Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

Posted in Education Education Education

Tired, after a day at work, but still making the effort to come along and share good practice and find out what is going on locally and nationally, the NEATEN members filled level 2 of Baltic and had an interesting and arresting set of presentations to help them reflect and enjoy and celebrate art, craft and design education.

Many thanks to Emma Horseman ,from the Customs House team, who told us all about the cultural offer for young people that they had available and also offered a 50% discount to NEATEN members who want to sign up to the resource section. This link takes you to that offer and will lead to the rest of the ch-arted

Paul Twibell, who is a trainee teacher on the University of Northumbria PGCE course, shared his fun KS3 project with us. Designed to engage boys as well as girls, this was about creating tribal masks which bore the decoration of the tirbal world of logos that we live in. The process was shared and the outcomes were shown and both were exemplar examples of what really does engage children in the classroom.

Nathan Nugent is also on the PGCE course and his project was about engaging low attaining students in a drawing process which was fun and which would lead to a journey about drawing, de-constructing and re-constructing using geometrical shapes and paper, and finally into sewing. The textile “ugly dolls” which were the final outcome were just so good!

Jono Carney is not just an art teacher, he is the VLE manager at Bishop Barrington School. Jono shared his own personal journey through the geekiness of technology and reminded us, nostalgically, of all those lovely Spectrum computers and Sony Mavica digital cameras that seemed so futuristic at the time. Not any more they don’t ! Jono is utilising technology in the classroom in a fascinating way, bringing social media into group work and using this for displaying, recording and storing work. He is now busy exploring how the ipad can be used as a learning tool. Jono’s talk was full of fun and humour but also showed us what it is that technology can do to support art,craft and design teaching and learning. Jono’s school flickr page is here: Bishop Barrington art department

Paul Carney did what Paul does best. He shared with us the innovative and creative way that he approaches teaching the subject, with open ended briefs and effective questioning and a belief that students don’t need to be directed at every step of the way. This also challenges the audience into reflecting on the way that they teach and opening up minds to alternative ways of doing things. Again, the presentation was well paced and full of humour. Paul’s ideas can also be seen at:
Paul’s flickr page and also at
Paul Carney Arts

Lucy Smith also updated everyone on the Artist Teacher Scheme and the Baltic/Northumbria M.A. course. Lucy also extended an invitation to everyone to sign up for the DRAWING INSPIRATION twilight event on Friday 23rd March. Eileen Adams (Campaign for Drawing, Big Draw,renowned writer, educator, and all round inspiration ) will be coming up to the north east and working with me and Lucy, in what what we hope will be a mixed group of 100 educators on level one of Baltic- to do a massive and fun drawing inset.

When everyone finally left, there was such a buzz of appreciation. This is a great group of practitioners who are now a fully developed and self generating community of practice with genuine interest and respect for each other and a love of the craft of teaching. I have no doubt that the lively on line debates will continue on the Facebook page, there is so much more to come this year everyone, enjoy it all.

NEATEN, you really do rock !


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