Students Staff

Arts Education

Working alongside our academics, Art Exchange, ESCALA and the Lakeside Theatre, our Arts Education team offer a variety of opportunities to primary schools. Our activities strengthen and deepen schools’ experiences with a wide range of tailored artistic programmes, exposing students to high-quality arts experiences and artistic facilities.

Our vibrant and varied programme offers primary school children the opportunity to explore and participate in the arts from an early age.

Schools in and around the Colchester region can contact us in order to access our programme. Our projects also support schools that are currently on an Artsmark journey.

For Arts Education’s latest news and updates, join our Mailing lists below (we’ll only get in touch when we have something really exciting to share):

You can also find us on Twitter

Upcoming events

  • GCSE Drama support - January to April 2019

    We understand that the run up to GCSE Drama practical exams can be a busy time of year for both you and your students. We offer the opportunity for our undergraduate students to support your learners in the preparation for their exam, with help devising and rehearsing final pieces.

    Our students will also be able to offer inspirational insight to university life during this important decision-making time. Please get in touch with us to discuss how our students could support your school between now and the big day.

    Visits can be scheduled to sit within your normal timetabled lessons.

    • January 2019 – April 2019

    Contact Clare Ruffle at

  • Human Rights Prize 2018/19

    Human rights are the fundamental rights and freedom that belong to every single one of us.

    The Human Rights Prize is our annual competition run in collaboration with the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre. Students will learn what human rights are, as well as how they affect the decisions we make and the situations we experience on a daily basis. Often they are taken for granted and it is only when our rights are violated that we stand up and take notice.

    Participating schools are invited to an Inspiration Day at the University of Essex to take part in bite-size lectures by leading academics, exploring what human rights are and why they matter. They’ll participate in hands-on workshops led by visiting artists and learn how the arts can be a powerful tool to communicate difficult and complex ideas.

    The aim of this project is to empower young people to stand up for human rights and protect the rights of others. Over the course of 10 weeks they’ll work in teams of 10-15. Each team will produce a creative project to engage others about what they have learnt. Students might devise performances, create artwork, and organise events for their schools and local community to share their messages. The teams will return to the University to showcase their work to a panel of judges.

    Key dates

    • Inspiration day - Thursday 13 December 2018
    • Final - Wednesday 3 April 2019
    "I feel that today has helped me to expand my knowledge on human rights and taught me how to interact with others whom I did not know."
    Student, Clacton Coast Academy
    "The poetry session [was my favourite] because I am passionate about poem writing and it made me think about how I could use that to make an impact."
    Student, Cecil Jones

    Contact Kate Beckwith, Arts Education Manager at

  • The Dora Love Prize

    The arts can be a valuable tool to highlight and communicate challenging and pertinent issues. We work with our Department of History annually to provide the Dora Love Prize, a Holocaust awareness project for KS 3 and 4.

    The Prize goes to the project which expresses best that which was most important to Dora Love: speaking up against hatred wherever it occurs and never forgetting the ultimate consequence of seemingly small acts of discrimination.

    • Induction Day – 27 September 2018
    • Prize Giving Evening – 25 January 2019
    "[I] really loved that it looked on the positive side and looked to the future."

    Contact Kate Beckwith, Arts Education Manager at

  • Art and Design Teacher CPD

    Our popular CPD enables teachers to share best practice and gain new ideas to take back to the classroom.

    Engaging and Motivating Boys in Art and Design

    This year we will be focusing on careers within the cultural and creative industries. We’ll look at how your lessons can demonstrate to students, parents (and colleagues) why art and design matters and the range of careers it can lead to.

    Our hands-on workshops, including digital arts, will introduce you to activities that can be easily implemented in the classroom. The day will leave you feeling inspired and optimistic about the future of arts.

    The day will also include a briefing around Artsmark: how it has helped schools, the benefits of the process and how it links to OFSTED SMSC.

    Further information will be shared closer to the date via this webpage, our newsletter, and Twitter feed.

    "Thank you for a fantastic day. It was inspiring and engaging…After attending last year's event, I spent a term trialling a new scheme-of-work based on raising boys' attainment and engagement. The data and outcomes prove this was a success - so thank you! I look forward to attending your fabulous events again in future."

    Contact Clare Ruffle at

  • College End of Year Show at Art Exchange - June 2019

    • Exhibition date: June 2019
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    End of Year Show 2018.

    We are now taking applications from Schools Membership Plus partners to hold their End of Year Art Exhibition at our on-campus gallery, Art Exchange.

    Art Exchange shows international, contemporary art by established and emerging artists and will be a great opportunity for your student’s to curate their own exhibition in a professional art gallery.

    Tendring Technology College, Suffolk One and Colchester Sixth Form College have all worked with our Arts Education team in previous years and put on superb end of year shows at Essex. We support your students to successfully curate their own exhibition with our professional installers, and help host their special opening event. These are always incredibly popular, with family and friends amongst hundreds of visitors to the gallery, so get your application in early. All sessions and events are fully funded.

    How to apply


    Kate Beckwith, Arts Education Manager
    Telephone: 01206 873889

Past events

  • Caroline Walker Exhibition and Supporting Workshop

    This autumn, Art Exchange will host a series of paintings by Caroline Walker titled ‘Home’. Each painting depicts a less familiar portrayal of the refugee crisis. Walker met and photographed five women living in temporary accommodation before making paintings of each in her studio. These quietly intense paintings give a sense of the powerful individual stories behind the immigration statistics.

    To run alongside the exhibition, we are offering groups of KS4 students the opportunity to take part in a hands-on workshop led by local artist Jane Fredrick. Students will explore the themes and style of Walker’s work and produce a number of creative responses.

    The programme for the day can be tailored to suit your students. This can include a lightning talk by an Art Historian and a tour of the campus.

    The exhibition runs from 26th September to 3 November 2018.

    Dates available

    • 30 October
    • 31 October
    • 1 November

    Other dates available upon request.

    Contact Kate Beckwith, Arts Education Manager at

Contact Us

To find out more about the Arts Education team and ways we can work with your school, please contact