Creativity in Primary Education


Anthony Wilson

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    In memory of Anna Craft 1961–2014


    Anthony Wilson is subject leader for PGCE Primary English and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter. His research is in the field of creative writing and creative literacy pedagogies in education. He is co-convener of the ESRC Seminar Series Poetry Matters and was lead researcher for Bath Festivals' The Write Team project, on the impact of creative writers in schools. He is co-editor of Making Poetry Happen (Bloomsbury, 2015), Making Poetry Matter (Bloomsbury, 2013), and The Poetry Book for Primary Schools (1998). He is author of Riddance (Worple Press, 2012) and a prose memoir Love for Now (Impress Books). He blogs at

    Rob Bowker is subject leader from Primary PGCE Science at the University of Exeter. His research interests are children's learning in informal environments such as museums, botanical gardens and environmental centres. He continues to work in partnership with the Eden Project, Cornwall.

    Mary Briggs is a Principal Lecturer and Programme Lead for ITE Early years and Primary in the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University. She is a teacher and researcher who has worked across the early years and primary age range in special and mainstream schools. Mary has written a number of books focusing on mathematics education, assessment and leadership.

    Simon Catling is Emeritus Professor of Primary Education at Oxford Brookes University. Before moving into teacher education he taught in London primary schools. He is a Past-President of the Geographical Association. His research and professional interests are in primary children's geographical learning, teachers' geographical understanding and their teaching practices. He has published extensively for children, teachers and teacher educators, including Teaching Primary Geography for Australian Schools (with Tessa Willy and John Butler, HawkerBrownlow, 2013).

    Liz Chamberlain is a Senior Lecturer for Primary English, teaching both undergraduates and postgraduate education students. Her main area of expertise is in working with and mentoring teaching students, with a focus on children's reading and writing. She was a primary teacher for over 20 years and regularly spends time in school, hosting Writers' Workshop sessions. Liz's research interests are linked to the field of English and, in particular, her doctorate focuses on children's home writing practices. For four years she was the Strategic Consultant for the ‘Everybody Writes’ national writing project and continues to use this work to reflect on effective literacy practices.

    Sue Chedzoy is an Honorary University Fellow at the University of Exeter. During her academic career she was responsible for the initial training of Early Years, Primary, Middle School and Secondary School trainee teachers, as well as being Programme Director of Primary / Key Stage 2/3 and the Master's Programme in Teaching and Learning. Sue is a recipient of the Ling Award by the Physical Education Association of the United Kingdom in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Physical Education profession. She currently works as a Consultant/Evaluator for the Cognitive Education Development Unit within the Centre for Teaching Thinking and Dialogue.

    Hilary Claire taught history and citizenship in ITE at London Metropolitan University. She published extensively in both primary history and citizenship education and was the national co-ordinator of the Primary Educators Network for the Advancement of Citizenship (PENAC).

    Hilary Cooper is Professor of History and Pedagogy at the University of Cumbria. Previously she taught at Goldsmiths' College, London University, and in a variety of London primary schools. Her doctoral research on ‘Young Children's Thinking in History’ was undertaken as a class teacher. She has published widely.

    Anna Craft was Professor of Education at Exeter University and The Open University where she co-ordinated research groups in the twin areas of creativity in education and learning futures. She was Principal Investigator at the Open University and Exeter University respectively for two new European projects funded by the European Commission, exploring how Possibility Thinking can fuel quiet revolutions. Anna wrote and edited over twenty books, including Creativity and Education Futures (2011, Trentham Books), Reflective Practice in the Early Years (two editions, with Alice Paige-Smith, 2008 and 2011, Open University Press), Close Encounters (with Kerry Chappell, Veronica Jobbins, Linda Rolfe, Trentham 2011), Creativity in schools (2005, Routledge), Creativity in the Early Years (2002, Continuum) and Creativity across the Primary Curriculum (2000, Routledge). Anna was founding Co-Editor of the journal, Thinking Skills and Creativity and founding Co-Convenor of British Educational Research Association Special Interest Group, Creativity in Education.

    Teresa Cremin is a Professor of Education (Literacy) at The Open University. She is a joint coordinator of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Special Interest Group on Creativity, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the English Association, a Trustee of UKLA and the Society for Educational Studies, and a Board Member of Booktrust and The Poetry Archive. Teresa's research, her teaching and consultancy focuses mainly on teachers' literate identities and practices, the pedagogies of reading and writing for pleasure and creativity in teaching and learning from the early years through to Higher Education. Additionally, working with teachers as co-participant researchers she has explored the everyday reading practices of young people in the 21st century. Most recently her projects have involved exploring contemporary enactments of Vivian Gussin Paley's work with young children scribing and enacting their own narratives, and the literary discussions of extracurricular reading groups who were shadowing the Carnegie, Kate Greenaway Awards. Teresa has written and edited over 25 books and numerous papers and professional texts, most recently publishing Building Engaged Communities of Readers: Reading for Pleasure, and Researching literacy Lives: Building Home school communities and Teaching English Creatively (2nd edition) (all Routledge).

    Dan Davies is Professor of Science and Technology Education and Head of Research in the School of Education at Bath Spa University. After teaching in London primary schools he worked as an education officer for the Design Council and as Lecturer in Primary Science Education at Goldsmiths' University of London before moving to Bath Spa University in 1998. He has written extensively on creativity in both science and design & technology education.

    Tony Eaude was the headteacher of a multi-cultural first school in Oxford. He works as an independent research consultant and is a Research Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. He is the author of Children's Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development- Primary and Early Years, Thinking Through Pedagogy for Primary and Early Years and How do expert primary classteachers really work? More details of his work can be seen on

    Emese Hall is Subject Leader for PGCE Primary Art at the University of Exeter. She is a member of DfE Expert Advisory Group for Art and Design Education, a member of NSEAD Publications Board, and South West Regional Network Co-ordinator for the Cambridge Primary Review Trust. Her research interests encompass drawing, reflective practice and creativity.

    Sarah Hennessy is a Senior Lecturer in Music Education at the University of Exeter, where she teaches both specialist and generalist primary music courses. She also undertakes research into music teacher education and children's musical creativity. She is author of Music 7–11: Developing Primary Teaching Skills (Routledge, 1995) and Coordinating Music Across the Primary School (RoutledgeFarmer, 1998). She is editor of Music Education Research, director of the International Conference for Research in Music Education (RIME) and Chair of the Orff Society.

    Alan Howe is Head of the Department of Education Studies in the School of Education at Bath Spa University. He taught in primary schools in Bath and Bristol before moving into higher education, and has written extensively on creativity in both science and design & technology education, including Design and Technology for the Future: Creativity Culture and Citizenship (with Dan Davies and Ron Ritchie, 2001).

    Jane Johnston is a recently retired Reader in Education, who has contributed to the development of early years and primary science education both nationally and internationally. She has many publications in the field, is the editor of the Journal of Emergent Science, helped to set up the Early Years research group for the European Science Education Research Association, and was one of the first five science teachers to achieve Chartered Science Teacher (CSci Teach).

    Paul Key is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Winchester, specialising in art and design education, and is currently the joint Programme Leader for the Primary PGCE programme. His research interests have included the exploration of landscapes and artistry as ‘images’ through which to investigate teachers and teaching, and he co-authored, with Jayne Stillman, Teaching Primary Art and Design (Learning Matters, 2009).

    Avril Loveless is a Professor of Education at the University of Brighton. Her professional life of being a teacher, teacher educator and researcher spans over 30 years. Her current research interests are in the narratives of the learning lives of creative educators, and digital ‘tools of the trade’ for educators in times of reform. The key research themes in her work are creativity and learning; pedagogy and professional knowledge; and digital tools and pedagogy.

    Alison Peacock is Headteacher of The Wroxham Teaching School, one of the first to be included in the DfE's Teaching School initiative. She was a member of the Cambridge Primary Review team and was instrumental in establishing a national network to disseminate the outcomes of the final report and to empower teachers towards excellence. Additionally, she was a founding member of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust from which she resigned as a Director in April 2013, although she remains as a consultant advisor. In addition to school leadership she provides advice and consultancy to a range of educational organisations, including Cambridge Assessment Colloquium, Headteacher groups, Hertfordshire Development Trust, Local Authorities and Teach First. Alison is co-author of Creating Learning without Limits, Member of the Royal Society Vision Committee, Member of the Commission for The Royal College of Teaching, Trustee of The Teacher Development Trust and a National Leader of Education. In the 2014 New Year's Honours list, Alison was awarded the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to education.

    Dr Elizabeth Wood is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield. She specialises in early childhood and primary education, and has conducted research into teachers' professional knowledge and beliefs; progression and continuity; play and pedagogy; children's choices during free play; critical perspectives on early childhood policy and practice.

    Dr Richard Woolley is Head of Centre for Education and Inclusion and Associate Head (Research) in the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester, UK. His interests include personal, social and health education, religious education, children's well-being, and how teachers are prepared to explore sensitive and controversial issues with children.


    Teresa Cremin would like to acknowledge the work of her colleagues Jonathon Barnes and Stephen Scoffham in the Kent Creative Partnerships funded research upon which Chapter 3 draws.

    Richard Woolley wishes to thank final year Education Studies students at the University of Worcester for their support and insights during the preparation of this chapter.

    Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. The publisher and author will gladly receive any information enabling them to rectify any error or omission in subsequent editions.

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