NASUWT: The Teaching Union Bringing Creativity Back Into The Curriculum

League of Culture welcomes guest writer Emma Gullon to tell us about the NASUWT Creative Curriculum campaign.

School life was always a struggle for me, especially my years in secondary school. Being a shy child who never said boo to a goose made me an easy target for bullying, meaning I didn’t have many friends.  This ultimately meant I had a distinct lack of self-confidence.

Dan McCarthy Image: Keith Old.

However, that all changed when I started to take certain subjects seriously, and these were all related to the performing arts!

From taking Drama, English Language and Literature, and BTEC Media at A Level, I found that it was the perfect opportunity to show what I was capable of. My personality was finally revealed to the world, as were my strong abilities to act and write. I went on to graduate with a high 2:1 in Theatre (BA Hons) and I am still performing in plays and writing as a career plan.

But it saddens me to say that times have changed, and the education system seems to be disregarding the impact arts subjects have on younger generations dismissing them as “Mickey Mouse”subjects.Then children are made to churn out high grades in more traditional subjects and become lawyers, doctors, accountants etc. It seems we have forgotten how to teach the other important life skills – creativity, confidence and how to generate fresh ideas. These are vital in any place of work, not just performing onstage or becoming the next Picasso.

That’s where NASUWT the Teaching union has stepped in. They ensure that every stressed out voice is heard and shared. The Doncaster NASUWT in particular are really keen on getting the arts back into the curriculum, meaning our children once again have the chance to express themselves as well as changes their feelings towards school overall.

NASUWT President Dan McCarthy had this to say on the proposed ‘Creative Curriculum’.

Teaching was the “foundation for civilised society” but the curriculum is too narrow and the focus of the curriculum could be in the wrong place.
We need an education system and a curriculum that gives teachers and children a voice.

Dan McCarthy

We need Art, Music, Drama, CDT. We need an English curriculum that is about creativity and expression, not about memory and whether ‘after’ is a preposition or a coordinating conjunction.

We need subject criteria which encourage speaking and listening and encourage the reading of novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, which are an essential part of an education that develops children as rounded individuals.”

It’s great to see that people like the NASUWT are taking a big step to campaign and raise public awareness of the value of performing arts subjects in our schools. The benefit they have for kids who have similar problems to those that I had at that age is just phenomenal, and it would be a great shame to see them disappear for good.

This post was originally published on Emma Gullon’s personal blog.