Creativity and Critical Thinking, Dubai

Encouraging Creative and Critical Thinking in Early Years Education by Pete Moorhouse, Dubai


18-19 march 2016


Dubai, UAE


Holiday Inn Barsha,
(special room rate for event)

This course will focus on how to develop children’s creative thinking. We will gain an understanding of the importance creativity plays in education and in life as a whole. We will look in detail at the experience of Reggio Emilia and their approach to encouraging creativity and independent thinking. I will present two examples of children’s explorations in depth – Woodwork and Photography. The course will conclude by looking at the role of the teacher and the importance that the environment plays, both indoor and outdoor, in facilitating creative investigation and exploration. The pedagogical approach of Reggio Emilia will be the foundation underlying all the sessions.

Day 1

8:30 – 9:00 Participants arrival

9:00 – 11:00 Session 1 : Creativity

We will gain a thorough understanding of what creativity means. Learn why creativity is so important in education and in life in general. We will look at the many factors that contribute to encouraging and nurturing young children’s creativity.

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 1:00 Session 2 : Learning from Reggio Emilia Approach

The Reggio Emilia approach is a world renowned educational philosophy originating from the preschools of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy. Central to their philosophy is the importance of creativity and developing the child as an independent thinker. We will gain an in depth understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach and look at the main aspects of their philosophy. We will discover how we can take inspiration form Reggio Emilia into our own professional practice and Pete will share first-hand experience of visiting Reggio schools

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 Session 3 :  The Language and Dialogue of Photography

Learn how photography can be another tool for children’s creative expression and just how versatile it is. We will discover the potential for photography to stimulate communication – children’s voice. We will learn how photography can support all areas of learning by children documenting their own work

We will look at the use of photography as a way of consulting with children and understand how photography can be used as a tool for self-evaluation.

There will be information about the practicalities, best cameras for children, reviewing images, storage, software and how to successfully introduce photography to young children.

Day 2

9:00 – 11: 00 Session 4 : The Wonder of Woodwork

In this session we will learn all about the learning and development associated with woodwork and discover what a powerful medium it is for children’s creative thinking and problem solving.  We will gain an insight into the historical context and current thinking. I will explain about health and safety issues and risk assessments and how to introduce tools safely and set up a woodworking area.

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 1:00 Session 5 : Children’s Powerful Thinking and the Role of the Adult

We will investigate the role of the teacher in extending creative and critical thinking. We will look at sustained shared thinking and possibility thinking. We will also focus on the importance of documentation and reflective learning practice. We will also look at ways in which we can work together with parents to support children’s creative thinking.

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 Session 6 : The Enabling Environment the Third Teacher

The impact that the environment can have on learning and development is profound. We will look at the aspects of the environment that play a part in encouraging creativity and wellbeing. In the Reggio Emilia approach they refer to the environment as the Third Teacher – showing the importance they place on creating the right environment for learning and growth. We will look at an environment audit – a resource that could be used to reflect on your current learning environment and plan for possible improvements. We will consider aesthetics, access to intelligent materials, opportunities for inquiry based learning, environmental factors, wellbeing and sustainability.

To Book

Address: The Beirut Souks,
Allenby Street, Louis Vuitton, Level 2,
Beirut, Lebanon.

Telephone: +961 1 957 635, +974 50 123 124



North Bristol Arts Trail

Paul Bullivant, Caroline Casswell, Mary Collett,
Shelley Davies, Chuck Elliott, Pete Moorhouse
and Fran Wardell
North Bristol Artists Trail, Fri 27 to Sun 29 November 2015

You are cordially invited to the opening night at St Bart’s Church
on Friday 27th November, from 7 to 9pm (Venue No 53)

Images, clockwise from top left: Paul Bullivant / Fran Wardell / Mary Collett / Chuck Elliott
Shameena Dance Troup / Shelley Davies / Pete Moorhouse / Caroline Casswell

It’s just over a week until the North Bristol Artist’s Trail. We’ll be exhibiting at St Bart’s church, one of the most lively venues on the trail, at the top of of St Andrew’s Park. Our preview opens from 7 to 9pm on Friday 27th November, drinks will be served, and John Collett will be playing jazz piano.

The weekend continues from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 28th; and 10am to 6pm on Sunday 29th November. As ever, Steve Perry has master minded an eclectic mix of musical performances, which should make for a fantastic combination of art, live music and of course tea and cakes, laid on by the church community. The full music programme is at the base of this email.

If you have time to drop in, it would be lovely to see you. Please do bring friends too!

Best regards – Paul, Caroline, Mary, Chuck, Shelley, Pete and Fran.

Paul Bullivant
T 0117 924 5200 / M 07849 952648

Caroline Casswell
M 07833 174 681

Mary Collett

Shelley Davies

Chuck Elliott
T 0117 946 6959 / M 07753 603 469

Pete Moorhouse
T 0117 908 4181 / M 07971 438 863

Fran Wardell
T 0117 942 4566 / M 07733 137 771

Live music on Saturday 28th November
2.00    Richard Hughes: accordion magic;
3.00    Ambling Banda rich fusion of Brass and Pink; vibrant and energetic music and mayhem;
4.00    Shameena dance troup: Middle eastern influenced fusion dance;
5.00    Sean Burrows: Mr Squeezy himself, guaranteed to get your feet tapping;

Live music on Sunday 29th November
1.00  8 Million Storiesfeaturing Tim Casswell, Michael Loader and Gail Mason;
2.00  Ukonseccentric ukelele band;
3.00  Bishopston Bayou Brothers; high octane cajun music;
4.00  Stepford Singers: Bishopston’s infamous all women community choir;
5.00  Gasworks Singershappy, high energy acapella, on a grand scale.

For more information about the musicians, please contact Steve Perry at


Made in Bristol TV

Pete was featured in the news today on Made in Bristol TV . They focussed on his work going out to the Middle East and accomplishments in Bristol.

Pete has work in several Bristol hospitals, health centres,schools,parks and cycle paths.

Pete  was selected for the Sharjah’s yearly Islamic Arts Festival, now in its 18th year. The show reinforces the emirate’s status of Middle Eastern cultural centre. Elected UNESCO’s Islamic Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2014, Sharjah has become the liveliest and, according the The Art Newspaper, the ‘funkiest’ centre for contemporary art in the region.

The 18th Islamic Arts Festival will open in December and will run for a month. The event presents 46 exhibitions in various locations, showcasing over 700 works by more than 250 international artists.

The organisers, the Department of Culture and Information of the Government of Sharjah, said the festival and the artworks reflect global contemporary art trends and modern visual art movements.


Bristol Post

The Bristol Post picks up on Pete success in being invited to represent the UK at the Islamic Arts festival:


Man of steel: Bristol artist has work hand-picked for Islamic Arts Festival UAE

Despite producing art seen by thousands of people in Bristol every day, Pete Moorhouse has a low profile in the city where he lives and works.

But now the 51-year-old, who specialises in steel sculptures for public display, has seen his work picked for a prestigious exhibition halfway around the world.

Examples of Pete’s public art work can be found in several Bristol  Hospitals, Horfield Health Centre and a number of schools as well as on Brandon Hill, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path and Concorde Way cycle routes.

Pete, who lives in Horfield, does little in the way of marketing and self promotion.

So when organisers of the Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates, got in touch to buy two of his sculptures, he was slightly startled.

“It’s a very prestigious event,” Pete told the Bristol Post.

“More than likely they found me from looking at my website.”

The two sculptures that will be flown out to Sharjah are both inspired by Islamic art Pete has seen while travelling in Morocco, Dubai and Turkey. They feature the symmetrical designs and geometric patterns often seen in mosques.

Both pieces have been bubble-wrapped and will be collected by a courier service before they are flown to the Middle East.

The festival will be opened by Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi – the ruler of Sharjah.

“There are a number of artists there who are all respected.”

“I think in the world at the moment there is an increasing polarisation of different cultures. This exhibition will bring together artists and and cultures in a positive way.”

To create the sculptures, Pete designs them on a computer, acquires the metals, shapes them and then takes them to a professional welder to “glue” them together.

This time round Bambury Metal Fabrications and FC Hammonds – both local firms who “enjoy working on something a little different” – gave a helping hand.

Pete, who is also the arts educator at St Werburgh’s Park Nursery, is now working on his next project – a sculpture which will be taken out to Dallas, Texas.

He has been making sculpture for over 20 years and regularly exhibits collections in the UK and overseas.

Pete is also a member of the North Bristol Artists and will exhibiting work at St Bart’s Church in St Andrew’s on November 28 and 29.

Read more:



Islamic Art Festival – UAE

Pete’s work is selected to represent the UK in the prestigious Islamic Arts Festival.

Sharjah’s yearly Islamic Arts Festival, now in its 18th edition, reinforces the emirate’s status of Middle Eastern cultural centre. Elected UNESCO’s Islamic Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2014, Sharjah has become the liveliest and, according the The Art Newspaper, the ‘funkiest’ centre for contemporary art in the region.

The 18th Islamic Arts Festival will open in December and will run for a month. The event presents 46 exhibitions in various locations, showcasing over 700 works by more than 250 international artists.

The organisers, the Department of Culture and Information of the Government of Sharjah, said the festival and the artworks reflect global contemporary art trends and modern visual art movements.

The event also includes first-time exhibitions of emerging artists who have gone beyond classical trends in Islamic arts. The festival is held in the city of Sharjah and in the East and Central Regions, across various venues that hold exhibitions, workshops, concerts and seminars.

An exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum showcases works by invited artists from Argentina, Azerbaijan, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Germany, Iraq, Egypt ,Turkey and the United Kingdom.

His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah will open the Sharjah Art museum venue where Pete Moorhouse’s work will be exhibited.





This sculpture combines themes found in Islamic Art – the symmetries found in nature and in the geometric motifs found in the tiling, engraving and architecture of Mosques. This work is a celebration of life – a celebration of light which supports and sustains life. The wave forms can be interpreted in different ways – they are light waves symbolising the journey of light from the sum to earth – an 8 second journey – their origin being so far away but being all around us. The waves make a connection between earth and the cosmos reaching upwards towards the sun.

IMG_3869 (Medium)

Contained within the mesh of waves is the essence that supports existence. Oscillating between night and day light etches the horizons of life. Light is an intrinsic influence on all our souls and we respond to light in our own individual way. Light supports life with equal benevolence and is seen as a symbol of hope. Light goes beyond the skin, travelling deeper into us, transforming us.

Light allows us to see what is there and also the potential of what might be.

The sculpture allows for other interpretations and is site-specific directly relating to the destination of United Arab Emirates, a sun saturated landscape with sand desert and coastline. The form could be seen to be waves connecting with ocean – patterns created by sunlight reflecting in water or they could be waves created in the sand being blown by wind creating rippling waves in the dunes.


The sculpture is intended to be illuminated at night –adding another dimension to the work.


Kiftsgate Court Commission

Pete was commissioned to create a large scale outdoor sculpture for Kiftsgate Court in Gloucestershire.

The sculpture is a celebration of life. Celebrating plant forms and the cycle of new growth and regeneration. The overall form represents a leaf. Seeds, spores or pollen could be seen to be represented by the negative spaces – their presence suggested by their absence – gone in the wind to create new growth.

IMG_4038 (Medium)

The geometric form of the sculpture and the elegant curves reference Islamic art traditions. The Islamic geometric patterns were inspired by forms found in nature – plant forms, petal arrangements etc. Extending this theme further, the skeleton vein pattern of a leaf have been replaced with an Islamic geometric pattern. This particular pattern originates from the Huand Hatun mosque in Kayseri, Turkey and would have originated approx. in 1200AD. This connection of the sculpture with another part of the world is a reminder that all life on earth is connected in one eco system.

The leaf is comprised of three flanges – they could be seen to represent each of the three generations of women gardeners at Kiftsgate – each having their significant and unique impact on the renowned gardens and landscaping. The work is also intended to give a sense of balance and harmony, being delicate but strong, supporting and being supported – rising – celebrating life.

The sculpture is contemporary but it is intended that the juxtaposition of modern art in the period estate is sympathetic. It is hoped and that the sculpture draws ones eye up the avenue of trees inviting a closer inspection.

The name Aspora is formed by combining the ancient Greek words spora (spores) and diaspora (scattering/ dispersion).

IMG_4045 (Medium)


Country Life Magazine

Pete’s sculpture is featured on the front cover of this month’s edition of Country Life.


New sculptural work

Pete’s latest sculpture takes motifs found in tiling and screens in Mosques and works with these 2 dimensional patterns and and interpreting them in sculptural form. The pattern becomes endless as it connects around the sphere. Light interacts with the work – as the viewer walks around the sculpture the different sections reflect the sunlight giving a sense of movement.


Creative Woodwork in the Early Years

Pete’s latest book “Woodwork in the Early Years” is published by Community Playthings. July 2015. The book aimed at teachers aims to encourage creative woodwork in early years settings.

Request your free booklet in hard copy or pdf version from Community Playthings:


Tel : 0800 387 457 (UK) / +44 (0)1580 883300 from 9:00am -5:00pm Mon-Fri

It can be downloaded here: Community Playthings link

It can also be downloaded from this site as a pdf here: Woodwork in the Early Years

wooworking book