Embedding creativity holistically within Camberwell Girls Grammar School

Embedding Creativity

Creativity and creative thinking are concepts usually seen as belonging to children. When the days for playing are apparently over, creativity then becomes relevant and acceptable mostly within arts-related fields.

Camberwell Girls Grammar School understands that skills learned in subjects traditionally seen as creative are transferable, and are thinking outside the box to facilitate an element of cross-pollination between subjects. Embedding creativity into the curriculum enables students to explore connections between seemingly disparate disciplines.

“There’s a hobby connotation attached to the arts, but the skills learned are universal,” says Head of Performing Arts, Keira Lyons. “If you take theatre, for example, you need to collaborate with many others, you need research skills and to be knowledgeable around current affairs and the world’s
history to bring something truthfully to life.

“There are also skills in project management and organisation and, because creativity is usually shared publicly, you need to be brave and have a sense of openness to receiving feedback and critique.”
CGGS values individuals who are curious and connected in their learning and actions. It encourages students to choose subjects they’re interested in and passionate about.

“When you study what you love, you pour yourself into it,” says Keira. “When students leave secondary school, we want them to have a strong sense of self so they’re confident in the choices they make.”
Keira runs an elective called Escape Room that includes maths, science, art and design and English narrative elements required by the Victorian curriculum.

“We develop these fun electives and subjects, so students become really engaged and are interested and curious, which is when their learning is at its strongest,” says Keira. “They start to understand that they can use experiences from one subject and integrate them elsewhere, which is a form of creativity.”

As part of embedding creativity holistically within the school, in 2017 the school introduced a MakerSpace — an area incorporating elements from the science and computer laboratories and art rooms — that is dedicated to facilitating an increase in tinkering, building and designing. Here, students can create, problem solve and develop new skills alongside peers and teachers, and sometimes parents and other mentors. Teaching in this unique manner helps to demonstrate to students how their knowledge of and learnings in specific subjects can be potentially relevant to many other fields. This approach is a testament to the school’s commitment to embedding creativity as a fundamental aspect of education.”

Head of Art and Design, Rachael Miller, believes that creativity is both innate and a skill that can be refined. “To be able to produce something new or original becomes fundamental to everything we do,” says Rachael. “Creativity is the highest of our pedagogical taxonomies and that peak of the understanding and application of knowledge is where we want our students to be.”

In art theory class that Rachael teaches, students start to understand how the skill of analysis is key in a diversity of areas. “Art gives you symbols and imagery, but you need to construct the narrative yourself,” she says. “This is similar in medical diagnostics, for example, a field that many of our students are keen to move into. Whatever career path the student is interested in, we make skills and experiences bespoke and relevant to them.

“We need people who think differently. The disrupters are important in our society. What boss doesn’t want someone sitting at their boardroom table who thinks differently? Creativity is all about how you process and manage your thoughts, and this is beneficial no matter what you do.”


Camberwell Girls Grammar School is committed to fostering the education of young women. At CGGS, girls enjoy not only equal […]

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