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Creative Partnerships Programme (CPP) is a creative learning programme that aims to develop young people’s creativity and critical thinking as well as to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning in school. CPP trains artists to work with teachers and their students in their classrooms to bring about sustainable changes in the way teachers teach.

Within the Creative Partnership Programme, professional artists/art students (including painters, architects, graphic/industrial/textile designers, musicians etc.) assist teachers to create learning environments in which students are fully engaged and become „high functioning”.

„The whole child is engaged in the learning experience, not only aspects of their mental processes, but their bodies, their emotions and their social skills. It is this sense of being ‘high functioning’ which leads to feelings of wellbeing within the child, and this in turn builds the resilience and confidence which underpins successful learning.” Reference: CCE (2015) A Creative Partnerships Pilot Maths Programme in Pecs, Qualitative evaluation report, p. 11.

The programme is always adapted to the local needs. The collaboration between teachers and artists focuses on tackling local difficulties highlighted by the schools themselves (e.g. reducing the risk of disengagement, development of cooperative skills, managing disruptive behaviour). The impact of the programme has been confirmed by international research done by Cambridge University and OECD.

“In one school, children were given big sheets of paper and asked to draw outlines of parts of their bodies which they then measured and used for other calculations. One girl, who generally remains detached from maths learning, became very absorbed in this task, experimenting with different ways of completing this task in a remarkably inventive way. This allowed her to explore the idea with her curiosity and imagination combined…. All the teachers reported that designing more physically active maths lessons had improved concentration and learning.” Reference: Collard et. al (2015) Creating creative learning environments by Creative Partnerships Programme - Evaluation of the Creative Partnerships Pilot Mathematics Programme in Pécs, p. 7.

Since 2002 – when CPP was introduced in the UK- 14 countries have adopted the programme, including Hungary. In 2013, the first Hungarian pilot was started by T-Tudok in collaboration with Creativity, Culture and Education (UK), the Faculty of Music and Visual Arts of the University of Pécs and 7 schools in Pécs (South-Hungary). After 3 years, the programme became sustainable and has been continuously running ever since. An important sustainability milestone was reached when the programme became integrated into the curricular offer of the Art University. Art students could participate in the programme as unpaid interns for school credit.

In 2020, a new pilot programme was started by T-Tudok in the suburban area of Budapest. Because of low rent prices in this area of Budapest (called Újpest), the number of highly disadvantaged children - who often come from Eastern Hungary- has recently increased in a music primary school. The school was struggling to fully accommodate the needs of these students, as well as to bridge the gap between them and middle-class students so the headmaster welcomed collaboration with the CPP team. The introduction of CPP’s “highly functioning classroom” methodology aims to increase the quality of teaching in the school and help disadvantaged, lower-achieving children to be engaged, learn efficiently and to increase their academic performance.

The CPP pilot in the music primary school aims to last three years. The work completed in the first semester was funded from the school’s own resources. The Foundation provided co-funding for the second semester and will assist the team in their planning to secure additional funding for the subsequent years, along with establishing a partnership with an Art University in Budapest.

Banner photo credit: PeterF on Unsplash