Category: creativity

The importance of discipline in a successful life

I spent a glorious hour last week tuning into a live talk with the author Alexander McCall Smith, hosted by the Caledonian Club in London, but of course all on Zoom (which made it much more accessible, if less social). Anyway, he was, as ever, a delightful speaker – entertaining, modest, self-deprecating, intelligent, with a …

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The global power of language learning

I loved reading this article in The Guardian last week about a ‘video pal’ scheme instigated by the University of Warwick during the pandemic and consequent lockdowns; designed to support university students in developing their French language skills despite being unable to travel, it started with 5 students and now has almost 7,000 enrolled, and …

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Blessed be the tech makers

One of the great delights in my working life is working with other professionals, to achieve more together than we could as individuals. Besides, with the right people it is enormous fun, as was precisely the case last Thursday, when the lovely Matthew Savage and I co-presented a session for school leaders at an education …

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On turning 50 …

1.50am on Saturday 22 August was a momentous occasion for me, as I crossed the threshold from the age of 49 to that of 50. I had been looking forward with great eagerness, anticipation and enthusiasm for weeks to that precise moment, as I awaited the descent of omniscience and wisdom, in a Damascene-like moment …

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A new decade: a renewed hope

Stratford-upon-Avon has 4 million visitors a year, according to the taxi driver who took me (and my daughter) back to the railway station after a short post-Christmas break indulging in culture in the town of Shakespeare’s birth. It was, I must say, a fabulous trip; we had a great time visiting various sites associated with …

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Stretching the bounds of the possible – it’s Edinburgh Fringe time…

I have lost count of the number of years I have been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe, let alone of the number of performances I have attended; what I have not lost, however, is the joy and wonder I feel every year when I immerse myself in much of what the Fringe has to offer. …

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Democracy in action in Edinburgh, challenging autocracy, and the fight to save the City of Edinburgh Music School

Sub-text: the vital importance of teaching young people how to engage effectively with politics … Are you sitting comfortably? If you have a spare 2 hours (I know, I know … who does? But this will be worth it!), then watch this hot-off-the-press webcast of the Edinburgh City Council Finance and Resources Committee meeting on …

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Technology, creativity and the power of the natural world

I am currently in Sydney, having flown in for a week to work with new principals in the Association of Independent Schools in New South Wales, as well as with other internationally minded teachers and school leaders. Wonderfully, my visit coincides with the annual Vivid Sydney festival, where landmarks such as the Botanic Gardens, the …

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Creativity in schools: the progress of humanity depends on it

Speaking over the weekend at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the children’s author Cathy Cassidy could not have been clearer – creative daydreaming lies at the root of everything we seek to create. It has certainly worked for her, as she is a hugely successful author with fans all over the world; as she pointed …

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Who does your daughter look up to?

I was very pleased on Thursday night of this week to take part in an ITV Tonight programme about role models for girls and young women, hosted by Penny Marshall: Who does your daughter look up to? This programme looked at the lack of role models for women, and the evidence that suggests that this …

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