What the grown-ups think

London’s National Gallery chose the dragon work Julie did with Capenhurst Primary School out of 100 schools in England and Wales which had submitted work for their ‘Take One Picture Exhibition’. Only a handful of schools were chosen to exhibit work.

The Lowry work Julie did with children from Upton Heath School was exhibited at the Salford Lowry (singularly, not as part of a general schools exhibition).

Art Days giant puppet work done with infants from Guilden Sutton Primary School has been on show in the office of Cheshire’s Director of Education, David Cracknell (at his request).

“Julie worked with our children on a series of large scale, multimedia art pieces representing the five outcomes of Every Child Matters. She spent one day with each class, ensuring that all the children in school had the opportunity to be involved in the project. Every aspect of Julie’s work was excellent: her planning was thorough, detailed and took full account of the school’s requests and needs; her relationships with the children and adults were superb – everyone thoroughly enjoyed working with her; she took every opportunity to extend the art work into other areas, e.g. 3D work and using ICT paint packages to extend some of the ideas and images; she provided inspiring professional development for the teachers working alongside her. Most importantly, the children thoroughly enjoyed the project and were motivated and inspired to produce art work of an outstanding quality.” Mark Mullin, as Headteacher of Boughton Heath Primary School. 

“If you’re looking for an inspirational artist to lead and motivate children and staff alike – look no further! The work Julie did with our children left them, and staff, buzzing with a huge sense of enjoyment and achievement. What more could you ask for?” Annette Williams, Headteacher, Barnton Primary School

“Julie has inspired not just our children, but also our staff, to attempt ‘the difficult’ and achieve ‘the unthinkable’. She has revolutionised our Art.” John Spencer, Headteacher, Guilden Sutton CE Primary School.

“You have a knack of turning water into wine!” Dave Williams, Headteacher, Deepoint Primary School.

“Thank you for a fabulous 3 days. It was great to work with you and so nice to have somebody take over and efficiently ‘project manage ‘ the work. I was concerned that the days would be massively disruptive for school but I think it’s one of the easiest ‘Artist in Residence’ projects we’ve undertaken. I liked the way the older children regularly revisited the piece with the younger children having a noticeable input at their own level. Using several media added depth to the piece!” Mavis Sellers, Headteacher, Saighton Primary School, Chester. (This mural was unveiled by HRH the late Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor.)

“The ‘Sea-life’ themed workshop for 27 of our year 8 students [and several year 13 students] was a wonderful opportunity to take part in the making of a collaborative artwork in one school day…The room was buzzing with the chatter of negotiation, ideas and advice and support, where every single student was able to make a positive contribution to the outcome. Julie Mitchell led the workshop with energy and passion inspiring our students to achieve something they had never done before. It was heartening to see so many of the students wanting to carry on through their lunch and after school in the quest to ‘finish’ something they were working on … The piece … made in bas relief, will be displayed by the school before it is donated to a local hospice.” Linda Van der Swan, Head of Art, Catholic High School, Chester.

“An inspiring three days, where the children were really enthused by their work and produced outstanding results. It has brought a calming unity to our front entrance. Absolutely fantastic!” Mike Dixon, Headteacher, Acresfield Primary School.

“The quality of the artwork produced was fantastic and the children thoroughly enjoyed learning a wide range of skills. As Headteacher this was also fantastic professional development for my staff and showed them how much can be achieved by children in such a short period of time. Your calm manner and the way you fitted into our small team was great.” Steve Docking, Headteacher, Delamere C. of E. Primary School.

“I couldn’t have wished for better. You say you want to give the ‘wow’ factor and that is what you have done. The children love it. I’ve seldom seen children so engrossed and absorbed in quality creative activities.” Glenys Owen, Headteacher, Upton Heath Primary School.

“Julie came to support us with a mixed group of young people aged from 9 to 19 – some with additional needs. She quickly engaged with the group and was able to guide and motivate them to produce work of a really high standard. Before the workshop we were able to share our vision for the project with Julie and she applied her artistic knowledge and creativity to turn the ideas initially generated by our group into plans for a successful workshop. She also advised us on materials to purchase beforehand. The workshop itself was well organised, relaxed yet structured and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We look forward to working with Julie again and would fully recommend her to others.” Kath Thompson, Merseyside Youth Association Mental Health Promotion Coordinator, Artistic Director of the Now Festival

“A real celebration of cultural diversity – breathtakingly stunning!!” Hannah Madelely, Headteacher, Hartford Manor Community School.

“Julie created an experience for our year three class which captivated, enthralled and engaged them for a whole day. The resulting display pulled the work together in an exciting and dramatic way.” John Womersley, Headteacher, Malpas Endowed Primary School.

“A thoroughly inspiring opportunity where children were engaged throughout and empowered to succeed from nursery though to year six.” Tracey Webb, Headteacher, Wolverham Primary School.

“The children thoroughly enjoyed the two days and the end product was first class [marionettes]. You get more than just art with you. I particularly like the way you encouraged the children to collaborate and develop life skills as they work. Taking part in these sessions had inspired me to create more group art projects of my own!” Chris Timms, Deputy Head Teacher, St Oswald’s CE Primary School.

“Mrs. Mitchell is a magic lady. She helps children do art that they did not know they could do!” Sue Hughes, Special Needs Co-ordinator, Upton Heath Primary School.

“A wonderful, interactive, creative, enjoyable day. Outstanding artwork. Children given experiences in working with 2D/3D materials, incorporating problem-solving and co-operative strategies.” Mair Strawbridge, Deputy Head and Lynda Eaton, Year four Teacher, Sandiway Primary School.

“The staff were particularly impressed with the way you were able to work with such a wide age range. We are all delighted with the end result and look forward to an inset day…” Also, “Discipline was never a problem as Julie handles the children so well…These children have excelled themselves. They would never have believed they could have produced this work.” Ann Attwood, Art Co-ordinator, Westlea Primary School.

“The children’s development, both artistically and socially, over the two days of the project, was incredible.” Michael Roberts, Year Four Teacher, Mill View Primary School, Upton, Chester.

“The pupils had a fantastic experience during your workshops. It was great to see them all working and concentrating so well. You really catered for their individual needs and every pupil was included and engaged in the sessions. They are all so proud of their finished work. A huge thank you from everyone at Dorin Park,” Sarah Adams, Art Co-ordinator and KS3 Teacher, Dorin Park Special School.

“A fantastic day—seeing a whole class of children fully focused all day was a sight to behold!” Sheila Evans, Teacher, Moulton Primary School.

“Good pace – planned well over three days. Children able to plan their own designs – evaluating these to feed the final design. Plenty of modelling outcomes by Mrs. Mitchell. Range of tools used in construction process. Team working skills were very well developed as part of the process. Children developed great sense of self-control. Stopping to share/review/extend work level. High standard of artwork completed.” Mrs. Melarangi, Class Teacher, Castle View Primary School.

“The three days that were led by Julie at our school were hugely motivational for both staff and children. The finished art work looks fabulous in our entrance hall.” Steve Mitchell, Head teacher, Hugo Meynell Primary School, Staffordshire.

“Our KS2 children worked with Julie on an amazing 3D Art installation which now has pride of place in our school hall. She is a consummate professional: organised, inspirational and with a genuine love for what she does.” Janet Whittingham. Performing Arts Manager. Palace Fields Primary School, Runcorn.

“We had an amazing two days working with Julie in September. She had a super rapport with the children, who learned a great deal from their time with her. Staff also gained many more skills and confidence to experiment with the variety of techniques she taught us.” Janet Dobson, Art Co-ordinator, Haslington Primary School.

“Working with Julie Mitchell is always a creative experience. She is great with the children and the end product is always value for money!” Darryl Pickering, Head teacher, Cambridge Rad Primary School, Ellesmere Port.

“The ink banners … are mouth-watering. I was impressed with how the children who had drawn the work enjoyed seeing what the younger ones had done with the colour – and not being a bit precious about what they’ve done. It was a fantastic experience for them.” Trisha Pedley, Teaching Assistant, William Stockton Primary School, Ellesmere Port.