Cultural Curriculum for Bristol

The purpose of the Cultural Curriculum for Bristol (CCfB) project is to explore and test ways in which schools can work with artists and arts organisations in ways that have a demonstrably positive impact on children’s learning and attainment.

In recent years, “academisation” and the drive towards EBacc and STEM subjects has led to a decline in cultural education in schools. We passionately believe that learning through the arts can have a positive impact on children. This CCfB project is an opportunity to explore and test collaborative ways of working that respond to what teachers actually need in this complex, changing, education environment; and to present an evidence-based assessment of the impact of learning through the arts on children’s learning and attainment – which is critical in making the case for cultural education.

The project is led by Bristol Plays Music, who are working with the E-ACT academy chain of primary schools and 4 arts partners (Bristol Plays Music, Theatre Bristol, Spike IslandBristol Old Vic), working with the University of the West of England’s Department of Education to design and evaluate the research. The project is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The 4 E-ACT primary schools are: Ilminster Avenue, Greenfield, Hareclive, and St Ursula’s academies.

Theatre Bristol has engaged a Dance Leader, Laura Street, to ensure that Dance practice is represented in the research.


Read our blogs about the project:

16th January 2019: Final Thoughts

Laura Street reflects on the Cultural Curriculum for Bristol pilot; the work undertaken with Early Years Teacher, Emily, and what the future holds for the project.

19th June 2018: Creativity within a structure

Laura talks about the challenges of balancing innovation with different agendas and predetermined project structures; and how strong collaboration is key if you want to change the world.

5th March 2018: Space and time, and what they bring us

Laura and her collaborator, Early Years Teacher Emily, decided to take some time and space outside of the school to work, and here Laura reflects on the impact of this change of scene.

30th January 2018: The environment, and its importance

Laura talks teacher training and the need to find a space to be creative inside and outside the teaching environment.

5th December 2017: Discovering the creativity that lies within, and giving it status

One of the key aims of the Cultural Curriculum pilot is to genuinely collaborate with teachers to co-design creative teaching tools that actually work within the demands of the school environment. In this blog, Laura talks about finding out about the teachers’ innate creativity and building from this.

26th September 2017: Being A Dance Artist and an Early Years teacher can work, right?

We asked dance artist Laura to write about her experience as she recently trained as an Early Years teacher. It’s an enlightening read, especially eye-opening for any artist who might be interested in teaching in or working with schools.

31st July 2017: First Steps

Tanuja Amarasuriya updates us on the first steps of the CCfB project pilot, finding ways to effectively embed art and creativity into the national curriculum for young learners.