Sounding Out: A free Toolkit for music leaders working with deaf children
Creative Futures is delighted to publish its first free online Toolkit, marking the start of a series of online resources it is developing for arts and education professionals. Sounding Out is a comprehensive resource to support music leaders and school teachers who work with deaf children, and draws on experiences and learning from across our 3-year programme in specialist schools for deaf children funded by Youth Music.
The Toolkit consists of two sections, a theoretical introduction and a practical section with step-by-step guides to creating warm-up activities, musical games and main activities, supported by video examples. It has been written by Creative Futures project leader Tiziana Pozzo and Dr Kathryn Mason (UCL).
A blog post about the creation of the Toolkit can be found here.
Published: Impact Report 2017
Creative Futures is pleased to publish its Impact Report for 2017. In this report we give an overview of the most significant projects delivered during the last year and the impact these projects had, as well as reporting for the first time on our organisational impact. We are very grateful to the staff and our volunteers from Measuring the Good for helping us to find a way to effectively and efficiently track and report on the impact across all of our work. We are very proud of the achievements detailed in the report, and would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful artists for the amazing work they do delivering our programmes, and our funders for enabling the work to take place.
Creative Futures is recruiting!
We are expanding our team, and are seeking an experienced Creative Producer to oversee and manage a number of our programmes including Early Years, SEN and with Looked After Children. Closing date is 3rd April at 5pm.
Expansion of Family Drop-in programme
Creative Futures has signed a new partnership agreement with Paddington Development Trust (www.pdt.org.uk) to co-deliver an expanded programme of family drop-in sessions in northwest Westminster over the next 4 years. With National Lottery Funding, and combined with the extended Maternity Champions programme delivered by PDT, Building Strong Community Families will see our current 3 drop-in sessions per week grow to 6 every week in the wards of Queen’s Park, Westbourne, Harrow Road and Bayswater. This partnership will bring a highly valued service to hundreds of families with pre-school-age children every year, combining advice and support for parents with fun, sociable and developmentally enriching activities for children. Click here for more information.
Music for Change 2015–17 Evaluation Report
Music for Change – one of Creative Futures’ flagship initiatives in support of children’s early learning and development through structured music provision – has completed its first 2 year phase. Through the delivery of more than 800 workshop sessions, 7 concert performances and numerous CPD sessions, led by 11 brilliant music leaders, we have reached more than 1,300 children during the two years. A research evaluation has been carried out by a team led by Professor Graham Welch and Professor Adam Ockelford.
We are delighted to report real change and positive impact on children, staff and settings involved, including above expected progress across all assessed areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Creative Futures is committed to sharing the findings of its work, and hopes that others in the arts and education fields will draw on our findings in this project, helping us all work together to strengthen the Early Years sector, and advocate for the central position which the arts and music should form for every pre-school child.
Royal Society for Public Health Awards 2017
Creative Futures was thrilled to be selected as a finalist in the Arts & Health category of the prestigious Royal Society for Public Health Awards 2017. Although we did not win the award – which went to University College London and Christ Church Canterbury’s ‘Museums on Prescription’ project – we were invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at a lavish dinner at London’s East Wintergarden.
The project for which we were nominated was ‘Music for Change’, our flagship Early Years programme which seeks through music and story-telling to raise children’s school readiness, improve speech, language and communication development among children aged 2-4 years, and narrow the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children as they enter school. Our nomination, which encompassed our family projects Queen’s Park Families, Westbourne Families and ‘Baby and Me and Mums to Be’, is a great tribute to the hard work of all of the artists, Early Years practitioners, researchers and partners who have worked with us on the various strands of this initiative in recent years. Our partners include Paddington Development Trust whose volunteer Maternity Champions support our family drop-ins, NHS Speech and Language Therapists (from Central London Community Healthcare), Professor Graham Welch, UCL Institute of Education and Professor Adam Ockelford at Roehampton University. Heartfelt thanks to all those who work with us on these programmes which support the most important phase of children’s development and growth.
Queen's Park Families Full Report 2014–17
Since 2014, Creative Futures has been working in partnership with Paddington Development Trust and their fabulous Maternity Champions to deliver weekly drop-in sessions for parents and pre-school age children in Queen’s Park, north Westminster. Nearly 400 families have engaged in Queen’s Park Families since 2014, and its success has led to spin-off projects in Westbourne (Westbourne Families) and sessions for babies under 6 months old at Queen’s Park Children’s Centre (Baby and Me and Mums to Be). This report captures the highlights of Queen’s Park Families during its first 3 year phase, and assesses its impact, as we look forward to expanding and embedding the programme for the future.
Moving Music Technical Report 2017
We are delighted to publish this Technical Report on a term-long pilot project at a London special school which took place in the autumn, funded by BBC Children in Need. ‘Moving Music’ was a multi-arts project exploring music, movement and graphic art with two groups of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. We were particularly interested in exploring participating children’s levels of engagement in an arts environment – with some positive findings.
Music For Change Report 2015-16
Creative Futures, in collaboration with researchers from UCL Institute of Education, Speech and Language Therapists from Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH), Early Years specialists and musicians, is delivering a multi-year project in Westminster nurseries called Music For Change. The aim of the project is to enhance children’s early development and improve school readiness in an area of multiple deprivation through structured music activities.
Morrisons Foundation donates £10,000
Creative Futures has received a generous £10,000 donation from the newly established Morrisons Foundation for their Early Years project ‘Music For Change’. This project aims to enhance learning, development and school-readiness in young children through regular access to high-quality musical activities, which include workshops, instrument lessons and interactive concerts.
Big Lottery Fund: Awards For All funding received
Creative Futures have been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund Awards For All programme to deliver an 8 month pilot project Baby and Me, and Mums to Be at Queen’s Park Children’s Centre in north Westminster. This free weekly drop-in session for mothers with babies 0-6 months old and expectant mothers is run in collaboration with volunteer organisation Maternity Champions from Paddington Development Trust. The sessions include health and nutritional advice, creative activities, and opportunities for new parents to form peer support networks locally.
Riz Ahmed, Joanne Harris and Matthew Xia announced as Creative Futures Ambassadors
Creative Futures are delighted to announce three high profile Ambassadors who have come on board to support the charity in achieving positive outcomes for children and young people through the arts. These are the actor and MC Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions); the award-winning novelist and author of Chocolat Joanne Harris MBE; the DJ and theatre director, Matthew Xia, who most recently directed the Olivier Award-winning play Blue/Orange at the Young Vic theatre. Download the press release here.
Crowdfunding campaign target reached
Just as our crowdfunding campaign for Queen’s Park Families closed at midnight we received a final donation which allowed us to hit our target of £1000. The money raised will go straight into sustaining this community-led creative project for parents/carers with young children in Queen’s Park. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to this campaign. As a result of this success, and other funds recently raised by Creative Futures for the project, the weekly sessions will now continue through to early summer 2017, which was looking impossible a month ago. Everyone at Creative Futures, Paddington Development Trust Maternity Champions and Queen’s Park Families is very grateful for your support.
Total funds raised from Trusts and Foundations reaches more than £1,000,000
Creative Futures reached another milestone, with a new grant from John Lyon’s Charity taking the total funds we have raised to date from Trusts and Foundations to more than £1m. These funds support our arts programmes with children and families from disadvantaged areas, bringing inspiring artists into community and educational settings to offer high quality cultural experiences and life-changing opportunities.
Our most recent grant from John Lyon’s Charity, for £50,000 over two years, supports the continuation of Music for Change, an initiative in north Westminster to support children’s pre-school development and school readiness, especially in early language and communication skills. The project includes an on-going partnership with NHS Speech and Language Therapists, live performances, and CPD for staff. The new grant is further boosted by matched investment from A New Direction’s London Cultural Education Challenge initiative.
We are immensely grateful to all of our funders, especially John Lyon’s Charity and the National Foundation for Youth Music who have supported us multiple times. And as our grants accumulate, so our ambition grows – a million raised in our first four years... who knows, perhaps in another 4 years we’ll be raising a million a year.
Violin auction house Ingles & Hayday supports Creative Futures
Creative Futures has received a generous donation from Ingles & Hayday, an auction house of fine instruments specialising in violins, who work in conjunction with Sotheby’s in London. Both co-founders and directors at Ingles & Hayday have a long-standing tie with our charity: Paul Hayday is a founding Trustee, and Tim Ingles has been supporting Creative Futures through a family trust for a number of years. The donation will support Creative Futures’ charitable work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds across London to access high quality music and arts opportunities.
Tri-borough Early Years Music Consortium
Tri-borough Music Hub has secured funding from Youth Music to carry out a two year project that aims to deliver and enhance Early Years music provisions for 0-5 year olds across the London Tri-borough area (Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea). The project is being led by a consortium of 15 partner organisations otherwise known as the Tri-borough Early Years Music Consortium (TBEYMC), one of whom is Creative Futures, and we look forward to working with partners on this ambitious programme with early years settings in the area.
Measuring And Accrediting Soft Outcomes: A Research Report
Our director Julian Knight conducted an action-research project commissioned by Sound Connections on measuring and accrediting soft outcomes in the arts. The report which resulted and can be downloaded here focuses in particular on children and young people from challenging circumstances in London; and looking at the suitability of applying a number of existing frameworks to the arts sector and measuring soft outcomes in participants this way. The term ‘soft outcomes’ is broadly used to describe behaviours which make up personal, social and emotional development such as self-esteem, resilience and motivation.
Creative Futures 0 - 5
Creative Futures turns 5 years old. We have grown from a fledgling organisation to one which is now working with children and young people across London, particularly in Early Years, with Looked After Children and with deaf and hearing impaired students and those with Special Educational Needs. We are grateful to have been able to continue working with outstanding creative leaders and specialists in the field, and thanks to all the continued support we hope to grow and deliver more music and arts projects to children and young people in the coming years. Read more on the first five years of Creative Futures by Julian Knight here.
A Tribute to Andrew Potter (1949-2016)
February 2016 by Julian Knight
Andrew was Chair of Creative Futures from March 2012, and we are greatly saddened to learn of his sudden death on 18th February: he will be greatly missed by us all.
I first met Andrew when he interviewed me for a junior post at OUP, in the Repertoire Promotion Department, in 1997. It was my first proper job, and even though he was head of the department, and not directly my manager, he always took a supportive and nurturing interest: qualities which he displayed across his professional and musical life.
Given the scale and prestige of many of the organisations he was involved with, I was quite surprised when Andrew accepted my invitation to become Chair of the Board of Creative Futures in 2012. We were then only a fledgling charity with a handful of projects, and no employed staff. But Creative Futures’ mission – to bring high quality participatory arts experiences to children from deprived backgrounds – was close to his heart and he oversaw a period of rapid growth of the organisation, bringing us clear strategic thinking, knowledge and insight, as well as strengthening and developing the board.
Andrew will be missed here: at our board meetings and other gatherings, and as we move forward with the next stage of our journey, one for which we fully expected Andrew to be at the helm. On a professional and personal level, I will miss his sound advice – and our regular meetings over coffee or lunch. We will endeavour to carry his spirit forward in what we do, and continue to make Creative Futures an enterprise of which he would be proud, just as we will remain honoured and privileged to have had his involvement.
Act Sing Play Report 2015
Creative Futures was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation and worked in collaboration with NatCen and the UCL Institute of Education to research the benefits of musical training. The Act Sing Play programme was delivered to over 900 primary school children across England who partook in 32 weekly sessions of drama, music and instrumental workshops. Results showed there was a great improvement in the pupils’ confidence and social-skills overall, whilst also being a valuable source of professional development for teachers and music tutors who were involved in the project. Download our Act Sing Play Report 2015.
Impact Report 2014-15
We are delighted to launch our first ever Impact Report, which describes the impact of Creative Futures’ work in 2014-15. We are an outcomes-focussed organisation: our projects and programmes are rooted in identified needs and challenges, and seek to find creative ways of addressing these. We are committed to tracking and measuring what the positive benefits of our programmes are, so we engage independent researchers to help us evaluate our work, and are looking to produce a more robust analysis of our social impact, and its value, in future reports. Download our 2014-15 Impact Report.