It is well known that doing creative things whatever it may be makes people happy. We are naturally creative beings. We love to create, invent new things, use our imaginations and stimulate our brains. Why then are our children in state schools being subjected to a curriculum which cuts all creative subjects? Yet in private schools the subjects are flourishing? The latest person to comment on this is Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre. Here is the article he wrote for The Stage. It also appeared in The Guardian.
The EBacc has many critics. It concentrates on maths, English and science. Now of course those subjects are important, but so are music, drama, art, dance etc. Surely we want to educate young people to be rounded, happy individuals? Surely the skills learned in these subjects will be of help in any career? Surely young people need a chance to shine in what they are good at? Surely we must nurture the future musicians, composers, actors, playwrights, artists, film makers and dancers of the future?
Other countries understand this. Countries like Finland encourage a fully rounded education which includes the arts. Finland is at the top of all league tables. Not only are its students happy they also do well and produce good results. What are we doing here in the UK? It seems we believe that the more we push a narrow curriculum the more we think standards will improve. We are even pushing the testing three year olds in the belief they need more structure. They don’t! Three year olds need to learn through play. But then so do adults. If you are enjoying learning you will want to keep doing it. You will carry that through life. That’s why the arts are so very important. We are building a time bomb of mental health problems in the future if we continue as we are.
The arts don’t need cutting. They are part of the solution to many issues.