Penny Hay – 5x5x5=creativity, Child Friendly Bath & The Forest Of Imagination

Penny Hay 1Penny Hay – 5x5x5=creativity, Child Friendly Bath & The Forest Of Imagination

Penny Hay is an artist and educator. Penny is part-time Senior Lecturer in Arts Education at Bath Spa University and Director of Research for 5x5x5=creativity, an arts research charity. Previously Penny was a primary teacher, advisory teacher for the arts and lecturer in arts education at Goldsmiths College, the Institute of Education, University of London, Roehampton Institute and the University of the West of England. Penny has worked extensively in arts education across the UK, she co-ordinated the professional development programme and co-designed the Artist teacher Scheme on behalf of the National Society for Education in Art and Design, that offered teachers the opportunity to develop their own creative practice, culminating in the first summer school at Tate Modern. Penny integrates her experience in arts and education with participative action research engaging individuals, institutions and communities. She also co-hosts the SW Research hub: Cambridge Primary Review Trust. Her doctoral research is focused on how, as adults, we support children’s identity as artists. Penny is a parent governor and active in supporting children’s rights. She is an elected Fellow of the RSA and has an award from Action for Children’s Arts for her contribution to arts education.


5x5xlogo5x5x5=creativity is an arts-based action research organisation with charitable status that supports children and young people in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them develop creative skills for life. Originally set up with groups of 5 artists, 5 educational settings and 5 cultural centres in triangles to work together to collect evidence of creativity and how best to support it. Since 2000, 5x5x5 has worked with over 250 settings across 10 Local Authorities. 5x5x5=creativity helps improve children’s and young people’s life chances by developing their confidence in themselves as creative learners and thinkers whilst inspiring higher levels of motivation and engagement in their learning. 5x5x5=creativity is now a nationally recognised and highly regarded long-term research project of vitality and innovation, influencing practice across the South West and beyond. Throughout the research there has been a transformation of practice in classrooms and across whole schools.

Forest logoForest of Imagination is a 4 day event initially at Bath School of Art and Design in July 2014 and in Queen Square in May 2015. Each space was transformed into an outdoor interactive ‘gallery without walls’, a space for contemporary creativity, where the urban meets the natural. The Forest of Imagination provides a creative ecosystem for art and participation. Forest involves a team of creative collaborators from 5x5x5=creativity, Grant Associates, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Herman Miller, artists, Bath Spa University, RSA and Imaginnovation.

Child Friendly City: Over the last 2 years, the idea for creating a Child Friendly Community has been initiated by a group of creative, cultural and educational organisations on behalf of many others that are regularly involved with children and young people in Bath and North East Somerset. B&NES is a magnet for child-friendly initiatives with the capacity and will to sustain and extend them. The Steering Group are committed to working towards Unicef Child Friendly Community accreditation and an International Festival of Childhood in 2017.