How we work with teachers

Teachers and school leaders are amongst the people best placed to influence young people's experience of art and culture as part of their learning.

Curious Minds works to engage, support and develop this key stakeholder group, offering:
  • Skills and career building - through the provision of cultural education focused training and development, such as SLiCE® and Leading the Arts in your School.
  • Opportunity growth - by supporting teachers to find, access and maximise national or local creative learning programmes, such as Artsmark and Arts Award.
  • Doorways to creative collaboration - through events, brokerage, advocacy and investment, Curious Minds creates the conditions in which teachers can connect, network and initiate partnerships with cultural sector counterparts and their peers. Activities such as our biennial North West Cultural Education Awards programme, work with Local Cultural Education Partnerships and development of open access resources for the sector, like The Culture Hub, exemplify this.
Short term outcomes
In the short term we seek to impact on knowledge, skills and understanding of how art and culture can be used in an educational setting. We build confidence, networks and advocacy skills.

Medium term outcomes
In the medium term our work gives teachers status and credibility at their school. Working with Curious Minds has improved teachers' career prospects and their capacity to deliver art and culture in their school. Our work also increases teacher’s ability to influence management.

Researching our impact on teachers

Our independent reviewer, Social Value Lab (SVL), interviewed and surveyed a selection of teachers that had engaged with one or more of Curious Minds' support offers. SVL found in particular that teachers taking part in Curious Minds’ programmes reported they:
  • Grew their skills and knowledge

  • Were seen as experts on cultural education

  • Grew their networks and partnerships

  • Were better able to use culture in an educational setting

  • Were more effective at delivering cultural education

  • Were given more responsibility for cultural education

  • Were more confident and able to speak up about arts and culture

  • Were more able to influence others on cultural education

  • Had become advocates for art and culture within their school – and beyond

What teachers told us

Examples of impact in practice

Case Study: Kate Pugh

My journey with Artsmark

St. Thomas the Martyr Primary School attained Artsmark Award at Gold level in May 2021. As Artsmark lead, teacher and Art Coordinator, Kate, worked with colleagues in the school to embed cultural education in the curriculum across their setting. Through this time, she received support and guidance from Curious Minds in the form of group development sessions and 1-2-1 email support.

When lockdown closed the school to most pupils in March 2020, the school decided to use their Artsmark programme as a vehicle to meet the emerging priority of pupil health and wellbeing, and adapted their programme for online delivery. Kate was later invited by Curious Minds to share her experience at a teacher event on Health & Wellbeing, to inspire other Artsmark settings with ideas they themselves could use.
"We are so pleased to have achieved the Gold award! Thank you for all your support on our journey!"

Case Study: Naomi Lord

Learning to Lead

Naomi Lord is Director of Creative Learning and Partnerships at The Bolton School. She enrolled on Curious Minds' Leading the Arts in your School modular CPD programme in the 2017-18 academic year, completing it at the same time as leading her school on it's Artsmark journey. Writing as a guest blogger for us in 2019, she reflected on the experience and what it meant to her, as a leader and advocate for cultural education. She describes the impact of the course on her personal practice as 'remarkable' and the outcomes for her school setting as 'significant'.

Read Naomi's blog here
"The course helped me to identify purpose and ambition in my work. It enabled me to articulate school and community based ambitions for arts and culture to my senior managers."

Curious Minds is a catalyst for cultural education

Changing policy and practice... a time.