The #ART OF BOLD with Kirsty Williams - Minister for Education, Wales

Apr 12, 04:40 PM

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, employer, policy maker or any other type of creative carer you’ll have a vested interest in how we educate our children. This podcast is about a bold move by a country around how it educates its children. Wales has co-created and trialled a new curriculum with school leaders, teachers and some of the world’s leading experts. It has creativity at its heart. Here their Education Minister, Kirsty Williams outlines the vision and thinking behind it. This is the Art of Bold.

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, employer, policy maker or any other type of creative carer you’ll have a vested interest in how we educate our children.

Not just to carve a career to be able to support themselves and any family they gain along life’s journey but also to be able to enjoy life and be a part of and contribute to society.

This podcast is about a bold move by a country around how it educates its children to ensure they thrive and don’t just survive in the 21st century, in an age of automation, artificial intelligence and robots.

Wales has co-created and trialled a new curriculum with school leaders, teachers and some of the world’s leading experts. It has creativity at its heart. 

Here their Education Minister, Kirsty Williams outlines the vision and thinking behind it and looks at how they will assess its impact on its imminent launch.

As a mother, the Minister relates this work back to her own school and family life and the cultural and industrial landscape of this great country - a part of the world that was home to the first steam powered revolution.

Millions of tons of steam coal were carved out of the ground by the hands of its men, women and children just a few generations ago and exported around the world. That memory, their legacy, their future is on their shoulders. This is the Art of Bold.

This whole interview came about as a result of work by STEAM Co. in schools in South Wales. Back in 2017 we were introduced to several schools in the area by Prof Mick Waters who has been consulting on the Welsh Curriculum project.

Back in November we were quite taken by the Elton John film for John Lewis and discussed it in one of our #RocketKids sessions in one of the new curriculum pioneer schools in Cardiff Bay. 

As well as discussing Elton John’s art we discussed his Rocket Man film (what a link!) and told the children the true story of ‘Rocket Boys’ by Homer Hickam  and how he and three friends who didn’t want to be coal miners in their West Virginian coal mining town in the 50’s , were inspired to learn to make rockets on seeing the Sputnik Satellite and went on to work for NASA and the Space Shuttle and ISS Projects.

At a talk we gave at the National Education Show in Cardiff in November we announced a Twelve Days of Creative Christmas Tour of the UK and spent the next 2 weeks travelling between Cornwall and Carlisle telling this story.

We gave a little Yorkshire lad a Lego Trainset in Leeds and he came down to London with his family to speak at the Parliament Launch of the #ARTCONNECTS19 Festival of Creative Schools, Work and Lives to connect us with all the school communities we’ve worked with over the years and hopefully more.

In January we visited another school in South Wales, Langstone Primary in Newport, who also came to the parliament event and even sang Elton John’s Your Song for a film we made.

Just this week they had an end of term assembly to celebrate with their school community the work they have done this term using the framework of the new Wales Curriculum. We were humbled to see how that simple half day rocket session and another robots day we ran had inspired a range of cross curricular literacy, numeracy, science and art work.
On the back of all this we’ll be visiting South Wales again for a week in school communities and a major event during our #ARTCONNECTS19 Summer Tour.

To see the above films and be a part of the #ARTCONNECTS19 festival, maybe by running an #OURART19 event wherever you are, do visit www.steamco.org.uk/artconnects for more details.