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Hull primary school initiative Creative Briefs shows potential for national roll out

9 May 2024

A team behind an arts-centred learning programme being piloted in three Hull primary schools says it has the potential to be rolled out across the city and the UK.

Stockwell Academy 2

The two-year initiative was launched after Hull-based community interest company Creative Briefs secured funding worth £100,000 from one of the country’s largest independent grant-making foundations established by the late publisher and philanthropist Paul Hamlyn.

Under the scheme, a three-strong team is working with Year 5 pupils at Stockwell Academy, Pearson Primary and Mersey Primary Academy using creative design in the teaching of key curriculum topics for the first time.

Using specific methods previously developed by Creative Briefs in extra-curricular activities for dyslexic learners, the new programme is also breaking fresh ground by involving a whole class at each school.

The aim is to reduce the attainment gap often found in dyslexic children who often struggle to engage in traditional academic subjects such as English and History but thrive in creative subjects such as Music, Art and Design and Drama.

Children in each class work towards an Arts Award qualification as part of the programme.

Company founder and director Jason Bowers only had his dyslexia diagnosed when he was an adult.

He said: “I set up Creative Briefs nine years ago to create exactly what I would have loved and benefitted from as a child.

“My life  could have been very different if I had not been given creative outlets to offset my frustrations as an undiagnosed dyslexic.”

He said being able to work with a whole class while engaging with dyslexic pupils at the same time on the same curriculum subjects is a huge step.

“Our goal is to provide a whole class approach that provides all children, particularly dyslexic children regardless of formal diagnosis, with an equal chance to succeed in their educational journey.

“We are coming to the end of the programme’s first year and we are already starting to see how arts-based learning can develop the motivation of dyslexic pupils to learn and engage more in traditional curriculum subjects.”

The programme has seen Hull-based exhibition designer Rebecca Shipham sharing her own digital 3D modelling skills with pupils in Maths and History lessons while movement coach Jon Beney has brought Geography and Science to life through dance.

At each school, pupils taking part will also be sharing their learning experiences with other students at full assemblies.

At the end of each year, the impact of the programme will be evaluated by the University of Hull to measure how much the art-based approach has improved the motivation of pupils to learn as well as their overall confidence.

Nick Fowler, a Year 5 teacher at Stockwell Academy in East Hull, said: “It has been brilliant to see at individual levels how confidence and happiness in learning improved, reinforced by the team’s repeated focus on encouraging the children to highlight and share their points of pride.

“While dyslexia is a focus of Creative Briefs’ work, it would be remiss to assume that only children with dyslexia benefit from this programme as the opportunity to represent and share ideas in a wide range of forms, chosen by the child, is beneficial regardless of neurodiversity.

“The enjoyment of all children has been clear to see and the skills they have gained are deeply beneficial.”

Creative Briefs also runs weekend sessions, and children aged 8-14 can sign up to online Arts Award sessions. More information on Creative Briefs’ Facebook page:

You can also read more about Paul Hamlyn Foundation on Twitter @phf_uk, on Instagram @PaulHamlynFoundation and on Facebook at Paul Hamlyn Foundation 

For more information contact Creative Briefs 01482 569616

Pearson Primary School 4 jpeg
Pearson Primary School 1
Mersey Primary School 1 with Guest Jon Beney