How important is it to allow young people to explore their creative sides?
Vital, writes St Mary’s Shaftesbury headmistress Maria Young. Most educators agree that the modern workplace needs problem-solving individuals who are able to think ‘outside the box’, to take risks and to be able to see the links between seemingly disparate processes. Creative activities enable this way of working, and should take place in all classrooms, not just the traditional arts-focused subjects. Additionally, the creative arts have a considerable role to play in student wellbeing, as a means of self-expression.

How do you inspire creativity?
By building in opportunities to take risks within the learning environment, to discover that the creative process means trying things out, accepting that some ideas may fail along the way, but that this allows us to learn and make connections at a deeper level. Inspiring a resilient and open mindset is integral to the process of creativity.

How important is creativity in the development of well-rounded young people?
The creative process touches all of us, whether we are creating or consuming. Understanding the creative process is therefore integral to the development of well-rounded young people who have learned to make informed choices in their lives.

What role do teachers play in inspiring and nurturing creativity?
Today, part of this role is in regulating creativity. Technological progress means that most young people are exposed to new and creative ideas at a relentless pace. Teachers are in the fortunate position of being able to balance overtly creative activities with deep, integrated learning, enabling students to discover where their own skill-set is best employed.

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