5x5x5=creativity is an independent arts-based action research organisation which supports children in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them develop creative skills for life.

5x5x5 is inspired by the celebrated Reggio Emilia educational approach in Northern Italy that respects children and young people as strong, capable protagonists in their own learning. It recognises children’s innate inquisitiveness, and affords them the space, time and individual adult attention to explore and learn from the world around them.5x5.keyprinciples

This child-informed approach is distinguished by a unique commitment to the role of documentation and research in learning and teaching – and by the participating adults’ role as companions, not leaders, of the children and young people.

Our research findings clearly demonstrate the value of fostering creative enquiry by empowering children and young people to take the lead. 5x5x5 participants enjoy an extraordinary, exhilarating journey through which they explore the world around them and discover the joys of proactive learning. They emerge notably more confident, with enhanced self-esteem – better able to engage, express themselves and problem-solve.

Established in 2000, 5x5x5=creativity has become nationally recognised as a long-term research project of vitality and innovation. We are keen to use our research findings to contribute to an international, critical debate about education in a social democracy, and ultimately to build an educational culture that can change lives.

‘5x5x5=creativity helps improve the life chances of children and young people by developing their confidence in themselves as creative learners, thinkers and problem solvers whilst inspiring higher levels of motivation and engagement in their learning.’

Sally Jaeckle OBE, Service Manager for Early Years Services in Bristol

‘I was once asked after an event, ‘Is it the case that you begin by writing for children, then you grow up and write for adults?’ I answered that for me, the route was in the opposite direction.I only began to thrive as a writer when I began to write for the young. Children are natural artists. They sing, play, dance, paint, draw, run, write, read. Instead of believing that our adult purpose is to instruct children, we should be open enough to learn from them and to be inspired by them and to work alongside them. I learned how to be brave enough to write plays after a bunch of children in a Tyneside playground spontaneously, without any adult ‘guidance’, began to act out the story of Skellig. All learning, all growth is creative, messy, imperfect, mysterious, deeply serious and deeply playful. Children, their energy, their creativity, their imagination are the beating heart of or culture. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organisation, which grows from an understanding and celebration of the fact that our children are in the process of exploring and creating a better world.’

David Almond