Biddenham Upper School, Bedford

Date: Summer term 2010 – 2011

Events: Staff CPD sessions, transfer day programme, learning environment investigation and ‘Spectacular undertaking’

Match: In summer 2010 The Map were invited to design and deliver whole staff CPD sessions as part of the schools Creative Partnerships change school programme. Session one tackled the question “What is creativity and why bother?”, session two introduced creative consultation methods and the third supported staff to put together a programme of creative enquiry based learning. The transfer day programme supported staff and students to create a completely new creative approach to visiting year 8 children making an introductory visit to the school.

The Map were invited back in 2011 as conceptual mentors to the school and are supporting staff and students to carry out ‘Experiments in learning’ – an exploration of the enquiry “What’s the best environment for learning?” Working alongside set designer Clare Birks, The Map are mentoring staff at INSETs, and leading a residential off-site to prepare key staff to work with students on a ‘spectacular undertaking’: a process and event aiming to catalyse a shift in learning, aspiration and confidence in the school.

Outcomes: Staff have been very positive about exploring and learning interactively and collaboratively. They were struck by their collective ability and willingness to share perspectives, take risks, to break inhibitions and support each other. The transfer day was an example of the school taking a big risk and pulling it off; a new template has been established and staff confidence in their ability to operate creatively has increased. 2011’s work marks a sophisticated adoption of creative learning practice as ‘what we do’.

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