A programme credited with transforming Wales’ creative education offering has been granted two further years of funding, to reach more children and help schools prepare for a new national curriculum that will embed the arts into teaching.
Over the past five years, more than 119,000 pupils from 1,200 schools have engaged with Creative Learning Through the Arts, which is a partnership between the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh government.
As part of the scheme, schools have worked with arts professionals to explore more creative approaches to teaching and developing teachers’ skills, while another strand enabled school visits to the theatre, art galleries and other venues.
New funding totalling £3 million has now been confirmed to extend the programme for two more years, enabling it to reach more schools in Wales and provide teachers and artists with ongoing training in creative education.
The Arts Council of Wales said it had transformed teaching methods in Wales since it was implemented in 2015 by placing arts and creativity at the heart of education.
Its chair, Phil George, added: “The Arts Council of Wales is delighted that the second phase of this groundbreaking programme will continue to see the arts sector support schools as they develop creative approaches to teaching and learning.
It follows last month’s publication of the new curriculum for Wales, which includes expressive arts as one of six key areas of learning and experience.
The curriculum will be introduced in 2022 and emphasises the importance of new ways of teaching, including using arts and creativity across a variety of subjects.
Launching the second phase of Creative Learning Through the Arts, Wales’ education minister Kirsty Williams said: “Access to [the scheme] not only helps students develop their artistic skills and creative thinking, it can improve other disciplines such as languages or applying their learning to science and technology-based subjects. Applying skills across different subject areas like this is a key aspect of the new Curriculum for Wales.
“I look forward to seeing even more pupils and schools benefit from creative learning over the next couple of years.”