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Minister visits school taking a creative approach to numeracy

Education Minister Huw Lewis yesterday (Monday 8 February) visited a Tonteg special school that is adopting a creative approach to learning by taking numeracy out of the classroom.

Tŷ Coch Special School is one of the Welsh Government’s Lead Creative Schools, part of a £20m programme being delivered in partnership with the Arts Council of Wales.

Working alongside artists and creative practitioners, teachers at Lead Creative Schools will be supported to develop bespoke programmes of learning using creative and innovative techniques to engage and inspire learners and to focus on their attainment.

It is anticipated that one third of schools in Wales, including Tŷ Coch, will be able to participate in the Lead Creative Schools Programme. The first tranche of Lead Creative Schools have received grant offers and the application window for round 2 is open until 29 February.

Space robots, a jungle wonderland and a sensory numeracy trail are just some of the imaginative ideas that teachers at Tŷ Coch identified to stimulate the senses of learners and engage them in numeracy.

Pupil voice is paramount at Ty Coch. The school’s creative agent and staff carried out a walk through, fact finding morning where pupils identified that some of the areas outside of the classroom are not engaging, inspiring or perhaps being used in the best way possible. They are keen to create visual art that stimulates the senses and engages learners in numeracy.

The end product will comprise of new interactive pieces of artwork around the school with which pupils can engage, explore and solve mathematical challenges.

Sarah Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Tŷ Coch said:

“Participating in the Lead Creative Schools Scheme is a wonderful venture and both our pupils and staff are excited about using creative approaches to develop numeracy skills.”

Education Minister Huw Lewis said:

“The arts have the power to fire the imagination and inspire us to think about everyday things in a different way. We want to capture this potential, which the arts possess, to transform how our young people learn.

“I strongly believe that the arts should be accessible to all. That’s why it is so important that the Lead Creative Schools programme is open to all schools across Wales. Rural schools, large inner-city schools, Welsh medium schools and, as in the case of Tŷ Coch, special schools are all participating. They will all benefit from the advice and support of artists and creative individuals and all will develop their own unique, creative approaches to learning.

”The programme promises to transform the way pupils learn and give young people from different backgrounds, from across the length and breadth of Wales, the opportunity to be inspired by the many benefits that the arts have to offer.

Professor Dai Smith, Chair of Arts Council of Wales, who will join the Minister at Tŷ Coch said:

"This initiative is all about cutting with the grain, complementing and supporting schools' current programmes of work. It's about nurturing and developing the creativity of learners so that they achieve their potential, grow as well rounded individuals and are prepared with the skills for life.

"We have always been committed to finding new ways for young people to enjoy and take part in the arts. Our new partnership offers an ideal opportunity to reboot the whole way we think about and support the role that creativity plays in the lives of our young people. Now more than ever is the moment to invest in young people's creative capital, unlocking their imagination, vision and potential.

"We want to make sure that in a rapidly changing world, our children and young people are adept as citizens equipped to meet the needs of an evolving society an economy."

 

Channel website: http://gov.wales

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