Creative Education Debate – How do we prioritise creativity? – 23 October

Join us in a creative debate about the importance of creative education for all children and young people at Bath Spa University’s brand new School of Art and Design.

Wed, 23 October 2019, 5–7pm

International author and campaigner, Melissa Benn will be joined by colleagues from Bath Spa University, Goldsmiths University of London and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination. Professor Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor, Bath Spa University will give a welcoming address to open up the debate.

Melissa Benn, will kick off the evening with a creative provocation: ‘There is currently a propaganda war under way in English education, led by the political right, which seeks not merely to defend but to celebrate the dramatic reforms of the past decade. Part of this involves the idea of ‘no excuses’ discipline and a ‘knowledge curriculum’ – as if no knowledge was ever imparted in England’s schools before 2010. In reality, many of these changes have meant a narrowing curriculum and more standardised testing, and imposition of the Ebacc as an accountability measure has reduced the teaching of more creative subjects such as art, drama and music.”

Melissa Benn will examine these issues, as well as highlighting those institutions and individuals who are resisting it through their exploration and celebration of human creativity in the broadest sense. She will stress the importance of both educational history, as a way of preventing the erasure of past innovation and success, and our need to highlight the achievements of other educational systems that put less emphasis on narrow knowledge and harsh discipline. Finally, she will explore how we can resist current trends in education, and help to develop a flourishing alternative, both at school level and in the political realm.

Dr Esther Sayers, Goldsmiths University of London, Ruth Sapsed, Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and Dr Penny Hay, Bath Spa University, will share examples of exemplary practice in creative education and open up the debate about how we can prioritise creativity at all levels of our education system.

This event is supported by Creative Bath.

Bookings via Eventbrite

Tickets £5, incl. glass of wine


Please feel free to share the flyer or the above Eventbrite link with any contacts who may be interested in attending.

Forest of Imagination 2019

Discover a free, fantastical forest and outdoor gallery right in the heart of Bath! Designed by a collective of local and international artists and creative professionals. Forest of Imagination will transform areas around the Holburne and Sydney Gardens into wondrous sensory installations and architectural artworks, with creative activities for all ages.

Forest of Imagination is returning to the World Heritage City of Bath for its sixth year. Everyone is welcome!

View the 2019 event programme here.

View the Schools’ flyer.

Schools can book a visit on 21 and/or 24 June 2019.

Please contact Sarah Macdonald:


Please visit the FOI website for more details

To make a donation towards the event, please visit our Local Giving page.

We hope to see you in the Forest…

Learning Everywhere | Free Heritage Schools CPD

Holburne Museum Bath | Monday 20 May 10–3.30pm

We invite you to the latest Learning Everywhere CPD event.

The award-winning Heritage Schools programme aims to help school children develop an understanding of their local heritage and its significance.

We will share examples from local innovative projects including School Without Walls and Curious-city.

School Without Walls is a ground-breaking initiative in collaboration with 5x5x5=creativity and the egg theatre, involving local schools in an arts based residency, developing co-enquiry in response to children’s interests.

Curious-city is an approach that enables a setting to create a bespoke, locally focused curriculum that both covers and enhances the National Curriculum.


10 am Registration and Coffee

10.15 am Welcome and introduction: Michael Gorely, Historic England and Penny

Hay, 5x5x5=creativity, Bath Spa University

10.30 am Heritage Schools: Michael Gorely, Historic England

11.00 am Curious-city: Nicholas Garrick, Lighting Up Learning

12 noon School Without Walls: Christina Parker, Holburne Museum and Kirsty Claxton, 5x5x5=creativity

12.30 pm Quality learning: How does this relate to the new Ofsted Framework?

12.45 pm Lunch | School Without Walls film

1.30 pm How to do a local study in 4 easy steps:Michael Gorely, Historic England

3.00 pm Sharing projects in schools and planning next steps

3.30 pm A chance to explore the Holburne Museum collections and exhibitions

A light lunch will be provided and participating schools can claim up to £130 to support cover costs for teachers attending. To book places on the day please contact Local Heritage Education Manager Michael Gorely

All best wishes,

Artists and Educators Professional Development Day

Tuesday 11 June 2019, 9.45 am – 1 pm, Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Hauser & Wirth Somerset and 5x5x5=creativity have come together again this year to host a special event for artists working in education.

The setting at Hauser & Wirth Somerset will provide a platform for teachers and artist practitioners to develop their skills for working with young people. This year we shall focus on: dialogue and discourse, movement, drawing and sculpture through a range of short practical activities.

This event is co-hosted by Dr. Penny Hay, Director of 5x5x5=creativity, Senior Lecturer in Arts Education and Research Fellow, Bath Spa University and practising artist as well as a member of the Education Team at Hauser and Wirth Somerset.

9.45 am­ Coffee and registration
10.15 am Welcome and introductions
10.30 am Pecha Kucha presentations
11.10 am Tour of exhibition
11.45 am Activity 1: Invitation to respond to the exhibition
12.15 pm Responding to exhibition by developing an activity for a specific group in pairs or small groups
12.45 pm Sharing responses and discussion
1 pm Finish

Book lunch at Roth Bar & Grill and continue personal research on site in the afternoon by spending time in the exhibition ‘Unconscious Landscape. Works from the Ursula Hauser Collection’, explore the Book Lab celebrating Richard Scarry and visit Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

Attendees are invited to submit Pecha Kucha proposals. Pecha Kucha presentations are a rapid-fire performance of 20 image-rich slides. Each slide is shown for exactly 20 seconds before automatically moving to the next. The total presentation time is 6 minutes, 40 seconds.

If you would like to be included in this activity please submit by 17 May to

Tickets are £5 and include refreshments and resources.

Click to register via Eventbrite

This will change the way you teach: School Without Walls Conference 2019

Spend the day DOING SCHOOL DIFFERENTLY with the Bath-based School Without Walls initiative, and keynote speaker Sir Al Aynsley-Green, former Children’s Commissioner, author of The British Betrayal of Childhood.

This will be a call to arms: after eight years of practice and research into child-informed learning we have some exciting discoveries, revelations and validations to share with you. Whether you are from a school, an arts organisation, a funding body or you are just concerned about how we ‘educate’ our children, you will be warmly welcomed.

School Without Walls is an enquiry-based model of experiential and creative learning that has transformed teaching of the curriculum and the learning culture in a number of local schools.

The residencies we have hosted over the past year have had a focus on evaluating how artistic interventions like SWW can impact wellbeing, learner resilience and happiness. We’ve been looking at what it means to take care of things, take care around people and take care of people. It’s simple: when children realise that care has been taken around them and for them, they behave differently. They thrive. We want the same for you. We think you need it. We are going to carve out space and time for you. We want to put the art back into teaching.

Come expecting to: walk/move around town, look, listen, talk, think, watch, make and drink. We will be living out the practice of the project on the day of the conference, we’re hoping people will feel galvanised and leave imbued with the spirit of the project!


  • Your slippers
  • If you’re an arts organisation, an ally who works in a school
  • If you’re from a school, an ally from a cultural setting

The verbal presentations will be BSL interpreted.

And please let us know if you are allergic to hypo allergenic dogs!

To book your place please email or call 01225 823409

Should you have any requirements to enable your access to this event, please let us know.

Venue: Bath – the cultural campus (meeting place to be announced)
Date: Thursday 31 January 2019
Time: 1pm – 6pm
Cost: £70 includes light refreshments and wine (£50 concession for students and group bookings).

View the flyer here



Dedication to Sue East (1959-2018) Head teacher, St Andrew’s Primary School

Sue was an extraordinary and inspirational person, a real heroine and trailblazing headteacher. She passionately believed that the arts have the power to be transformational in all of our lives.

Sue allowed teachers to develop their skills in creative and arts based learning, by allowing them to be courageous, take positive risks and push the boundaries of possibility. Sue’s vision allowed the transformation of both teachers and learners, enabling a truly research-full school and inspiring a new generation of teachers.

Sue believed in every child’s creative capacities, that School Without Walls would shine a light on their learning, as active citizens, working alongside creative role models as part of a team.

Sue showed how children’s eyes light up with learning when they are trusted and supported in their creative enquiries – their confidence, engagement, communication and reflective skills are all enhanced in this process.

Sue faced all challenges with courage and a passion for things being different. She always had a Plan B. Sue touched the lives of many, fighting for every child’s right to the arts, creativity and culture. The educational landscape is different because of Sue.


Forest of Imagination 2018

Forest of Imagination (FOI) is a four-day participatory, contemporary arts event and creative learning programme delivered by a collaborative team of local creative organisations in Bath. The event transforms a familiar public place into an inclusive space for contemporary creativity and intuitive play, offering an immersive experience for participants through interactive installations, artworks and workshops. Forest of Imagination is free and open to all.

Please visit the FOI website for more details

To make a donation towards the event, please visit our Local Giving page.

We hope to see you in the Forest…

People Fall In Love

‘We are united in making education sustainable by placing creativity at its heart, we want children and young people to fall in love with learning, but there are some things we need to re-think.’

The poem and film People Fall in Love is a clarion call for the world to reconsider an approach to learning – not one that commoditises education and stifles creativity to everybody’s cost – please share this powerful and beautifully shot film with your contacts and networks if you believe that we need to #ReThinkEducation via a #CreativeRevolution.

The film was commissioned by Penny Hay, Director and Co-Founder of 5x5x5=creativity, School Without Walls and Forest of Imagination, as a gift for Sir Ken Robinson.

People Fall in Love has been created in response to the current education system, which does not prioritise human flourishment and is failing our children. Toby celebrates the views of 5x5x5=creativity’s Patron Sir Ken Robinson, whose TED Talk, ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ is the most watched TED Talk of all time.

People Fall in Love is a creative manifesto, Toby Thompson makes a personal and universal comment on the state of education, drawing on the wisdom of Sir Ken Robinson, the media and his own experience in the British education system.

Toby, is a creative champion for young people. In People Fall in Love he explores and expresses these ideas in his chosen art form, spoken word. Toby reflects the ethos of 5x5x5=creativity that supports every young persons’ creative potential – we offer it to you, the best way we can, through the unique creativity of a young person.

Sir Ken Robinson: “Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. Too often it is demeaned and diminished by dominant systems of education. Given the many global challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardise education, but to personalise it: to create environments where young people want to learn and where they can discover and develop their own talents and passions.”

Penny Hay: “The danger of the current education system places too much emphasis on: performance, accountability and league tables and not enough emphasis on the meaning of education, which is to bring out everyone’s potential to flourish in their own unique way.

“The system is outdated, a utilitarian structure based on a factory model that churns children out in ways that deny them their basic human rights. Rather than acknowledge that children and young people develop and learn differently – the system puts them into boxes and is a transmission model rather than an invitation to learn – they will never fall in love with learning this way.”

Directed by Buster Grey-Jung and Stroma Cairns and funded by Arts Council England this compelling and captivating film speaks to our hearts as well as our minds.

Sir Ken Robinson, Penny Hay and Toby Thompson invite you to be part of the #CreativeRevolution a virtual call to arms to #ReThinkEducation.

Please watch, enjoy and, most importantly, if you recognise how vital this message is to future generations and our wider society – please share widely.

Directed by Buster Grey-Jung & Stroma Cairns
Written & Performed by Toby Thompson
Edited by Stroma Cairns

Sound by Josh Grey-Jung

My Twerton

A film by Michael Jenkins from 8th Sense Media in collaboration with children and teachers from Twerton Infants and St Michaels Junior School in Bath.

The children wanted to use the film as a way of telling others about ‘My Twerton’ sharing their own perspectives and experiences of the place they call home.



The film was first screened at Bath City Football Club and followed by Q&A with Ken Loach (film director) on Monday 13 November 2017. A huge thank you to the following partners: