Julie is a lead practitioner for IGNITE, a National Teaching School. IGNITE is the largest teaching school alliance in the northwest of England and its ITT provision, in conjunction with the University of Chester, has been judged ‘OUTSTANDING’ by OFSTED.
Art and Design
“One of the best INSET days we’ve had. Encouraging, useful and hands on with lots of practical ideas. Thank you.” Natalie Williams, Christ Church CE Primary School.
“Staff were ‘ready to burst with ideas’ following the visit from the artist [Julie Mitchell].” Review of Halton Schools Outdoor Learning Project arranged by University of Chester.
“All staff learnt new, easy and adaptable key skills to teach the children ensuring progression in sculpture happens in each year group.” Jill Coyne, Art Co-ordinator, Our Lady Star of the Sea RC primary School, Ellesmere Port.
“Inspirational sketchbooks. Gave me confidence to start the sketchbooks in class: lots of good ideas for presentation … Really helpful to look at the sketchbooks and see the processes involved … and recognising that the processes are as important as the finished products.” Teachers from St Oswald’s Primary School after a sketch book twilight session.
“Excellent skills learnt today. Lots of cross-curricular ideas learnt about through digital art.” Teacher from The Oaks Community Primary School re Digital Art INSET day.
“We had Ofsted in last week — they were really impressed with the art work and how the school looked, so thanks very much for helping us on our way — it really is a different place since you have worked with our staff and kids.” Andy Moor, Headteacher, St. Bernard’s RC Primary School, judged OUTSTANDING in all areas at that inspection.
“This [INSET] day has inspired our teachers and re-awakened their own creative abilities. Their enthusiasm and energy will be passed on to the children.” Liz Aeollo, Headteacher, St Werburgh’s and St Theresa’s RC.
“The teachers and children said that they got loads out of it and [the Year Six Teacher] was telling me how she is going to apply what she has learnt to her shelters project.” Paul Phillips, Headteacher, Our Lady Star of the Sea, commenting about a Key Skills Master Class.
“Most enjoyable staff meeting for quite some time!” – “Brilliant ideas” – “Really useful” – “thought provoking” – “very accommodating” – “keen to get started now” – “relaxing!”: comments after staff meeting at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Ellesmere Port.
“An amazing afternoon! Everybody working together to create a special and individual piece of art full of memories. Julie led the session with humour, expertise and experience.” Nic Wetton, Headteacher, JH Godwin Team-Building INSET session. Other staff said, “We doubted our artistic abilities until we saw the finished piece!” – “a brilliant art activity” – “loved all the teaching techniques and tips for art within the classroom” – “Fantastic – so inspiring!” – “Amazing and very, very informative” – “Fantastic ideas – I’ll be using some with my class.”
“Staff …gained many more skills and confidence to experiment with the variety of techniques [Julie] taught us.” Janet Dobson, Art Co-ordinator, Haslington Primary School.
“Julie … is very inspiring and motivating. She is willing to go the extra mile to support staff in their own professional development.” Lisa Faulkner, NQT teacher, Winsford Primary School.
“Awesome, pacy, practical session. Thanks.” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“Fantastic practical ideas and progression. A great example of teacher as performance, I bet your class love you!” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“Great, practical and achievable ideas, taught by a fun, energetic and enthusiastic teacher. Many thanks.” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“Love the enthusiasm and passion – very inspiring. Thank you.” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“Good balance of artists/foci/techniques/progression. Really useful to have your own examples and ‘must haves’ as a teacher/subject leader.” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“Most inspirational art lesson … Well-grounded and interesting!” Postgraduate student at University of Chester.
“An amazing day of training, after which I feel much more confident and competent in planning and delivering Art. New mind-set that you can’t be wrong, natural progression throughout the day to boost confidence.” Declan E, ITT student, IGNITE.
“I have learnt lots of new skills which I can’t wait to use in the classroom! I also felt really proud of my work!” Aimee, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Learnt a lot, the pace was effective and Julie’s bubbly personality (e.g. chicken impression) helped to make it all very memorable. Thank you.” Lucy, ITT student, IGNITE.
“I had a fantastic day. I feel I have gained a great array of ‘artistic’ terminology as well as picking up loads of techniques and ideas. I feel really motivated and excited to teach art to my Y2 class. Thanks so much!” Annie, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Loved how hands-on today was. I have definitely gone from being a three to a six [confidence and ability reference]. I feel more confident with how I can teach art. Julie, what can I say? You are so amazing. I seriously wish I had had you as my art teacher! I love how practical you made today and how you engaged with us as pupils in your class. Art is fun now, you have brought it to life for me with a lot of techniques. I always saw art as an observational subject where you just copy whatever’s in front of you. You have shown me art is so much more than that.” Stacey Parker, ITT student, IGNITE
“An informative day providing me with a lot of useful, innovative and fun ways to educate children through art.” Lisa Carey, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Fun, engaging and active – so many ideas and a great book of tricks to take away.” Anon. ITT student, IGNITE.
“My confidence has grown over the two days – you have taken the fear out of art!” Sophie Thompson, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Considering we only had two days to cover a lot of information and activities, we managed to fit a lot in.” Liz Tunna, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Really appreciate the handouts and suggestions for progression.” Anon. ITT student, IGNITE.
“Excellent discussions surrounding resources and vocabulary.” Anon. ITT student, IGNITE.
“Session leader very enthusiastic which made the day fun.” Anon. ITT student, IGNITE.
“Julie is very passionate and this really shows throughout the session. Very engaging and inspirational!” Emily Kennedy, ITT student, IGNITE.
“The sketch book is really useful and I will definitely be using it in the future for ideas! …Lots of great resources!” Sophie Thompson, ITT student, IGNITE.
“A superb training session.” Anon. ITT student, IGNITE.
“Great to be able to trial techniques ourselves and see the process the children would go through.” Joseph, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Useful seeing the progressions you could develop throughout the school.” Daniel Dowson, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Showed so many practical ideas in a short time and introduced loads of key language. It was great to try each idea to see how the children would go through the process.” Joseph, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Thank you, today was fantastic. I loved using all the different techniques and it has been amazing having our own scrapbooks because now we almost have a glossary of possible techniques to use with the children. The resources given to us have been amazing.” Sophie, ITT student, IGNITE.
“Plenty of ideas to take away and really enjoyed working together.” Anon., ITT student.
“Really useful session … It was useful to realise how long the projects take and the variety of materials that were available.” Sophie Hall, ITT student.
“Really enjoyed the practical day today! I think it shows us why we need to do each step of the planning process and helps us realise how much time the activities take. Thank you.” Sam, ITT student.
“Lots of ideas. Well delivered and paced. I have more confidence in teaching D&T. Really enjoyed it. Plenty of instructions on using different tools etc.” Alli, ITT student.
“It was informative and during the practical activity it was easy to link it to the cycle that was discussed during the initial input. Thank you!” Anon., ITT student.
“The day allowed me to better understand the design process.” Joseph, ITT student.
“I found today really useful. I feel that I have learnt the process of start to end of a Design and Technology project. I feel that I could plan a six week block of work with confidence and feel that my understanding has been enhanced through physically doing the projects. I found the chat at the end about the process really gave me clarity on what I’ve learnt. Many thanks!” Annie Williams, ITT student.
Display for Education/Enabling Environments
“Julie has been working on a bespoke package of support in our school to enhance learning environments. She has delivered Inset days and then worked alongside staff to develop a corporate approach to display. The impact of her intervention has been an improvement in learning environments and an increase in staff confidence and ability to generate displays that both promote and celebrate learning. Julie’s work in school has empowered staff to a point where they now enjoy creating a meaningful environment because Julie has helped to take away barriers and created a ‘can do’ attitude. We have also found her positivity and cheerful disposition a real tonic! Excellent value for money, I wish I could employ her full-time.” Jeanette Herbert, Headteacher, Christchurch CE Primary.
“Fantastic and very creative ideas. Will defo use these ideas within the classroom!” Danielle Martin, Teacher, St. Bernard’s National Teaching School.
“Fantastic ideas! Will be implementing asap!” Mike, Teacher, St. Bernard’s National Teaching School.
“Quick and easy ways to create displays for all purposes using textures, 3D structures and colour theme.” Emily Kennedy, Teacher, St. Bernard’s National Teaching School.
“I would love to take a year out and work alongside you for ideas.” Lesley Tudor, Teaching Assistant, St. Bernard’s National Teaching School.