Mention creativity and most people think of professional artists, writers and dancers, but Sian Goodspeed, founder of Flying Start Tuition argues that teaching our children to be more creative will help them to do better at school and in life. Sian explains how fostering your child’s creativity will boost their academic performance.
Thinking outside the box
With all the emphasis on performance and a culture of over-testing in our schools, creativity has taken a backseat. There is little time in the busy school day for creative activities and play. Ironically, children who think outside the box and apply different approaches often do much better in maths and literacy than children who are only repeating what they’ve been taught.
By finding creative solutions to problems, children discover their own abilities, which gives them a real sense of accomplishment and instils pride in their own achievements. Next time, instead of shying away from a difficult algebra problem, they are much more likely to ‘give it a go’ and believe they can work it out for themselves, which is half the battle won. Nothing will make them succeed more in life than believing in their own abilities.
Learning to think
Children are being treated like sponges, says Sian. We expect them to absorb mountains of information, but they sometimes leave school without being able to think for themselves. It is only by stimulating them to think independently and critically and encouraging them to come up with their own solutions, that we’ll equip them with the skills to do well in our competitive world. They’ll have a much better chance of standing out and making their mark – as well as getting better scores!
Learning to work together
By working together on creative projects such as building a sculpture or producing a joint art project, children learn to collaborate, give and accept constructive criticism, share, negotiate and learn to make their own voices heard.
They’re also better able to assess their own work, which will help them in exam settings, such as the Eleven Plus. All of these skills are vital later in life and help them to work towards being socially accepted, which is critical for self-esteem.
If you’ve ever watched a child engrossed in creating a painting or decorating a cake, you’ll have noticed just how much dedication and concentration is involved in trying to perfect their masterpiece. Learning to concentrate, apply and dedicate oneself fully to a task are also the skills that make children do well academically.
A positive approach to learning
At Flying Start Tuition, we understand the importance of developing creativity and independent learning skills, which is why we have joined forces with Connect2Colour, incorporating their innovative ‘I CAN’ workshops into our Year Five Eleven Plus course.
Adapted specifically to the Flying Start Eleven Plus programme, the workshops were developed by Sally Webb of Connect2Colour to ensure every child has an outlet to express their feelings and understand how to become a more confident learner. During the workshops, the students follow a series of steps to create their own individual piece of 3D artwork, incorporating positive statements about themselves and their personal support network.
The positive learning experience of the ‘I CAN’ workshop provides an ideal platform for the children to understand and capture their successes. It is a perfect way to relieve anxiety and provides the children with a tremendous sense of achievement as part of their growth mind-set which our students continue to build upon during the rest of their 11+ course.
Here is what some of our students had to say about their recent ‘I CAN’ workshops:
‘I feel proud of what I have created.’
‘It was the best experience ever!’
‘I really enjoyed going crazy with the paints! I didn’t know I could do this!’
‘I’ve learned that I can do things if I believe in myself.’
As you can see, these workshops have a positive impact on our pupils’ self-belief, thus improving their self-motivation and progress, not only in their 11+ preparation but also in many other areas of their lives – truly helping them to stand tall and fly high.
To see photos of our recent Connect2Colour workshops, visit our Facebook page.
To find out more about Connect2Colour, visit: http://connect2colour.com/