Our Creative Journey

Creative play helps children flourish as confident, resilient and happy individuals and it is vital for child development. Creativity is a key ingredient for children to learn how to follow their curiosity, solve problems and make sense of the world. Our Creative Journey is aimed at promoting good practice in all types of early learning and childcare (ELC) settings, to help all services aspire to be the best they can be and have the greatest impact on children's lives.

Our Creative JourneyIn this resource featuring good and innovative practice examples, the Care Inspectorate has shared and celebrated some of the wonderful experiences we are seeing and hearing about when we visit services all over the country. These examples include art, drama, pretend play, music and song, model making, loose-parts play, storytelling and dance. This resource is intended to reflect and encourage the exciting blossoming of expressive arts that we are seeing across services for children.

The examples are available to read by clicking on Creative Examples & Materials below. You can also read about how Our Creative Journey supports the new Health and Social Care Standards. We're inviting services to provide further practice examples for us to share on an ongoing basis in our More Examples of Expressive Arts section. 

We feature practice examples from across the full range of ELC service types, including childminders, playgroups and out of school care as well as private and local authority nurseries. This means that ELC provided by the private, voluntary and statutory sectors is equally represented. We have tried to reflect the wide range of children experiencing ELC, from babies through to secondary school age children, and the different needs and backgrounds of children. We have chosen examples from rural as well as urban settings and from deprived as well as affluent communities. Similarly, we have tried to include a wide range of examples and not just services that are most commonly used by children in our communities and not just to showcase a few high-profile services achieving outstanding grades. Read our guide to developing practice examples for more background.    

Our Creative Journey - flock in the park signpost

Our approach and attitude to creativity as practitioners and role models is important. Knowing when to lead or guide an activity and when to step back and let children develop an experience themselves is a professional skill at the heart of pedagogical practice. Becoming attuned to the children we are working with allows us to support creative experiences in ways that enable them to get on and construct their own worlds.

Our Creative Journey may also be of interest to parents/carers and anyone looking after or working with children or young people, including statutory social work and education, voluntary sector support services and activity -based provision.

Just taking part in expressive arts can be transformative - the end product is not the goal. The approach and attitude with which services embrace expressive arts is as important as the particular chosen activity. Being prepared to explore and experiment, and make mistakes along the way, is an integral part of creativity. And maybe the process of taking detours or getting lost can result in the most inspiring effective journeys. 

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