Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Working with artists in schools

Schools are experiencing a shift towards creative teaching and learning. Freelance artists can help you to enrich your pupils’ creative learning experiences, enhancing the lively, vibrant environments of today’s schools.

The key teaching and learning aims of working with artists are to:

  • support and develop pupils’ arts education experiences by extending their experience of wide variety of art forms

  • encourage exciting and creative approaches across the curriculum and beyond

  • encourage and enable pupils to develop confidence on self-expression and creativity, and to support their personal, social and emotional development

  • encourage staff members’ creative and artistic professional development

  • open pathways to creative employment and careers with artists modelling professional practice.

Having shared goals is vital to the success of partnerships between schools and artists, so schools need to:

  • ensure the aims and objectives of a project are clear for both teachers and artists

  • allow adequate time for planning and evaluations, involving all partners, and including pupils, from the start

  • establish clear lines of communication so that teachers and artists know how and when to contact each other

  • be realistic about what can be achieved, whilst being imaginative on approach 

  • remember that a long term partnership will yield different and often rewarding results.

When planning, check that you have:

  • selected the best artist for your project

  • met and established good communication with the artists or arts organisation

  • agreed the aims and outcomes of the project, how it will be monitored and evaluated, and how it may continue to work in school, when work with the artists has finished.

  • set out clearly the roles and responsibilities of teachers and artists in relation to pupil behaviour and management and project delivery

  • finalised a contract that includes agreed terms and conditions of the project with the artists, including an agreement of payment.  For more information on contracts, - see the ALISS website

  • made the artists aware of the school’s expected code of conduct and its Equal Opportunities, Child Protection and Health and Safety policies.

  • informed relevant staff of the project and its potential impact.

Throughout the project, check that:

  • the artists are supported during their workshops, as well as at break times, lesson changeovers and any out of hours sessions

  • the workshop space is appropriate, available and properly prepared

  • a designated member of staff will manage and monitor the artists throughout their time in the school

  • all staff are aware of, and fulfil their roles and responsibilities.

Monitoring and evaluation

Make sure that you have agreed on a process that monitors and evaluates the project with both staff and artists, and  created opportunities for pupils to give you feedback. Also ensure that you have kept a record of the project as a potential reference for the artists, other schools and the local authority.


Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

The following document is in Word format. You can download software to view Word documents for free from the Word viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Featured articles

Derbyshire Festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right through the year and right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops across Derbyshire through the year.

artsderbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.