International visitors from five countries have visited a York secondary school this month in a bid to unleash their creative sides, as they take part in an international project to bring more creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into their students’ education.
Millthorpe School is one of ten partners from five countries participating in the DICE (Developing Innovation and Creativity in Education) Project, an international project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union which aims to foster innovation and creativity in education. The ten partners, based in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Bulgaria, have received a joint grant of €284,000.
Two members of staff from Millthorpe School went to Spain earlier this year where they learnt about the Creative Platform, a teaching style which encourages students to let go of traditional patterns of thinking so that their creativity is not limited. The teachers were also introduced to LEGO BuildToExpress, a ground-breaking teaching technique which encourages students to build models using LEGO Serious Play, to demonstrate their understanding of various curriculum areas. Another Millthorpe teacher spent time in a Danish school and at a Danish university to look at ways to implement creativity into lessons and how Danish teachers teach.
The visiting group comprised of 27 delegates from ten different overseas institutions who spent two days at the school. The visitors spent time in classes, meeting the students and sharing best practice and ideas with each other. The main focus of the visit was on how the different partners were going to implement the methodology behind the Creative Platform, for the good of the students.
Millthorpe’s Deputy Headteacher, Tim Gillbanks, is DICE coordinator for the school. He said “As the only UK secondary school involved in DICE, it’s wonderful to be part of such an exciting project and to welcome the international delegates to Millthorpe. The new style lessons we have delivered so far using the Creative Platform methodology, have encouraged students to think differently, use problem-solving techniques and also more importantly, to realise that it’s OK to try things, take a risk and sometime get things wrong. Students have been really engaged and excited to learn in a new, creative way.
“To get the most from DICE, we are getting as many staff as possible involved so that we can all learn together and bring new techniques and innovation in to the classroom for the benefit of the students. We’ve gained so much from the experience so far and we’re really looking forward to welcoming our DICE partners to the UK later this year.”
DICE Project Coordinator Eufemia Rosso Delgado said “It has been wonderful to visit the UK and especially York, with my fellow delegates. We have all learned so much from each other and gained so much knowledge from visiting the partner schools and teacher training institutions. In turn, all of the students we come in to contact with can benefit from creative teaching and learning techniques.”
Next year, all the DICE partners will head to Bulgaria and then there will be a final visit to Portugal where the project will conclude.