Restorative Creativity Conference helps teachers to develop confidence in delivering creative art sessions

Date Created: 15th Sep 2021

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On 8th July 2021, Head of Creative Arts at St. Joseph’s Specialist Trust, Kathryn Hitchings and Artist in Residence James Whittle ran an online conference on Restorative Creativity. With a focus on SEN and inclusion, the day was for teachers and educators to develop confidence and learn practical skills in delivering creative arts sessions.

In talks by a range of artists, the conference asked: what is restorative about creativity? How can we apply it to our teaching, to how we work with students, and to our lives?

The day started with an inspirational session with actor, director and singer Sarah Louise Davies. Sarah shared thoughts, poems and a movement task with us all focusing on the importance of play, of taking time and noticing, of seeking the joy and ease in movement.

Next, visual artist Gary Goodman led a practical workshop in making cardboard chickens, helping attendees feel confident leading tactile arts activities with tricks and know-how.

Jane Dickson from Artswork led us into lunch with a summary of the Artsmark Awards, through which St Joseph’s achieved Gold last year. Over lunch, we shared videos of work featuring our artist speakers. You can watch the videos on the YouTube playlist by clicking here.

After lunch, Kath shared her Top 5 art materials with customary colourful flair. James’s session on music had attendees finding objects in their offices that made interesting sounds, listening closely to their environments, and drawing lines on paper without looking to create instant graphic scores for making music.

St Joseph’s Head of Therapies Karen May shared insights into how therapy and education work together, highlighting the therapeutic nature of all creative arts activities, before we closed with a Q&A. ICT Technician Aly Khatib provided impeccable support ensuring the 5-hour Zoom event went without a hitch.

Attendees have since fed back that they gained ‘confidence’ and ‘a wealth of knowledge’ from ‘loads of great easy art and music activities and tips on how to deliver them’.

“Thank you so much for a friendly, lively, inspiring, colourful and accessible day.”

“some great ideas to try with my students”

“I loved that it was so practical and that the presenters were experts but approachable and enthusiastic. It was the most engaging zoom training I’ve been on as you kept it varied and practical.”

Discover more about the artists on their websites:


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