Creating change at Willingdon Community School

Young people devised, directed, acted in and wrote musical compositions for films across subject areas (history, languages, science, and philosophy) in order to experience learning through hands-on creative means. They produced a number of short films illuminating their subjects for themselves and across the school. A highlight was the Rom-Horror bi-lingual film “Ba Ba Mouton Noir!”

Who was involved

  • Young people from Willingdon Community School, East Sussex, along with Rob King, Head of Media, and teachers from Humanities and Science subjects
  • Creative Practitioners: Max Wheeler (sound artist) and Nick Pilton (film-maker)


How can we teach creative thinking to develop creative thinkers?


  • To encourage teachers and students to take a more creative approach to learning
  • To break down the traditional boundaries between the arts and science subjects by seeing a creative approach as common to both areas
  • To encourage students to take charge of their learning by full involvement and ownership of exciting projects


Teachers became proficient in using video cameras and editing programmes and began to experiment with film out of school and in their teaching. Students learnt film and sound making and editing techniques as well as a professional approach to project-management, taking a project from first ideas through to final product. The project has had an impact on the culture of the school. Teachers are use of filming techniques and equipment to teach their subject in a more creative way.

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I feel more confident and not afraid to go down certain paths.


When children have fun they’re more likely to learn. This should be scientifically proven. Because your mind is somewhere else when you are bored.

Year 8 Student

A very large group stayed engaged and motivated.

Philosophy teacher on working with the practitioners

I felt inspired to download some music production software and do some music production at home, which is something I had always wanted to do.