Creative YOU

Creativity is everywhere. Opportunity is not.     

We are part of the solution. The secret is in our name. Every year Creative Youth Network gives thousands of young people a taste and thirst for the arts and culture and the joy, life-skills and opportunity they bring.   

But we want more.   

Creative YOU is our campaign showcasing how we, you and the engaged, emerging and amazing young creatives we support, come together. 

We want to reveal how, together, we are ambition, quality, cultural democracy and social mobility in action. 

Every young person deserves the right to access creativity and development opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

It all starts with education.

If all young people have access to creative subjects in school, then talented young people from all backgrounds can pursue their passion, develop crucial skills needed in so many industries and improve their wellbeing.

1. Pledge

Add your name and join the many people passionate about bringing creativity back into our schools.   

With all the pledges we’ll be reaching out to headteachers in Bristol and the South West. We hope this will encourage local academies to give more space to creativity in their curriculum.  

Bristol, being the creative city we know and love, can pave the way for other regions to do the same, showcasing the true value of creativity.  



2. Sign up

Join us by signing up to our newsletter where we share best practice of how to support young people. 

sign up 


3. Find out more

Join us by reading and sharing our CreativeYOU report which shows how our work brings opportunities for creative expression and enables young people to explore their talent, regardless of background or circumstance.  

Download our Creative YOU report


Back-to-school season is officially upon us and after the 6 long weeks of holiday, going back to school can feel dreadful but it doesn't have to feel that way. We've compiled 5 back to school tips to help you smoothly transition from holiday mode to achieving your goals!

Tip 1: Get your Sleep Schedule Back on Track 

After 6 weeks of uninterrupted relaxation, staying up late, unlimited phone usage, and no commitments getting back into the school routine of waking up at 7 am and having to stay alert for up to 7 hours a day can seem a bit daunting. This is why it is vital to start preparing yourself so that you're not going to school on 4 hours of sleep. If you're heading into year 11/13 (exam years), sleeping enough is essential for retaining your long-term memories. When your internal clock can't catch up to your school schedule it can cause mental and physical issues. Some – like grogginess – slow reaction time, lower brain functioning, and increases irritability

Here are a few ways you can start getting your sleep schedule back on track before school starts:

  • Gradually adjust the time you go to bed. It's suggested to advance your bedtime by small increments of 15-20 minutes per night so it's best to leave about a week before school starts.
  • Turn off your TV, tablet, computer, and phone when bedtime approaches. So set personal screen limits especially if you have grown accustomed to being on your phone all night.
  • It may seem a bit obvious, but avoid any caffeine after midday. Caffeine may help you perk up in the morning but avoid any caffeine intake later in the day. It can prevent you from sleeping at night.


Reset Your Broken Internal Sleep Clock & Fix Sleep Schedule - Amerisleep

Tip 2: Set Goals, both Academically and Socially 

The start of the school year is like the start of a new year, you make resolutions that only last a week then you're back to your old devices, but setting yourself personal, academic, and social goals can help ease the transition to whatever year you'll be heading into this autumn. Goals such as reading a new book a term, reaching your target grades, meeting up with friends outside of school once a week, getting fit, bettering my mental health, etc. You set goals personalized to your situation. 

Here are some ways you can set goals up for yourself and achieve them using the S.M.A.R.T Method:


When setting your Academic goals, don’t just keep them vague and broad. Make them specific! write down particular things you want to do. For example, if you want to get an “A” in maths, don’t just write “Get an A in maths.” Break it down to maybe the particular topics you want to get better at or how many hours you’re going to spend studying and how many days a week.


This is keeping your goals measurable, so you can keep track of your progress over the year and tell when you’ve achieved them! Using the example of getting an "A" in maths, you can set the number of topics or past papers you want to do a week, or by a specific date.


You have to set goals that are realistic and can be done. While breaking your academic goals into specific small steps, which makes them practical, you also have to make sure that those steps can be achieved within the set time you set yourself while still leaving enough time to have a social life and personal time

Your goals should be out of your comfort zone, but they shouldn't be too far out of your realm of capabilities that they'll be discouraged and disappointed if you don’t achieve them.


When setting goals, make sure they are essential and useful to you. Don’t set goals because your friends are setting theirs. It can make these goals lose their purpose and value because there won’t be genuine enthusiasm for them, and you can get disappointed if you don’t achieve them.


Your goals should have deadlines and specific dates by which you want to have achieved them. This keeps you focused and accountable.


How To Set Goals and Achieve Them (

Tip 3: Get Organised!

Making sure you have the right supplies and uniform is key to starting the school year right! Make this a habit for every school night, make sure you have the right books for classes, stationary, and kit for any extracurricular activities. 

Here is a basic list of essential school supplies that you'll need:

  • Exercise books
  • Pencil case 
  • Pens 
  • Pencils 
  • Highlighters
  • Pencil Sharpener 
  • Rubber
  • Ruler 
  • Colouring pencil
  • glue stick
  • PE kit and Trainers 

Stationery Extras You May Need:

  • Compass
  • 360-degree protractor
  • Scientific calculator
  • dictionary and thesaurus

Tip 4: Take care of your mental health 

As winter and less daylight approaches, so does seasonal depression for many people and the repetitive nature of a school routine doesn't help, which is why it's important to still leave time for hobbies and the things you enjoy.

I for one found it very depressing when I went to school when it was dark and finished school and it was dark outside, it felt like I didn't enjoy the daylight and it can take a toll on your mental health. The pressure of mock exams and final exams didn't do my mental health any favours but taking time to watch my favourite movies, cook my favourite meal or paint really kept me grounded and feel less overwhelmed.

- Chantel, Marketing apprentice 

Hobbies can help take your mind off external factors that are out of your control and aid as an escape even if it is for a short time. Getting mental health help these days can be difficult with wait times being tedious, but if you have a teacher you trust or anyone here at CYN, don't hesitate to seek help, you are never a burden. 

Here are some ways you could try to take care of your mental health:

  • Practice Mindfulness - use positive affirmations and meditation to calm yourself when overwhelmed
  • Self-Care - take a bath, do a face mask, treat yourself to some treats
  • Express yourself creatively - Paint, make music, and do crafts (Our Autumn courses provide classes for free!)
  • Meet up with friends - being around people can calm you and take your mind off things
  • Talk it out - with friends, trusted teachers, or CYN counsellors 

Find out more about seasonal depression:

Overview - Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - NHS (

Get mental health help

Tip 5: Time Management

If the section on mental health has taught us anything, is that time management is key to being as stress-free as possible. Time management of your studies and your personal life is essential and here are some ways you could manage your time efficiently:

  • Prioritise your tasks - study the most important and urgent subject first then go from there
  • Set a time to complete tasks - setting time constraints can help keep you focused and efficient.
    Also, make sure you set a time when you're usually more productive i.e. if you're a night owl, then study at night 
  • Organise by using a calendar - There are many digital calendars apps that you could use to keep track of your deadlines and your hobbies 
  • Plan Ahead - when you plan ahead, you'll feel less stressed and more in control as you'll know what's coming up 


Time Management - List of Top Tips for Managing Time Effectively (

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