Determined to champion the right to art and culture for every child at Abbeyhill Primary School through our artists-in-residence programme even during global pandemic and lockdown, we are very pleased to announce joining the Cultural Learning Alliance – the collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to art and culture.
We started spreading the wonder of contemporary art to every pupil and teacher in and outside the classroom in 2013. Since, we have produced over 30 projects with as many resident artists and partners. We have premiered these projects in exhibitions, books and live performances as part of the annual community festival Colony of Artists. Next academic year we will see the first cohort of 12 year olds school leavers who would graduate Abbeyhill Primary having had arts and culture as a life-enhancing and essential part of their entire school life – from Nursery to Primary 7. Eight years of bringing wonder, pleasure, participation, self-expression and essential skills into children’s lives.
We would like to believe that by joining the Cultural Learning Alliance we will have our voices heard, indeed, speak with one voice and work together to realise our ambition for all children and young people to have an entitlement to quality cultural learning.
Here are just some of the key findings from Imagine Nation – the Alliance recent publication which presents a comprehensive and compelling case for the value of cultural learning within and beyond our education system.
1. Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%.
2. Learning through arts and culture can improve attainment in Maths and English.
3. Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school.
4. Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.
5. Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
6. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer.
7. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults.
8. Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend.
9. Children who take part in arts activities in the home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine.
10. People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.