Creatives in Schools Programme: Evaluation report (Round 1) Nov-2020 Publications
The project successfully provided students with an environment to learn and grow while having fun creatively exploring new concepts and ideas. Together the students created a positive, supportive, family-like space where new friendships blossomed. Students' self-confidence grew as they learnt to express their thoughts and feelings through dance.
Author(s): Judy Oakden, Pragmatica Limited and Kellie Spee, Kellie Spee Consulting Limited.
Date Published: September 2021
The evaluation found that Creatives in Schools makes a worthwhile and valuable contribution to sharing knowledge and offering creative practices in schools. It has made an early difference to the students and ākonga, teachers and kaiako, creative practitioners, parents and whānau involved.
Based on available evidence, the evaluation found the Creatives in Schools funds distribution and use occurred as intended. Programme implementation worked well, and many projects show early outcomes for participants. Some of the early outcomes of Creatives in Schools are:
- Strengthens student mental well-being through building key learning competencies and helping students build confidence and connect better with others
- Increases creative experiences in schools
- Helps build relationships between creative practitioners and schools
- Encourages teachers to design and plan lessons that include creative approaches
- Supports creative practitioners to develop career portfolios
- Gives parents and whānau another way to connect with schools.
The evaluation identified both enablers and barriers to Creatives in Schools that may guide further programme development. Creatives in Schools generally attracts applications from many types of schools across most regions. A robust project management process supports project delivery and provides the cross-agency working group with the necessary accountability data and learnings. The scope of 100 contact hours is big enough to support significant projects and share learnings within schools and sometimes with a wider group of schools. The programme values creative practitioners’ time and offers fair payment for services and also encourages parent, whānau and community involvement.
The evaluation identified some barriers. Note some of these may have already been addressed in the early implementation of Round 2. In Round 1 few kura applied. Some schools wanted smaller project contact hours options. Others thought the detailed project management processes signalled low trust. The total time creatives needed to earmark for each project was at times unclear. Parent, whānau and community involvement were possibly not as strong as intended in the programme design.
Future opportunities for Creatives in Schools include offering more than one funding option. To extend the programme’s reach, provide support to schools with limited capacity to make compliant applications to access creative expertise. Consider whether creatives may need support to manage the planning and reporting aspects of the projects without spending many additional hours. Encourage more learning within and between schools and share more widely the successes of the programme.
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