Creative Sparks – Professional Development Twilights

Creative Sparks is IVE’s programme of arts and cultural professional development twilights for primary teachers. In 2019 we are holding 9 sessions which are free for Artsmark schools.

Giving learning a creative context can dramatically increase the level of engagement in the classroom. Our team of highly skilled practitioners will introduce a range of simple and effective arts and cultural activities that can help children to understand key concepts, to develop their artistic skills and to work as independent learners. Each twilight will close with a reflection and planning session, which will support you to develop new and exciting approaches to the primary curriculum alongside colleagues and experts. You’ll leave with the skills and confidence to embed new ideas into your everyday practice. 

Interactive and practical, these sessions will demonstrate how simple and effective arts and cultural activities can help pupils to explore, understand and remember key concepts and facts, whilst developing their artistic skills, creative thinking and learning capabilities.

Artsmark schools offer 

To celebrate your commitment to developing arts and culture in your school, all Artsmark schools receive 4 free places on the programme. Once you’ve paid your registration fee you can use your free sessions however you like e.g. 4 teachers can attend 1 session or 1 teacher can go to 4 different sessions – it’s entirely up to you. 

Want to book more places? Additional places are only £25 for Artsmark schools. 

Cultural Leaderships in Education 

CLEs and our SLICE Alumni also receive 4 free places on the programme. 

For all other schools  

Places are available for £50 per person per session. 

How to book 

For Artsmark Schools, CLEs and SLICE Alumni please contact us at or 0113 322 3050. 

For others, please book using the links below.

If you’d like to book a session as part of a staff meeting or inset day please contact us at for more information and costs. 

Creative Writing + Drama 

In this session we will explore how creative writing and drama can be used in the teaching of core curriculum subjects. 

Do You See What I See: Using creative writing and visual prompts to extend and embed learning with Rose Condo  

This session offers fast and fun creative writing activities as a route into broader learning.  Using images for inspiration, this session will introduce ideas that are simple to prepare and easy to lead.  Whether you have a little or a lot of experience with creative writing, you will be guided through activities to generate critical and creative written responses.  

We will identify ways for this approach to be applied to a range of subject areas, such as English, history, geography, art and design, and PSHE.  We will look at breaking through writing barriers to get ideas flowing and opportunities to build confidence in reading aloud.  We will discuss how these activities can extend and embed students’ understandings of concepts and events. 

Over to you: Using enquiry-based drama which places the child as expert with Shuna Beckett 

Imagine your pupils as expert detectives, scientists, museum historians, environmentalists, astrophysicists, or pirates, as they respond to their mission, investigate, develop their ideas, and present their findings in unique and pioneering ways. 

This session will demonstrate the basic steps needed for an enquiry-based approach to the whole curriculum, using provocations and techniques derived from ‘Mantle of the Expert.’ Aimed at teachers with little or no experience in using drama, it will give you the confidence and key skills needed to design and facilitate an exciting, child-led and inclusive process that promotes literacy and learning across almost all curriculum subjects. 

Rose CondoRose Condo 

Rose Condo is a writer, performer and multiple slam winning spoken word poet from the Canadian prairies. Rose has featured at festivals and events across the UK and has written and toured two solo spoken word shows – The Geography of Me & How To Starve An Artist (Runner Up Best UK Spoken Word Show – Saboteur Awards 2017).  Rose leads creative writing workshops for young people, adults and educators.   

“I was extremely impressed with Rose’s smooth delivery and patience.  She is a gifted linguist with the magic spark to enthuse people with the love of her subject.” 

Head of Art at Cathedral Academy, Wakefield 

Shuna BeckettShuna Beckett 

Shuna Beckett has spent fifteen years developing drama and storytelling practice, in both the UK and South America. In that time, she has worked with many ethnically and socially diverse groups and has extensive experience of working with children and young people with SEN and EAL.  

She has designed and delivered activities in many Yorkshire schools, including 7 Creative Partnerships schools, and regularly delivers staff training. She has an MA in Theatre and Development Studies and trained in forum theatre at Theatre of the Oppressed, Rio de Janeiro.  

“She was inspirational to the staff, building their confidence and greatly improving their daily practice with children.” 

Teacher, Wetherby Street Children’s Centre 

Tuesday 29th January 4pm to 6pmSheffield Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School, Boynton Rd, Sheffield S5 7HL


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Tuesday 12th February  4pm to 6pmLeeds Clapgate Primary School, 10 Cranmore Dr, Leeds LS10 4AW 


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Tuesday 19th March 4pm to 6pm York The King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP 


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Dance + Music 

In this session we will explore how music and dance can be used in the teaching of core curriculum subjects. 

Clockwork: like the cogs and springs in a clock we are all individual, but together we can create an incredible machine with Charlotte Armitage 

This session uses simple movement ideas to explore and enhance learning linked to classroom themes and topics, to create phrases of movement, to work together as a team and to look at ways to celebrate every individual’s creativity and imagination. Dance for the brain as well as the body… with the help of a large roll of lining paper! 

Ways into Songwriting with Sam Dunkley

Songwriting is a powerful tool. No matter if we are embedding knowledge, exploring creativity or giving voice to emotions, a song can enhance what we are doing. In this workshop, you will explore a range of ways to start writing songs for even the most reticent of singers.  

A fun, interactive session which will leave you with practical approaches you can apply in your settings. We’ve written songs about space, number bonds, phonics, recycling, Yorkshire puddings, and pirates – as well as a song written by headteachers which featured their favourite complaints from parents. There’s something for everyone! 

Charlotte ArmitageCharlotte Armitage 

As a dance artist, choreographer and performer, Charlotte has spent over 20 years working both as an independent artist and in partnership with many artists, organisations, charities, schools, health and arts organisations across Yorkshire and beyond. Charlotte specialises in person-centred inclusive dance for all, promoting both positive and high quality contemporary dance experience for adults and children of all ages and abilities, together. Charlotte’s aim is to encourage dance exploration and opportunity for everyone, whilst harnessing an appreciation of dance, enhancing understanding of given themes/ideas through physical movement and celebrating each individual’s participation. 

“I love seeing how Charlotte has managed to get the whole class dancing together regardless of their individual abilities, even those I thought wouldn’t participate. As staff, we have all learned so much about how we can use dance to build on the curriculum in a really creative way and to see how dance in school can really be used as to enhance everyone’s creativity and exploration.”  

Staff member, Ecclesall Junior School, Sheffield

Sam DunkleySam Dunkley

Sam Dunkley is the founder and director of Performing Arts etc. Ltd, a company which delivers creative workshops with people across the country. In schools he specialises in songwriting, putting on musicals in a week, creating new shows, and large scale projects which bring children together for impressive performances. Sam has conducted massed ensembles at the Royal Albert Hall, written songs for the BBC, sung in projects for Opera North and is in demand across the country as a workshop leader.   

“I cannot recommend the work that Sam and Performing Arts etc Ltd have completed for us highly enough.” 

Headteacher, East Morton CE Primary School 

Thursday 24th January 4pm to 6pmYork The King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP 


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Thursday 14th March 4pm to 6pmLeeds Clapgate Primary School, 10 Cranmore Dr, Leeds LS10 4AW 


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Thursday 21st March 4pm to 6pmSheffield Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School, Boynton Rd, Sheffield S5 7HL 


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Digital + Visual Arts 

Unlocking Creative Technology with Darren Squires.

In this session you will learn how to use your schools existing technology and IT to support the curriculum creatively, and to unlock alternative forms of learning and communication.  

You will get the opportunity to try out free software and apps along with suggestions on how to use them in the classroom and within the creative curriculum. 

This session will focus on two apps that are particularly suited to developing oracy and visual communication and design.  

No mess + No stress: Creative activities for any classroom at any time with John Mayson.

This session will demonstrate cross-curricular activities that are effective, quick and cheap. Participants will discover how to use everyday materials to create 2d and 3d artwork that will support their practice and will produce brilliant display opportunities. The sessions will feature activities that have been tried and tested in schools and can be adapted with ease. 

Darren SquiresDarren Squires 

Darren Squires has been working as an educator and arts facilitator for 20 years, specialising in media, technology and music. His company was a regional finalist in the ‘Make IT Happen’ Awards. He has also won several other national and local awards. Darren is currently working on a long-term project with 2 primary schools developing and leading their creative use of technology across the curriculum, including maths and English. 

Darren has been an incredible asset… without his skills we wouldn’t have been able to explore and develop ‘e-learning’ to such depth and in such a rich and meaningful manner”

Headteacher, Newington Academy

John MasonJohn Mayson 

John Mayson is an established artist educator with over a decade of experience working as the Artist in Residence at Manorfield Primary School in East London and more recently at Pathways Academy in Sheffield.

John works across EYFS, KS1 and KS2, creating and leading art sessions, developing ambitious art projects with cultural organisations and delivering creative CPD sessions for teaching staff. John has delivered CPD sessions across a wide variety of schools in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Yorkshire.

“John Mayson is one of the best educators of both children and adults that I have ever come across.”

Deputy Head, Houldsworth Valley Primary Academy


Thursday 31st January 4pm to 6pmLeeds Clapgate Primary School, 10 Cranmore Dr, Leeds LS10 4AW 


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Thursday 28th February 4pm to 6pmSheffield Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School, Boynton Rd, Sheffield S5 7HL 


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Thursday 7th March 4pm to 6pmYork The King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP 


Book Now

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