Headmaster Paul Marshallsay: Can creativity be taught?

Can creativity be taught?

Creativity is incredibly important for developing the mind. Specifically such processes recruit areas from both the right and left side of the brain. Many of us find it difficult to have inspiration at times and I often find myself lacking stimulation when faced with writing an article or speech.

Many people consider that you are either inclined in this way or not and that nothing you can do can change those traits. The fact is that creativity can be taught and that is why children are often more adept at being flexible and adaptive than us as adults. They are exposed to a wide variety of experiences during the day, many of them developing enquiry and imagination. Much like our muscles our brain needs to be stretched and challenged in order to grow.

Mathematicians and scientists are often accused of lacking creativity. I have been told by many different individuals that they are inclined towards these subjects and are therefore not strong in thinking along creative lines. I would argue that the voyage towards discovery contains huge amounts of originality. How could there have been so many discoveries if people weren’t prepared to take flights of fancy and

consider issues in a different way? Particularly in the fields mentioned above.

The junior school has been awash with such invention over the last week with our girls performing in a variety of ways. The year 6 play is always a pleasure to watch and I particularly like their reaction to adversity. No performance is ever perfect and it is how the girls respond when things go wrong that shows their ability to adapt. I watched the play three times in total and each time it was subtly different due to events on the night. The way they handled Shakespeare’s words, with the extra complication of a production which deliberately goes wrong, was extremely impressive. At the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival the girls had to adapt to singing in a large choir with lots of other children. There had not been much in the way of prior rehearsal together so this was another situation where they had to adjust.

I must congratulate all the girls who performed this week and look forward to the remaining events this term.