected challenges; to think out of the box and look for solutions.

Preparation for Life

Heads for the Arts believe…

  • Having Arts as part of the curriculum ensures some level of parity with children of families who regularly visit museums, go to concerts and galleries.
  • The Arts should be a fundamental entitlement for every student teaching them to appreciate our national and international heritage and encouraging young people’s own appreciation and development.
  • High quality arts education builds knowledge about our cultural heritage and nurtures a lifelong passion and appreciation of the Arts as both participants and discriminating audiences.
  • Developing an understanding of our common cultural heritage is beneficial to our society as a whole.

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