Making Learning is a biennial symposium convening an international community of expertise and practice in creative pedagogy throughout the full continuum of learning, from early years education to Masters Level, research and professional development.

Previewed at Tate Modern in January 2017 as part of Plymouth College of Art’s inaugural intervention in Tate Exchange, Making Learning will take place in Plymouth and other places on a biennial basis beginning in 2018.

The Tate preview event addressed an overarching theme: ‘Power is what separates people from what they can do. What shall we do?’ and alongside speakers from the College and The Red House (home to Plymouth School of Creative Arts) hosted provocateurs including Henry Ward, Head of Education at the Freelands Foundation, Jo Hunter, cofounder of 64 Million Artists, and Irini Papadimitriou, Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans.

The College founded Plymouth School of Creative Arts (PSCA) in 2012 in active response to the creeping marginalisation of the creative arts and creativity in mainstream education within the UK. Our response was to make a school.

Plymouth School of Creative Arts opened in September 2013 as a mainstream, innercity, 4-16 all-through school established with an art college ethos of learning-through making in all curriculum areas. This ethos draws upon the intrinsic motivation of each individual student, and every learner is thus involved in an open research inquiry that they themselves direct. As a partnership of ‘more than one and less than two’ the School and College are together creating a learning continuum already regarded as ‘a new model of creative education’.

The Red House, an award winning design by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, was opened formally by Sir Nicholas Serota in 2015, both as the site of pedagogical innovation in creative learning and as a catalyst for social impact and community regeneration in inner-city Plymouth. Plymouth College of Art was awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark in 2017.

Our work is the subject of two recent films, The Red House, directed by Clare Hughes (FCBStudios, 2017) and Thinking Making, directed by Henry Ward (Freelands Foundation, 2017) viewable respectively online at

Making Learning is a big cross-disciplinary conversation assembling the most progressive thinkers and practitioners in creative education across the full learning continuum. As Ai Weiwei put it: ‘creativity is part of human nature, it can only be untaught.’


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