A pound of performance – entrepreneurialism
A pound of performance – entrepreneurialism

A pound of performance – entrepreneurialism

In for a penny, in for a pound, here is an opportunity for learners to think, innovative, be creative, collaborate, or not, present and exhibit, and tell a story. Let me present the concept and let’s see where we can take it.

With no small attribution to Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 Ted Talk – Schools kill creativity there is fertile debate on the role and value of creativity in education or possibly, more broadly, the purpose of education. Martin Robinson has a stance too. Plenty of educators have an opinion on whether or not creativity can be taught, it is right up there with debates on group work and ability attainment streaming? Regardless, very few educators, including, I suspect, David Didau and Greg Ashman, that do not see value in creative endeavour. If simply only for the sense of accomplishment and endeavour, let alone the myriad of signposts points towards improved well-being and reduced cortisol levels. (That said, it is not all creative sunshine and rainbows.)

“Creativity as a by-product of knowledge” is one school of thought, and I see worth in that argument. The value of combining knowledge and abilities, in service of creativity, is something artist Dustin Yellin hints at. It is the place where awe and wonder resides. It is the argument that I am more aligned with, as opposed to the perspective that “everyone can be creative.” Okay, creative with what?

Right – if you want to get there… I wouldn’t start from here.

Irish directions

A slight side thought, deviation or question. Are teaching and learning outcomes, success criteria, aiding or constraining learning? Creativity?

Creativity expression

As a school leader, and now parent, I am wholeheartedly behind the intrinsic value of creative expression, performances, debates and showcases in schools. I have committed music teachers, dynamic dance specialists, ruminating artists, exacting drama and English teachers to thank for that. And I’m #sorrynotsorry for the stereotyping, I truly admired them for their version of determination and could offer at least one name to each adjective.

I can only share with you the sense of collegiately that whole school, massive art installations events made to staff, students and parents at The Wellington Academy. A forty foot, ceiling to floor, 200+ wellington boot display the conclusion to a “boot out bullying” campaign and a twenty window Duke of Wellington pointillism install, that beams colourful light into the main auditorium. The thoughtful discourse between two sixth formers as I walked behind them at Taunton’s College art showcase is still with me to this day. Educating Yorkshire’s Musharaf’s Year 11 leavers assembly speech. More personally, the sense of community with which our 10 year-old-lighting-director-son spoke, leading up to his first ever live performance. You can not help but be moved.

So here is a somewhat unique opportunity to present a loosely framed problem to solve. Where by entrants / learners are required to construct and connect complex thoughts and actions is unique ways. Is that not creativity? A word of reflection, little is as difficult to plan and support for, as freedom and responsibility.

Here is a pound, tell me the story…

Offer each student a £1 coin, (coins seem to work better than £5, plus less investment.)

And here is £1 coin, tell the story.

“And,” brings us to the here and now. “Tell the story” is void of direction and inference.

This is not an easy option.

Set the frame

  • What resources? What further investment is permitted?
  • What scope? In a classroom, in school,in and out of school? Connected or disconnected to a curriculum subject? An additional or annual theme? Adding a theme adds to the complexity however allows for an annual event.
  • Single entries, paired, teams, open?

Time frame

  • The end of the day? Next week? End of term?

What is the remit for submitting / presenting?

  • A formal submission? A time slot? A podium? Do you insist on a title?


Is there a winner? Or classes of winner? Most adventurous submission? Most representative of XYZ? Most votes or dotmocracy?

Previous submissions of note:

Frozen assets – A £1 coin suspended, upright, in the middle of a block of ice.

Getting ahead – A group of four students combined and converted their £6 into pennies and created a sculpture of a horses head.

It doesn’t make cents – The coin had been stretched and disfigured as an artistic piece.

Money box – A bird box / money box with a penny tiled roof.

Any thoughts or other creative projects, I’d love to hear from you. And like all good ideas, this was magpied for someone more creative than me.

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