Jo Atherton
Info for Schools
Contact Details

I am a professional artist and freelance creative educator. I enjoy working with community groups and schools to deliver a wide range of workshops, spanning KS1 to A Level and beyond. I delight in the opportunity to share my skills and be part of a learning community, believing creativity is an essential element of education and will always strive to provide an infectious level of enthusiasm in my workshops.

I have a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Cultural & Critical Studies which stems from my fascination in using objects to tell stories. I would be especially interested in opportunities which could use syllabus texts as a starting point for creative projects. I am more than happy to tailor workshops to particular age groups or learning outcomes on your syllabus and enjoy crafting a bespoke proposal which will meet your learning needs.

Example workshops:

Flotsam Weaving workshops explore working with found materials, recycling and the growing problem of marine litter. Pupils each learn to string their own ‘flotsam fish’ willow loom and then develop basic weaving skills as they introduce a variety of materials into their fish. These projects can come together to form a shoal at the end of the project which make for a dramatic display in the school.

My Future Fossils workshop provides an opportunity for pupils to work with clay and consider how everyday objects we throw away will be interpreted in the future. Thinking about the imprint these objects are leaving on the planet, this workshop activity involves working with clay to create modern ‘fossils’. Tiles would be imprinted with everyday objects from my beachcombing collection to create a permanent example of our plastic legacy.

A recent Aboriginal Art workshop was an opportunity to combine the study of Doris Pilkington’s Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence alongside an exploration of common symbols used in cave art. Sections of the text were decoded into Aboriginal symbols to signify the story without using words. Comparisons were made to the use of symbols in popular culture, in particular the use of emojis in text messages to convey a wealth of meaning and emotions.

Work with professional organisations:

As well as local schools and colleges, I have also worked with a number of organisations to deliver engagement activities. These include the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, the University of Cambridge, Litter Free Coast & Sea with Dorset Wildlife Trust and this year, the Cutty Sark, Royal Museums Greenwich, London.

Challenges by this provider

Fee Structure:

I charge £50 per hour or £300 for a full day, to include all materials and preparation time. A detailed breakdown of costs will be provided in a bespoke proposal after our initial conversation around your workshop needs.

School workshop experience:

University of Bedfordshire Aspire Day (2017)
Biddenham School STEAM Day Bedfordshire (2017)
● Beauchamp Middle School, Bedfordshire (2017)
Ursula Taylor Middle School, Bedfordshire (2017)
Bedford Modern School (2017)
Challney Girls' School, Luton (2017)
Biddenham School, Bedfordshire GCSE Art workshop (2017)
● Beauchamp Middle School, Bedfordshire (2016)
Margaret Beaufort Middle School Bedfordshire (2016)
● Harrold Priory Middle School Bedfordshire (2016)
Joan of Arc School Hertfordshire A Level Art workshop (2016)
Artistsmeet Gallery adult weaving workshop (2016)
CLEY15 workshop at the North Norfolk coast arts festival (2015)
Stratton Upper School Bedfordshire Arts Weekend (2015)
Flotsam Weaving workshops at Bromham Mill, Bedfordshire (2014)
Watford Museum Half Term weaving workshop (2014)
St Francis’ School Artist in Residence supporting a variety of lessons (2013/4)
Artists Access to Art Colleges Residency at North Herts College (2012/13)


REFEREE 1: Rebecca Hayes, Head of Art, St Francis’ College, Letchworth, Hertfordshire,

REFEREE 2: Lesa Welch, Head of Art, Stratton Upper School, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire,

Other information:

Insurance: Public Liability Insurance held.

Safeguarding: Valid DBS Check held, Safeguarding Policy held.

Arts Award Adviser: Discover & Explore

Contact Name
Jo Atherton
Caleb’s Cottage, 5 The Green, Harrold, Bedfordshire. MK43 7DB
01234 721554 / 07879016701