Cultural Learning Community Yearbook 2016/17

This Yearbook highlights the discussions, questions, activity and perspective generated by A New Direction’s 2016-17 Cultural Learning Community (now Cultural Leadership Community).

Delivered by award-winning arts company Nimble Fish, the ‘CLC’ in 2016-17 brought together a community of 22 selected middle and senior leaders from across London, representing primary, secondary and special educational needs and disability (SEND) in both the state and independent sectors.

The CLC programme aimed to help participants:

  • better understand key issues in arts/cultural education on a local, London-wide, and national level
  • grow the arts and culture offer in their own school and learn how to better support others to do the same
  • effectively contribute to the debate about the impact and importance of the arts and culture on teaching, learning and society cultivate and develop meaningful involvement with existing, and new, partnerships and networks.

Our working definition of ‘cultural learning’ and ‘cultural leadership’ encompasses the arts as well as museums, libraries and heritage sites. In the classroom, it includes traditional arts education and the use of the arts and culture to animate and support broader teaching and learning objectives.

The programme was anchored by five, half-day CPD sessions and a final project presentation session, each held at a different London cultural venue whose unique teaching/learning offer contributed to each session. Host venues for 2016-17 were:

Participants were asked to develop and deliver a specific arts/culture project to support their CLC learning journey. These projects were delivered at our final session as pecha kucha presentations: they are the ‘spine’ of this yearbook.

Why ‘Yearbook’?

The idea of a yearbook is meant to capture information and ideas but also context, mood and emotion. It’s a mix of text and images; a broad-ranging compendium anchored in time and place. In this case, it represents the activity of an entire academic year for our participants.

A yearbook also represents a shared journey, which was key to our programme. In exploring issues and ideas we sought answers first in our own experience, and then amplified our knowledge with outside expertise and perspective. This resulted in a remarkable degree of collaboration between participants, enhanced by the active use of a closed social media platform called Basecamp.

How to use the CLC Yearbook:

This Yearbook is in sections according to our five CPD sessions, which covered the following topics:

In each section you’ll find:

  • A summary of what we explored and why
  • Top tips emerging from our group and beyond
  • Links to external resources (and links to session blogs, which link to further resources)
  • Video clips of final CLC project presentations

The images throughout the Yearbook are taken from session blogs and the final pecha kucha presentations.


Best wishes from Nimble Fish and A New Direction.