Learning About Culture - RSA

Learning about Culture

Arts in schools are at risk.

With schools under pressure, it’s more important than ever to understand the impact of teaching using arts and culture.

We're working on one of largest ever studies in the UK of the value of arts and culture education.

And we want to help everyone use evidence. Here you can find resources and a step-by-step guide to help you show the impact of your arts teaching and activities.

Evidence Champions' Handbook

Evidence sounds great. How do I 'do' it? Use our step-by-step guide on how to use evidence in your work.

Arts-Rich Schools

The stories of 8 schools offering great arts education. Find out how and why they do it.

Webinars on using evidence

Dive even deeper into how to collect and use assessments of your work.

Our Study

The RSA and the Education Endowment Foundation are evaluating five promising arts-based learning projects. We're measuring whether they improve outcomes like reading skills, confidence and creativity skills for children. The projects are:

  • The Power of Pictures: specialist training for primary teachers from author-illustrators and experts to develop their understanding of picture book creation, and support to run a pupil project to create their own picture books. Working with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.
  • The Craft of Writing: Teachers work with professional writers to develop their own writing and apply those skills to their teaching.Working with Arvon, the University of Exeter and The Open University.
  • Speech Bubbles: Weekly drama lessons to improve Key Stage 1 pupil’s communications skills. Working with London Bubble.
  • The Young Journalist Academy: classes set up a ‘newsroom’ where students apply for certain jobs and produce their news articles and broadcasts. Journalists visit the school to support the process. Working with Paradigm Arts.
  • First Thing Music: Teachers are trained to use the Kodály method, where songs and games are used to teach music, providing a structured start to each school day. Working with Tees Valley Music Service.

The projects are being evaluated by an independent joint team from the UCL Institute for Education and the Behavioural Insights Team, to ensure the test is as fair as possible.

The trials involve 8,500 children from 400 state schools across the country.

Find out more about our methodology by reading the Learning About Culture Prospectus (pdf).


Education Endowment Foundation, Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Bank of America and Arts Council Bridge Organisations: A New Direction, Artswork, Festival Bridge, Curious Minds, Arts Connect, ROH Bridge, Mighty Creatives

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