Creativity Collaboratives Pilot Network for the West Midlands and East Anglia – Teaching for Creativity

The Elliot Foundation network, led by Billesley Primary School and working in partnership with Stan’s Cafe and Open Theatre, are thrilled to have been successfully appointed by Arts Council England, as a lead school for the Creativity Collaboratives pilot for the West Midlands and East Anglia. 

Our cultural and heritage partners are Walsall Art Gallery, the Black Country Living Museum and the Walsall Leather Museum. Our researchers are Professor Martin Fautley, Dr Victoria Kinsella and Emma Nenadic from Birmingham City University. 

We are delighted to have been chosen to take part in this pilot scheme. In October 2021, Arts Council England announced funding of £2,780,000 to build a network of schools that will test a range of innovative approaches to teaching for creativity. The funding has been generously supported by Freelands Foundation and has been granted to eight lead schools, who will each work with a network of at least a further eight schools. 

The networks will trial various methods of teaching that help children and young people to develop their creative capabilities and evaluate their effectiveness. The pilot will run until July 2024, testing out teaching approaches and curriculum development which can then be applied more widely throughout the education system. 

The launch of the network responds to one of the recommendations of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, which sought to investigate the role of creativity in the education system, and find ways to make creativity a bigger part of young people’s lives in education and beyond. We will work closely with Durham University who are leading the overall evaluation of the project. 

Creativity Exchange is a collaborative project in partnership with Arts Council England and Durham University.


New Nurture Suite at Nene and Ramnoth School

Nene and Ramnoth School in East Anglia have launched its new Nurture Provision suite ‘The Glade’. This special space will be a site to help children manage their behaviour and emotions so they can learn effectively.

The event was attended by the Wisbech mayor Councillor Andrew Lynn, members of the Elliot Foundation Academies Trust, and a wide range of local educators. Also in attendance were Victoria Norris from NurtureUK who has played a pivotal role in helping set up the provision and Arti Sharma, the CEO of NurtureUK via video link.

James Ayton, executive principal said:

"The Nurture provision plays a vital role in our school. It is designed as a specialist provision to support and help our children to understand and manage their emotions and behaviour effectively so that their educational needs can be met ensuring future success is being built on firm foundations.

"We have been extremely grateful for the support of both the NurtureUK team in helping us develop our approaches, and the Elliot Foundation in investing in us and supporting our vision to develop the school site."

We are so proud of this wonderful initiative and delighted for our children and staff at Nene and Ramnoth who will be able to make use of this special space!


The Education Recovery Plan 2021

The Telegraph has published an article in response to the letter signed by more than 100 Confederation of School Trusts members regarding the Education Recovery Plan. The piece of analysis warns that students have fallen behind and mental health problems have soared as a result of the pandemic. Schools now demand £6 billion worth of catch-up funding to help pupils held back by Covid. The letter calls for Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, to set aside £6 billion to help children from poorer backgrounds catch up on missed teaching during the pandemic. 

Leora Cruddas, (Chief Executive Officer, Confederation of School Trusts) stated, “The pandemic has caused a level of disruption to English schools and colleges unparalleled since the introduction of mass education. We are proud to have worked with other national organisations to put forward a comprehensive, costed education recovery plan which we believe must be funded through the spending review 2021. Investment at this point is critical to this generation of children and to our country's future."

The letter to The Telegraph has been organised by the Confederation of School Trusts. Signatories include Sir Hamid Patel, the chief executive of Star Academies – which runs 35 schools – Nick Hudson, the chief executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, which has 40 and Hugh Greenway, CEO of the The Elliot Foundation, which has 29 schools.

Please read the full article here.

Please see the letter below.

The Education Recovery Plan 2021


Local MP Jack Dromey opens the new EYFS site at Kings Rise Academy

On Saturday 2nd October, Kings Rise Academy invited local MP Jack Dromey to unveil their brand new EYFS site at their school Open Day. He spent some time to speaking to the School Council who took him on a tour of the school. Following this, they all sat down to discuss the prominent issues which our children care about, ranging from racism to the importance of art and music. The day was a huge success, as families joined the school to take a step into the community at Kings Rise Academy. Children were able to enjoy some colouring in, dress-up and the brand new play ground whilst parents could gain an insight into life at Kings Rise Academy. 

Jack reflected on his visit to Kings Rise Academy,:

"What shone through from the visit is the dedication, commitment and passion of all the staff. They truly have the children's best interests at heart and do everything they can to provide them the best possible start in life. They can be very proud of what they are doing."


Life Changing Libraries at Griffin Primary School

This morning, The Duchess of Cornwall joined Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell MBE at Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth, South London to formally open their newly built, bespoke ‘Life-changing Library’. 

Griffin Primary School is one of six pilot primary schools selected to take part in Cressida Cowell’s flagship project as Waterstones Children’s Laureate – ‘Life-changing Libraries’ – which is designed to showcase the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life.

On arrival, Her Royal Highness – who has been Patron of BookTrust since 2011 – was introduced to Cressida Cowell MBE, Waterstones Childrens’ Laureate 2019 – 2022; Karen Bastick-Styles, Executive Head Teacher of Griffin Primary School; Hugh Greenway, Trust CEO of Griffin Primary School; and Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity and custodians of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate role.

Together with Cressida Cowell and two pupils from Griffin Primary School, Her Royal Highness cut the ribbon to officially open the state-of-the-art library. Inside the beautiful new space, The Duchess read The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr to a class of Year 2 pupils, and then took part in a ‘draw-along’ session led by Cressida Cowell, the internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series.

To mark the occasion, the pupils at Griffin Primary performed a specially written song about books and reading in their ‘Forest in the City’ outdoor space, where Her Royal Highness presented three of her favourite children’s books as gifts to the school: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy; Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome; and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Please read the full article here.


Greenside Primary walk with 'Little Amal' at Glastonbury

Children at Greenside Primary School spent the day at Glastonbury in support of a very special cause for 'Little Amal'. They walked Little Amal through the Shangri-La field at the music festival, in a powerful display of child unity.

The Walk sees ‘Little Amal’, a 3.5 metre-tall puppet of a young refugee girl, created by the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company. Representing all displaced children, many separated from their families, Little Amal will travel over 8,000km embodying the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”.

At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an extraordinary artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story, who are more vulnerable than ever during the global pandemic.

Please follow this link to read this article in The Guardian which outlines Greenside's adventures with 'Little Amal'.


Annual Report to Parent and Carers 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

This year has been tough for everyone, but through these times our school and the Elliot Foundation have pulled together to make learning accessible for all.

The education we expect means that we will be confident and we will learn about all subjects, not just Maths and English. We will be creative writers and good mathematicians, great scientists, amazing artists and history lovers. We will love what we do and we know that we can make a difference to the world.

The main reason that we are all striving in our learning is because we know that the Elliot Foundation cares about what we do. We are proud to be part of an organisation that puts children’s well-being before anything else. 

We are learning to be positive members of a wider society by being taught that bullying is mean and not right to do, that it doesn’t matter if we are different and learning that children have a right to make a positive difference in the world.

This piece was collaboratively written by:

Lewis Gray from Ramsey Junior School and Malk and Mariem Warda from Tiverton Academy

To read the full report click here

A video for our Parents and Carers from the CEO Hugh Greenway

Virtual Learning