Renfrewshire Council

Castlehead HS pupil Gillian Bell with Council Leader Iain Nicolson and Glasgow School of Art Director Professor Tom Inns

Scotland's first School of Creative Education to be established in Paisley

Scotland's first high school to use creative teaching methods across the general curriculum to improve pupil prospects is to be established in Paisley through a unique partnership between The Glasgow School of Art (the GSA) and Renfrewshire Council.

The exciting collaboration between the world-leading GSA and the town's Castlehead High School aims to apply the learning and teaching models of creative education across all subjects, raising attainment and improving pupil prospects and ambitions.

By applying a studio-based, practice-led teaching model, pupils will be encouraged to develop confidence, team-work, problem solving and critical thinking across all subjects. 

The initiative to support the wider curriculum places the GSA and Renfrewshire at the forefront of creative educational development in the UK.

Following discussions over recent months, the GSA and Renfrewshire Council has now signed a memorandum of understanding to further develop the partnership's ambitious aims.

The collaboration also includes plans for the GSA to explore the development of educational degree programmes, linking into the creative curriculum in place at Castlehead.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey," says Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art. "The GSA is looking forward to working in partnership with staff at Castlehead School to apply our studio-based teaching and learning techniques across a broad range of disciplines to help increase attainment and create confident, innovative pupils with the skills to thrive both in the world of work and in broader society.

"The value of learning through creativity cannot be underestimated," adds Professor Inns. "It is important that the GSA, as Scotland's national higher education institution for the visual creative disciplines, works collaboratively with partners in local government and schools to empower our young people through creativity and culture to improve both their opportunities and quality of life now and in the future."

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, said: "We want all children and young people in Renfrewshire to have the opportunity to achieve their ambitions, regardless of their background.

"Creative learning expands the mind and builds confidence, and I'm delighted that the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art has chosen Paisley and Renfrewshire to develop this special centre of excellence.

"Regardless of what a pupil wants to do when they leave school, this unique collaboration will develop a love of learning and assist them to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills which can be applied across all educational subjects."

Paisley is in the final five places shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2021, its bid centred on the cultural-led regeneration of the town.

Paisley 2021 bid Director Jean Cameron said: "I am thrilled at news of this wonderful collaboration with the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art. Culture changes people's lives, opening up opportunities and developing knowledge and skills which stand us all in good stead to achieve our ambitions in life.

"Paisley is rightly proud of the incredible creative talents and techniques it has given the world, not least weaving the Paisley pattern into so many people's lives and I am excited at the potential of this new partnership, not just for Paisley pupils, but as a model we can all learn from, which could be adopted in schools across the UK."

Photo shows Castlehead HS pupil Gillian Bell, 14, from Paisley with Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art.

Published on 4 November 2017