Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School 2012

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Case study: ‘How can small changes in our environment provoke a cycle of engagement and interaction?’

Working with Creative Partnerships artists until 2011, staff at Woolenwick Infants  and Nursery School have pioneered approaches that have led to documented gains in pupil attitudes to learning and improved attainment in core subjects. In the summer term 2012, the school has embarked on a whole school creative learning adventure facilitated by HertsCreation artist Alex McIntyre. The process has been designed to align with models of teacher enquiry and whole school change. Each week staff set themselves experiments and make small changes within the school environment to provoke responses from pupils.

Key aims

  •  Staff lead development and reflection on creativity, process, skills and risk taking
  • To explore the concept of the environment as teacher considering space and our relationship to space
  • •To generate conversation across year groups between staff, teaching assistants and school leaders


•Starting with a whole staff Inset, staff were supported in identifying areas of difficulty to address through creative experimentation

Each week all teachers worked with the artist on activities linked to their curriculum topic

By using artist input as a stimulus, staff teams continued to build on skills and ideas both in class-time with children and artist-led planning and reflection


•Staff maintained personal learning journals and identified changes they wanted to make within their practice supported by documentary and anecdotal evidence

•Staff maintained child learning journals and also took an interest in monitoring specific children for changes in engagement, attainment or behaviour.


•A whole school exhibition will present findings from the learning journey, discoveries along the way and key artworks

Parents will be invited during the course of the week to visit the exhibition and talk to staff and children

•Parents will be encouraged to engage with their own creativity in a collaborative drawing conversation

The school will share its findings with a local network of schools in September 2012.