Value of the Month ‘Creativity’

“Electricity is not only present in a magnificent thunderstorm and dazzling lightning, but also in a lamp; so also, creativity exists not only where it creates great historical works, but also everywhere human imagination combines, changes, and creates anything new.” Lev Vygotsky, 1930/1967

When we talk about the Cambridge Learner Attributes, as a Cambridge school, we are fully cognisant of the importance of creativity in innovation. Creativity is essential for all academic disciplines and educational endeavours – it is not just a component of the arts. The creative process plays a critical role in making sense of learning opportunities, and we must take care to nurture creativity and innovation.

For Bloom, creativity is even a more important higher order thinking skill, than analysis and evaluative thinking, and this may come as a surprise. Even the processes used by champions of World Memory competitions have been found to have utilized creativity in the mind’s capacity to remember patterns as subservient to its creative ability to select and reject isolated chunks of patterns in effective and meaningful ways.

We are all born with a creative instinct and good schools harness that early creativity and imaginative play; they nurture it throughout their formative years and strive to encourage flexible thinking throughout adolescence. That is why we need our students to ‘try out’

possibilities, and to see ‘failure’ to be a natural and healthy part of the creative process. If we stifle creativity, children will not take risks with their learning, and be too afraid to move beyond modest success. That is why your role as parents is crucial: please don’t reprimand your child for perceived imperfections, or criticize the teacher for not improving grades quickly enough. We can only encourage creativity or we can stifle it. If we stifle it, we stifle future success!

The creative process needs time, collaboration and encouragement. Performance orientation is important for short-term results, but a learner orientation fosters a skill for life; encouraged creativity will allow our children to think in ways we never could.

Learn the basics to walk and run, but allow the time and space to let them fly!

Michael Leach, Headteacher
Moscow Campus