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chantry school Artist Residency 

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Artist + Teacher + Collaboration = Knowledge & skills

This Project was an exciting opportunity to work alongside the teaching staff in one primary school to develop confidence in teaching art and understand better links between art and wellbeing.

In 2022, Chantry Community Primary School approached Culture Shift to design a year-long residency to support teachers in delivering their art curriculum. 

Anna Atkinson (pictured) led the project. Anna is an artist with a background in working in primary school settings as an art therapist and support teacher.

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Each year group from Year 1 through to Year 6 had access to 4 sessions with Anna with teachers having an additional day for planning and preparation, to support the development of plans, evaluation and additional resources.

Plans were developed with flexibility to adapt as they went along. Anna worked to incorporate into each block of work, books and stories, a range of arts skills and media, cross curricular links and a wellbeing focus.  Each class used two well known artists’ work as a starting point, linking them with topics being explored that term.

key Goals

This project aimed to focus on upskilling teachers to:
•    be more confident and skilled in delivering the arts curriculum 
•    be able to introduce a broader range of artists
•    see opportunities to weave arts and wellbeing into their teaching
•    explore the application of arts in other areas of the curriculum

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Impact on teachers

Teachers reported that the experience of this project was more valuable than regular continuing professional development as they were able to bounce ideas around with Anna and then team teach and co-deliver. This was helped by Anna being present to model activities and share her thinking process with teachers.


Teachers felt they were supported when things didn’t work, with time to reflect at the end of each session and plan for the following week. The residency gave them more time to observe children individually and as a group and were more able to offer them support where needed. Teachers benefited from ideas and skills gained which they could transfer to other subjects outside of the Arts.

“It’s about teaching a love of art & the confidence to explore and test ideas out. I love how Anna taught the children about the artists and how they started out themselves. The children loved learning about individual artists and seeing what they had in common with them too." [Teacher]

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