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


It is always nice to hear from people about work that you have done. Here are some comments, hope you enjoy. The most recent comments are first in the list.

YPO Drawing course (primary) June 2017:

“Would love to attend another course with Susan”. Lucy Beal, All Saints Infants, Wakefield.
“Fantastic day and brilliant course”. Beverly Heslop, Reception Teacher Hook Primary School.
“The course was amazing”. Mandy Barrett, Specialist Art Teacher, Gomersal Primary School.

Durham Secondary Art and Design Network, June 2017:

Durham Primary Art and Design Network (Primary) May 2017:
“Best course I’ve been on in ages”, “A fantastic session and brilliant idea for use in the classroom”, “Activities were inspiring”, “Brilliant creative session”.

Guiseley School inset day with Leeds SCITT Trainee teachers:
“The trainees are always inspired and passionate after your visit”.
Tracy Broadhead SCITT

Durham Primary Art Network April 2017:
“This was the best practical inset session that I have ever been on for art”
“I am going back to school tomorrow to use this with my pupils.”
“I can really see this being useful for encouraging the boys to be more involved in a current literacy project, I loved designing the zines.”
“What a helpful person Susan is.”

Norwich Primary Art “Drawn Together” Course, March 2017:
“So many brilliant ideas to take back to my school and my class. I had a very engaging and enjoyable day- thank you!”
“Brilliant. Some great ideas and good practice shared. I learnt what is good/unique/meaningful drawing projects for children”.
“Susan is very engaging, and entertaining, and knowledgeable.”
Most successful part of the day? “Just everything!”
Least successful part of the day: “It had to end.”

Being an Effective Primary Art Co-ordinator courses, February 2017 facilitated with Paul Carney.
“Loads of information-learnt a lot and great presentations in a varied way. Feel more confident now” Emma Archer, Cragside C of E Primary.
“Really great resources and presenters, really inspiring and easy to understand.” Victoria Malcolm, South Wellfield First School.
“Gosh! You covered so much and have inspired me!” Dana Harrison, Seaham Trinity Primary School.

(NATAS) National Association of Art Teachers Across Scotland Conference, February 2017:

NSEAD Where Have All The Boys Gone course, January 2017:
“Such an inspiring day-I have been enthused by Susan and the other teachers, cant wait to put some things into action at my school. Brilliant resources shared with lots of practical ideas. Thank you very much”
“I heard excellent things about this course and it really delivered. The content was practical, useful and supported by lots of resources and research. Going back to school inspired to make changes.”
“This was a really inspirational day. I can’t wait to go back and implement all these new ideas.”

“Dear Susan,
On behalf of the Art Teacher’s Association of Ireland I would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for being a part of our National Conference on Saturday September 24th.
We really appreciate you giving your time to prepare for and speak at our conference. Your contribution was both thought provoking and informative and stimulated really interesting discussion and reflection on how we can make our personal practice fun and creative.
This is something I personally feel very strongly about and try to inject into my lessons. I certainly felt reaffirmed having heard you speak that I was on the right track and no doubt others will have felt the same way.
We are very grateful for your hard work and making the experience so memorable and enjoyable for our delegates on the day. I will never forget those one minute sculptures.”
Nadine McDonogh Cunningham, President Art Teachers Association of Ireland.

Arts Council Collection, teacher inset day (Yorkshire Sculpture Park), July 2016.

Battyeford Primary School inset with Natalie Deane (Art and the built environment), July 2016:
“Great ideas for partner/teamwork activities. Active learning! Just what I need (rather than a “listen to me” type of course. Manageable projects. Thank you!”
“Thanks very much. I always find your input so valuable. Great ideas, which I’m looking forward to sharing with my staff. I am inspired to launch an enrichment week based on architecture. You’ve also given me great ideas for my teaching in year 6” Jo Morgan
“Absolutely wonderfu;. Learnt a lot (again). I always enjoy your courses and leave with a huge amount of ideas to use in my school.” Mandy Barrett

Artworks Conference London, June 2016:

NSEAD Subject Leader Course, Manchester Art Gallery June 2016:
“My first subject specific CPD for years and so well presented. The content and the suggestions were great starting points for discussion and there wasn’t a one fits all solution. You recognised all our differing contexts. Your head is filled with experience and ideas- all shared with us. I leave here knowing so much more. Thank you.”
“Remarkably inspiring on a hot and humid day- I was engrossed in the presentation and the sharing we all did in discussions. I am going back to school empowered. Thank you Susan. Thank you the NSEAD.”
“A fantastic day with lots of information which will help me to improve my own teaching and department. Thanks. I wish I could take you home with me, you are so inspiring.”
“The depath and breadth of information and ideas was incredibly informative andf helpful. Helpful booklets, documents, and examples of what has gone before, both in schools and generally in education. A heartfelt thank you.” Corinna Reeves.
“Re-focused why I am doing my job. Invigorated my passion for raising the profile oif my department.”
“Really useful informationm. I am finally excited to go back to work. Just waht I needed. I feel so inspired now. Thank you so much as you dont know what this means.”

NUT Keep Schools Creative Event, York Railway Museum, May 2016:

Steam Co Event, Barcays Bank, Canary Wharf, May 2016:

Hull Art Teachers afternoon at Baltic April 2016:“Making Connections”

“I wanted to send a quick email to you all, to say a massive THANK YOU for your input and inspiration. The feedback was fantastic, but after time to reflect (and re-cover) we got some really great feedback on the sessions, on how they would start implementing ideas in their teaching.”
Ian Read, Head of Education and Participation, Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Bromley Art Teacher Professional Development Day, March 2016:
“What amazing work and a great thing to do.
We too had an incredible day with you. It was so wonderful to pause and take stock with such valuable food for thought from you. All of the lovelies in the department keep mentioning it.”
“You and your most wonderful day with us last Friday has been on my mind regularly though. We had Options Evening this evening and I bombarded the headteacher with just how brilliant it all was.”
Stephanie Miller, subject leader, Charles Darwin School,Kent.

Well Being for the Artist Teacher: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art January 2016:

“Can I just convey my thanks for delivering such a poignant course when us artist educators are under so much pressure in the workplace. To spend a day in a wonderful setting surrounded by like-minded individuals couldn’t have come at a better time. We covered so much in a short time and everything we discussed has had an impact. I feel invigorated and inspired to take control of certain aspects of my work/life balance. Already I have been proactive and begun to de-clutter at home and I intend to continue at work. I now hope to take well-being to my school and share it with my colleagues.” Lorna
“I just want to say thank you for yesterday! It was a fantastic day, one that I feel should be compulsory to all PGCE students, just because I felt less stressed when I left. Being very new to the teaching profession, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to talk to more experienced teachers, informally, offering and receiving advice. Everyone involved seem to have benefited from the session.” James
“Thank YOU Susan. Always feel at home in a room full of art(ist) teachers. Lots of good stuff to think about and implement into our lives and in to school.” Rosie
“Just what the doctor ordered.” Emily

Storytelling and the Arts: Wroxham Schools Alliance December 2015:
“Visual learning aspect of the course was really relevant.Topical issues covered.”
“Very informative, lots of ideas to take back.”
“Great day, Loads of exciting ideas to take back.”
“Engaging. Really enjoyed the visual literacy session.”
“Really enjoyable, gave me lots of ideas for our school Arts week. Thank you, thank you.
“Art session was very thought provoking and enjoyable. Will take a lot of the ideas today forward, especially that Art can be part of every lesson. Fantastic day, thank you.
“Inspiring, great ideas for motivating children of today. Makes me excited about teaching.”
“Visual literacy was really useful.Good to see how Art and Design feeds into many areas of the curriculum. Making “The last Supper” with the dolls was a practical and good learning experience.”
“Such a useful day. We will go back to school full of good ideas about how to incorporate visual arts into other lessons.”

“Making Connections: What is Art” at Sandham Memorial Chapel October 2015, a new CPD partnershop between NSEAD and National Trust:
“Wonderful! A great opportunity to meet teachers and be inspired by great Art and people. Excellent sharing day. Thanks”
“Brilliant day-re-boot system-to take thinking time to think! Great ideas and super people”
“Very useful. I came away with an idea for an effective new scheme of work and even managed to outline seven lessons! Bless you and thank you.”
“Thank you SO MUCH. Today has been so inspirational and brilliant in every way. Amazing to raise my head abover the every day parapet. Thank you.”
“Great-as usual-lots of new ideas, reinforcment of practice and lots of fun-thank you.”

BALTIC Big Draw Training for Teachers September 2015;

“Thank you so much for organising such a stimulating and enjoyable session at the Baltic on Friday evening.” Jenny Purrett
“Big Draw event was brilliant. Thank you. I have learnt so much that I can use myself as a maker and in the classroom.”
“Friday was incredible- after a long week at work, to find the energy for three hours of inset. I don’t know how you do it, but you surely do inspire us all.”

I am also sharing the Big Draw Hanoi blog with you- I am so proud to be a part of all that:

Leeds Art Teacher Conference July 2015:
“Thank you for your input on the day, the feedback from delegates was excellent.”
Alison Yorke, School Improvement Adviser, Leeds City Council

NSEAD Course “Where Have All the Boys Gone” running throughout 2014 and 2015 academic year.
“Inspirational ideas, wonderfully presented”
“So many options. Understanding and passion. Mashed up my head in a good way”
“Excellent- very relevant to the art teachers worlds and the challenges of today. Inspirational”
“Perfectly pitched and inspirational. Thank you.” Glasgow

“What an amazing day- linking theory to practical application within our own subject. Sharing of case studies. Very open discussion which was encouraged by Susan. Feeling very happy and satisfied and thank you NSEAD
“Excellent and informed and expert presentation from Susan. Our opinions were valued. Our discussions were helpful. The case studies were impressive and will be shared back at school.”

Subject Leadership course; July 2015 (Keynote Education):
“ A superb course which will help me no end. Susan explained everything with clarity and conviction. This will definitely help my department and school” Ronnie King, Head of Art, Frith School.
“Excellent. Exciting. Informative. VERY inpsiiring. Tons of information and follow up contacts and info.
Great advice and discussion points. Sue was brilliant.” Emma Townsend, St Georges School, Ascot.

Architecture Primary CPD (with Natalie Deane, Battyeford Primary School), July 2015:
“A fantastic day. Really inspiring and practical. I have come away with lots of ideas I am going to use within my teaching, I especially loved the edge printing. Thank you.”
“An inspirational day- can’t wait to share at school and re-vitalise creativity again. Feel refreshed and invigorated. Thank you. “ Nikki Gregg
“Fabulous. A workshop with Natalie and Susan never disappoints. Stimulating, creative, bursting with ideas and other ways of approaching themes. F.U.N., informative….I could go on…..thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“I have really enjoyed the course today. So many ideas to link into the curriculum creatively.Pictures without pencils. Great for those who are not as confident in class. Thank you. “ Claire

Introducing Digital Photography as a GCSE Course, June 2015:
“Fantastic and relevant course that has proven to be very accessible and exciting. Resources and presentation were outstanding and I feel energised and ready for a fantastic Photography course”. Claire Rhodes, Desborough College.

“Excellent, lots of content and possibilities to help with extreme workload. Susan was really positive and caring and inspiring.” Julianne England, The Farnborough Academy.

ROH Bridge Ahead for Culture Conference June 2015:
“I am writing to express my heartfelt thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedule to travel to London and contribute to our conference last Friday. Your emotive third provocation was received very well by our audience and ably demonstrated the benefits of sticking one’s head above the parapet. Lets hope others emulate your brave and confident professional behaviours.” Sally Manser, head of ROH Bridge Programme.

Leeds Art Party, May 2015:

SCTT ITT Training day, Guiseley School, May 2015:

Setting up a GCSE Photography course:(course for Keynote Educational)
“A brilliant catalyst for setting up a new GCSE course in my school. Engaging, informative, relevant, completely current and up to date course. Susan is a legend. I feel fired up and truly inspired to start up photography at my school” Jennii Marker, Head of Art, Villiers High School, Ealing.

“Outstanding. Immensley helpful and engaging delivery. I feel much more prepared and have a clear vision of what I intend to teach in September. The advice and guidance on things I hadn’t even considered was most helpful, and Susan Coles input was exceptional.” Kelly Smith, Sacred Heart RC School, Redcar.

“Absolutely fantastic. Susan was brilliant. Great networking and ideas through conversation. The best course that I have been on.” Jen McCann, Bolton Schools (Boys Division)

Feedback comments:
“Susan’s presentation was excellent and provocative”, “The most successful aspect of the event was the delivery, passion and interest from Susan”, “A really good speaker who shared loads of resources” “Susan’s presentation was really thought provoking”.

Strategies for students on the C/D borderline (course for *Keynote Educational):
“Inspiring- has given me lots of exciting ideas and resources to take with me. The balance between theory, visual support and practical worked very well and I leftt feeling fulfilled” Soonita Ramtohul, Waldegrave School.

“In my ten years of teaching this has been by far the most inpsirational course I have ever attended. Susan has years of experience, understands what’s happening in the classroom and had masses of ideas and inspiration to share. Her wealth of practical experience and knolwedge is second to none.” Joe Westland , Priestlands School, Lymington, Hampshire.

“Excellent. By far the most inspiring positive and empowering course For Art that I have ever attended. I can not wait to get back to my school and begin to implement the many ideas and strategies I now have.” Joanne Cox, Beauchamp College.

“Exceeded expectations. Really informative, inspiring and practical. Real strategies to use back at school. Susan was brilliant and spoke with knowledge and experience, and humour” Ollie Brigg, Archbishop Tennison’s High School, Croydon.

Feedback from “in house” training day at Arden School, Solihull; “In the November Teachmeet, myself and my colleagues are going to share the changes that we made to our curriculum after the training we received from you. You might be interested to know that the boys outperformed the girls this year in art GCSE for the first time (based on their target grades). We must be doing something right.” Pauline Astle, Subject Leader at Arden School, Solihull

Here are some comments from teachers who attended the three Drawing CPD sessions at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield in June 2014. A fabulous group of teachers from EYFS through to FE and HE. I loved these sessions. The three workshops covered all aspects of drawing and also made suggestions for Big Draw activities back at school. The Campaign for Drawing organised sponsorship of materials from Faber Castell- much appreciated. I was supported at the workshops by the effervescent Anita Hamlin Learning Officer/Community Engagement Co-ordinator. We were organised effectively, enthusiastically and efficiently by Laura Travis, who is the Visitor Engagement Manager. The places filled up quickly and the feedback and follow up has been extremely encouraging and positive.

“Brilliant- so hands on and can really be applied in the classroom.”
“Absolutely loved all three sessions. Amazing and thanks.” Michelle Hampson, Art Teacher The Dearne ALC
“Brilliant, refreshing and fun. I have grown and developed and will pass it on.”
“Loved every session-really inspiring-learnt skills and lots of ideas.”
“You have inspired me masively. Thank you. Our kids will love all the new techniques and approaches to drawing.”
“I am inspired. Endless ideas and approached will come from these three weeks.” Jane Bartholomew, Senior Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University.

I also ran some “in house” secondary school inset sessions in the summer of 2014, looking at the new national curriculum in Art and Design.

“Thank you for last Monday: I can’t believe it’s a week ago! We really enjoyed the day with you and have been re-invigorated and inspired by what you presented and your questioning. We have had several follow up meetings ourselves and have put together some ideas and plans for where we want to go from here.” Jan Sprawson, Head of Art & Design at the Minster School in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

“I just wanted to say Thank You for such an exciting day. When you get out of a PGCE and into a school it is so important to reconnect to the pedagogy and the ethos of teaching art! You gave us the chance to reflect on this and I’m sure that the day will be invaluable in planning for next year… We were all reinvigorated this morning (Quite an achievement at this time of year)! You are an inspiration.“Jo Sliwa, Subject Leader Art and Design. Abraham Moss Academy, Manchester.

NSEAD National Conference March 2014:

Making Sketchbooks Primary Course at Batteyford Primary School Kirklees:

Norwich primary Art course: the new curriculum and practical Sketchbook session:
“Fantastic, interactive and engrossing course. Very inspirational as well as informative” Julie (Bluebell Primary)
“Susan, thank you so much for probably the most inspiring day that I have had in fifteen years of teaching. Fabulous.” Emma
“Good….no….fabulous. Thank you. Relevant info about the new curriculum which will be essential for September. Loved the sketchbooks and I will use this and some of your great TEA ideas.” Fiona Gordon
“Really inspiring. Feel invigorated-thank you-you have woken up the artist in me” Sarah F

Making Connections Primary Art and Artist Course Leeds Artforms February 2014:

“This is the best subject CPD I have ever been on. An exciting day of activities and thinking time and Art and stuff that can be taken straight back into the classroom”
“Thank you, its been a very valuable day in terms of ideas and information, as well as providing information for lessons and ways to engage children.”
“Many thanks Artforms. Please do MORE. Opened up opportunities. Relevant artists and talks. Fantastic keynote speaker. Inspirational activities.”
“Fantastic course. Loved Susan. Lots of great ideas and exciting thinking. Thank you. “
“This was a very valuable day, well worth the precious time. Lots to think about regarding how to embed art in the creative thinking process. Plenty of good ideas which are also applicable across curriculum areas. Good to be inspired and to reinforce what is IMPORTANT about teaching children. Susan was great.”

NSEAD Art and Design subject leader courses 2014/14:
“Such an inspiring and worthwhile day. A chance to get up to date with current issues. Susan is a brilliant presenter and advocate for the Arts, and really helps rekindle the fire. Thanks so much.”
“Invaluable- thanks so much. As always, NSEAD has reminded me why I love doing what I do. Lots of ideas to take back with renewed excitement.”
“Inspiring. Informative and a great opportunity to meet other practitioners. Susan has a wealth of knowledge that has given me guidance in spades.”
“So informative. I feel ready to lead a dynamic and high profile department. Susan is a source of inspirational and forward thinking ideas”
THANK YOU. For a lovely, exciting and born again day.”
“Legend! Thank god the vision is still around….”
“The most useful bit of CPD ever.”

“Thank you, thank you and thank you. What a fantastic day. I now have ideas for strategies which will help me to build a better and stronger team. I feel I have direction now. A great networking opportunity too. Thank you for the excellent resources too.”
“What a useful day, not just networking with others but in reflecting on why I do my job in the first place.”
“ I can’t wait to head back to school and get cracking. I need to clarify my vison and then attach a strategy.I want my department to shine.Thank you for useful tools to help with that”

From Pauline Astle, Subject Leader at Arden School, Solihull:
“I can’t tell you how useful your input has been today. After bringing my the department into the 20th Century 15 years ago, I’ve realised that there is work to be done to bring it into the 21st century! I can’t wait to get planning. You have really inspired us”

From Conrad Milne, Subject Leader Southmoor School, Sunderland.
“Great that the NEATEN is so well attended and has become a life line for the Art teachers in our region. Fantastic job Susan.”

From Walbottle Campus (Newcastle):
“Susan Coles has supported Walbottle’s Art department for a number of years. She has planned and lead leadership CPD sessions which incorporate strategy development in areas of creativity and questioning. New teaching and learning initiatives have been embedded in the departments she has supported, alongside coaching and mentoring sessions which have embedded her outstanding work. Susan’s vision has enabled the Walbottle Art department to move from good to outstanding, which was confirmed in a visit from a leading Art and Design Ofsted Inspector. These developments have benefited students’ and teachers’ confidence as the Art department achieved a 100% pass rate with 40% of students achieving above their target grade.
Alongside this Susan is currently working with me to develop many areas of the Design Technology department. This has included one to one strategy sessions and leading whole department sessions to develop a clear vision.”
Sarah Anderson, Head of Art and Technology at Walbottle Campus.

INSEA European Regional Conference Canterbury June 2013:
“I so enjoyed your presentation.You put so much into a short time but had everyone in that room believing the difference they can make,” “So, it seems the gloves are off in the world of art education. Lead us onwards comrade, we are ready and willing to defend”, “You moved me to tears when you talked about how long art has been important to human life”.

CAPE UK Bridge Symposium event, Sheffield 22nd May 2013:
“Susan’s presentation was very engaging and informative”, “Susan Coles is inspirational”, “Encouraging, broad based and honest and real”, “It was great to meet up and to hear Susan’s inspiring words.”

Arts Awards Conference, Wednesday 13th March:
“Susan Coles was inspirational”, “Wow!”, “A great presentation and useful information”, “Inspirational, a call to arms”, “Inspirational”

NSEAD Conference March 2013:
“I have sat through (well slept through) many a presidential address but yours today was something else, I loved it – so many, many thanks “
“ I feel totally inspired, totally part of something good and even empowered. Thank you.”

GCSE Photography Course:
“Excellent. Susan is engaging, experienced and professional and a real inspiration which is much needed in the current climate of teaching.”
Kate Jones, Art/Photography Teacher, Cardinal Newman Catholic School.

“Fantastic. So much information and shared ideas and experiences. I have so much to follow up. Thank you. Brilliant day :-).”
Kay Lynch, Art Teacher, Torquay Academy.

“Excellent, lots of fantastic ideas and resources and useful links which were very inspiring. Thank you for a great course.”
David Higgins, HOD, Monksham High School.

Key Stage 3 Art Craft Design course:
“Second course I have come to run by Susan-just as outstanding as the first…..learnt loads, discussed loads and reflected on my practice….thanks Susan, amazing day again.”
Lauren Carr, Newmarket College.

“Brilliant. Has given me loads of fresh ideas on how to teach at key stage three. Wasn’t expecting much but am now looking forward to going back and implementing ideas. Thank you.”
Charlie Horry, Art Teacher, Wellinborough School.

“Fantastic! Susan was an inspiring course leader and I have come away with so much more than I expected- ideas, resources, materials and ooooomph ! AMAZING.”
Hannah Gardner, Head of Art.

Underachieving Boys Course:
“Absolutely excellent and well worth the long journey. Lots of great accessible ideas. Very innovative and inspiring”
Danielle Atkinson, Teacher of Art, South Hunsley School.

“One of the best courses I have attended in a long time. “
Tina Brown, Teacher of Art and Design, Rainham Hall Grammar School.

“Fantastic and really informative :-), great range of examples and case stdueis. Picthed at the right level for NQTs like me and also for others in the room. Wish the rest of the department could attend so we could all be as enthused!”
Charlotte Sneath, Teacher of Art, Wadham School.

Sketchbook Day for Teachers: Leeds Artforms;
“Fantastic and informative day! I feel I have been given the tools to make sketchbooks relevant and exciting in our school!.
PS: Can I have your job? “

“Just amazing- the best course EVER in twenty years of teaching. THANK YOU.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the day and learned so much, not only about theories but how practical art can be accessible to all. The expert tutor, Susan, restored my faith in the importance of Art. I will be using all these things back at school.”

“A truly inspiring day. Therapy for teachers! I can’t wait to continue my journey and feedback in an inset to staff. Thank you.”

THANK YOU for an amazingly creative day. I feel so inspired and ready to implement all that I have learnt in school.”

“A fabulous inspiring session, grounded with credible historical context. Thank you very, very much.”

“Great! Super ideas for iPads and links to artists- I will be doing this!”

“I have so enjoyed today! Thank you so much. I found the artistic input so helpful. I loved the recycling and the idea of working around themes in secret”

Feedback from Arts learning Consortium Event, January 2013;
What was the most successful aspect of the seminar from your personal perspective?
“Susan Coles was brilliantly inspiring, a good nudger, questioner and left me quite moved. Yes I am passionate…”
“Susan’s presentation was extremely informative and left a lot to be debated about. The practical activities got people thinking and sharing ideas.”
“Inspiring, refreshing, excellent speaker, thought provoking.”
“I feel all fired up and inspired. Lovely venue, people, food and great speaker.”
“Susan’s presentation – packed full of useful links/info/updates – which then led to excellent discussion.”
“Provided me with a wider context of what is going on nationally with creativity in schools. It has given me the impetus todo something and use my role to further this message of saving the arts.”
“Speaker was excellent and very inspiring.”
“Excellent speaker – thought provoking. Meeting other like minded people. A very enjoyable afternoon.”
“Feeling motivated and empowered to be proactive, re-promoting the value of the arts – fantastic event, thank you!”
“Informing me about the future of art and design in the curriculum and boosting morale through explaining about all the different organisations that are supporting art. This helped me to discover what I can do.”
“Meeting other like minded people. Finding out ways that I can support and be supported.”
“The enthusiasm created by the speaker and the relevance for the arts curriculum.”
“Although it wasn’t what I expected – it has opened my eyes to what is going on around me in the arts outside my pottery room!!”

From the Creative Arts Team at Burnside School, Newcastle:
“Our aim was to provide a stimulating and relevant creativity curriculum for our KS3 students. Through Susan’s support and guidance we were able to realise these aims and more importantly a shared language evolved which helped us to articulate these aims to staff students and parents. Her ability to judge when to ask those difficult questions and when to encourage reflection enabled us to focus and prioritise. Susan would say we already had the answers, we had the puzzle pieces but Susan gave us the bigger picture”.
Traci Cain – Art Teacher
“Susan made me feel confident in myself & helped me to realise we could nail jelly to the wall”
Jane Yuill – Assistant Curriculum Manager Creative Arts
“Ideas and stimuli made us question why! Imagination is our next generation! Creativity is the lesson that sets our pupils free!”
Claire Cunningham – Drama Teacher
“Thanks for your for your calming, guiding influence over the last five months. I’ve really enjoyed working with you, and look forward to continuing to do so.”
Selwyn Thompson, Curriculum Manager Creative Arts.

“Sue, you do a fantastic job and give our profession a real lift and greater sense of importance in this climate of reduction within our subject.”
Conrad Milne, Subject Leader, Southmoor Academy.

Boy’s underachievement/bridging the gap course:
Tweet from Kelly Bignall

“Fantastic! Gave me my enthusiasm back.”
Mark Flanagan, Robert Smyth Academy.

“Excellent course, very inspiring, really well presented.”
Elizabeth Yates, Glenthorne High School, Sutton.

“A relevant practical and motivational course, which has given me some very good ideas that I can start using from tomorrow and which will alter my long term practice. Well delivered, and in a genuine and thoughtful way”
Sarah Donovan, Winterbourne International Academy.

“Really inspiring, informative, and practical. Loads of really useful things to consider and respond to”
Sarah Vickers, Art Teacher, The Eastwood Academy.

“Excellent, inspirational, informative, creative and fun”
Sam Statt, Art subject Leader, Charles Thorp Comprehensive.

“Brilliant! Thank you so much for such an informative and also hands on day. The resources are fabulous, the ideas amazing”
Lauren Carr, Art Teacher, Newmarket College.

“Excellent course. The best I’ve been on during my career as a teacher. Very motivating and excellent ideas to take back to the classroom and school”
Allison Jones, Art Teacher, Thurstable School.

“A treasure trove of invaluable information. Presented with accessibility and clarity.I can’t wait to test drive all these new ideas in the classroom!”
Nikki Cannon, Art Teacher, Edenham High School.

“A real tonic at the end of a year! Much food for thought in terms of working processes and classroom strategies for next year.”
Rex Matthews, Art Teacher, Cardinal Newman RC School.

“I am just completing the evaluation of the feedback from the stduents about the module which contained your sessions and just had to tell you that the feedback is highlighting your sessions a lot- some quotes, “extremely useful, exciting delivery, stimulating format of sessions, transferability to placements outstanding, amazing to have access to such a high calibre lecturer etc etc “
Sophie Cole, Course Leader PGCE Art and Design, Northumbria University.

Advanced GCSE Photography course: “Excellent-inspiring. Came away with lots of resources and ideas, PhotoShop skills and inspiration” M.Parsons, head of Art, Brentwood School

“Brilliant! Learnt loads and feel confident about delivering GCSE Photography in September”
Elaine Morgan, Bishop Luffa CE School, Chichester.

Gifted and Talented Champions inset:
“They really enjoyed it and so did I!
The Goldilocks activity was great and I know one of the staff there has done a similar thing in a lesson they taught since.”
David Anderson, Inclusion Manager, Walbottle Campus School.

Tweet from Dave Anderson

“From Good to Outstanding course”
“Refreshing and informative. Helped me to understand the key aspects of my subject to review in order to improve attainment and the experience of my students as well as satisfy Ofsted criteria. Sorted “the wheat from the chaffe”
Susan Monroe, Subject Leader Art and Design, Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form.

“Fantastic, very inspiring. I came away with lots of practical ideas. I came to an NQT course with Susan five years ago and this was as inspiring! Lots of knowledge which makes me remember why I am a teacher”
Emma Boyle, Teacher of Art, The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls.

“Setting up a GCSE Photography course”
“Excellent, informative and inspirational resources.Has to be the best inset course I have been on since I started teaching fifteen years ago.Well paced and pitched. Great networking”
Debra Morris, King Henry VIII School.

Tweet from Clare Stanhope

“Strategies for underachieving boys and those in C/D borderline”
“Excellent, informative course, delivered by a highly experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic speaker. Excellent visuals-no boring PowerPoints!!!”
Tess Fisher, Teacher of Art/Ceramics, Bolton School Girl’s Division

“Brilliant. Very accessible and with good balance of visual, hands on and shared information. Friendly and informative delivery. Excellent resources.”
Natasha Stone, All Saints School, Sheffield.

“Fantastic, lots of ideas-feel very inspired and ready to try new projects with my students. Course leader Susan is very friendly. Good pace and time for discussion etc”
Jennie Cooper, Teacher of Art, Ormiston Enterprise Academy”

“Wonderful!. Delivered by someone with significant practical experience, it provided very useful ideas and solutions for engaging boys”
J.Griffiths, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College.

From the Rotherham primary and secondary teachers Catholic Partnership:

“Very successful Creative Learning INSET today with whole school and all partner primaries together. Inspiring input from Susan Coles. Take heart. There are positive stories like ours out there in the learning communities which will continue to flourish and thrive, using creativity at the heart of learning, despite what the current agenda would dictate. Believe in people power!”
Debbie Hepplestone, AST and Community Arts Organiser. St Bernard’s RC High School, Rotherham.
Delegate comments:
“Guest speaker was excellent in reminding us what the core purpose of teaching is about”
“I thought that the session by Susan Coles was fascinating. It’s interesting that none of what she said included starters/plenaries or three part lessons.”
“The questioning techniques session, I found very helpful and will use it in my classroom teaching. It focused on all key stages and I found it very relevant.”
“The importance of creativity was well pitched and well explained.”
“I thought Susan was great-made me re-think my approach to getting kids to be creative and also about giving them more freedom/less restrictions.”
“Susan’s presentation was inspiring.”

Feedback from my new “thinking skills “ course in 2012:
“Most useful course I’ve ever been on. Never left a course so buzzing with ideas I can implement immediately!” Katherine Knowles Head of Art, Our Lady’s Catholic College, Cumbria.
“Really insightful course…thank you .” Robyn Williams, Everest Community Academy.
“Fantastic course/workshop-really inspirational” Mark Jones, Head of Art, Itchen 6th Form College
“Excellent speaker, excellent course…thank you” Janette Cullen, Art Co-ordinator, Cottesmore St Mary’s Primary School.

Setting up GCSE Photography course:
“This was an excellent course, extremely informative and helpful.The tutor was great, very knowledgeable and approachable.”
Andrew Pickles,Woodhouse Grove School.
“Susan was inspirational, with lots of great current ideas to take back to the classroom”
Sarah Casey, Art teacher, Sir William Stanier Community College.
“Excellent course, very helpful. Loved it”
Daniel Coombes, Head of Art, Flegg High School.
“I attended your course last year…‘Setting up a successful GSCE course’…..Would like to come on your course again because I found it really helpful. It was great to speak and share ideas with yourself and other teachers. I am now running the GCSE course and is going extremely well….Could you tell me when the next course is as I would love to attend and share everything I have done too!
Sue Jones, Head of Digital Photography,Ysgol-y-Grango, Wrexham

Boy’s underachievement course:
“Hugely inspiring. Lots of ideas for re-working,re-invigorating projects. Well delivered, no dull moments-fully engaged throughout…thanks” Zoe Whiteman, Cowes Enterprise College.
“Extremely impressed.Probably the best inset I’ve experienced.Excellent resources and practical advice that can be implemented in class”.
Karen Wilkinson, Head of Art, Salvatorian College, Harrow.
“Loved it-got so much to take away and share with the department. What’s possible with new media. Unpick my ideas-make more of of what I do but not be in a hurry to move on. Lovely inspiration and resources.:-)”
Nancy Lee Wragg, Charters School.

Developing Effective Questioning in PE lessons:
“I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for an excellent training session tonight. The feedback from everyone was very positive and everyone seems keen to try out the new ideas that you gave to us. Your delivery of the session was very inspiring and the content was very relevant and easy to use.” Jodie Urwin, Subject Leader (P.E.) Walbottle Campus

Autumn term 2011:
“Excellent course, honest and inspiring”, “Excellent course, very useful. I feel inspired about teaching again”, “Excellent speaker. Her experience and down to earth approach were invaluable”, “This course is too good, my head hurts. Brilliant!”, “Fantastic! Very useful and accessible with a course leader who has a realistic view of how schools can put ideas into practice”, “Excellent presentation. Susan worked with us and responded to our questions and concerns. Information provided on Ofsted was invaluable.”

These comments are from primary school art co-ordinators and teachers in Leeds. They were in response to the inset day I ran on Assessment and Progression in KS1 and KS2 Art, Craft and Design;
“What have you learnt?”
“I learnt not to be afraid to experiment”
“Sketch books are not for show, they are to experiment in and to show progression.It’s not about levels, it’s about progression”
“To give children ownership of sketchbooks”
“Less teacher talk allows more time for children to create”.
Comments on the day:
“Thank you so much! I feel inspired and I have got so much from today. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world”
“Great day and thank you for the resources”
“Another totally inspiring art training day,which should be made available to all staff to encourage more art in the curriculum”
“Interesting, useful,inspirational,sharing”
“Very informative-now feel inspired to increase the profile of Art in school”
“Thank you for inspiring me!”,
“Really useful day”
“Fab day! Great format! Relevant info, well done Susan”
“A super day-discussing how important Art and Design actually is in schools”
“A fantastic day, lots of good ideas on how to improve the way art is done at school”
“An excellent day”
“Good fun, great ideas, practical examples, sharing of ideas”
“Super delivery, good ideas to share, enjoyable day”.

“I just want to say a huge thank you for yet another fantastic term of teacher CPD at BALTIC. From shaving foam sculptures to George Shaw geography lessons you have managed to inspire many teachers across the region. The time and energy you put into all that you do is phenomenal. I’m looking forward to another exciting term ahead.”
Lucy Smith, Schools and Colleges Programmer, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

“What an amazing year having worked with you on a number of projects and seeing you steer some of the most fantastic NEATEN meetings that have taken place! Your belief, passion and energy for our fantastic subject is always hugely inspiring, you are wonderful to work with and I really look forward to working with you over the next year!”
Leanne Forster, Learning Assistant, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

“Hi Susan
I just wanted to email my thanks to you for a really inspiring Lighthouse course last Thursday. I think you are a fantastic tutor and the course provided lots of food for thought and future changes to our schemes of work. I feel like over the years I’ve attended all sorts of CPD and training courses in various disciplines and yours really stands out from anything else I have attended. So thank you so much and best wishes”
Ellen Shepherd, Ewell Castle School.

“Can I just say what a fantastic day we had today- I thought the course was excellent.. just what we needed to kickstart our photography course next term. You have given us great ideas both practically and highlighted issues that I wouldn’‘t have thought about.. so now raring to go!”
Lesley Thurlbeck, Art Subject Leader, St Leonard’s RC School, Durham

“As the founder of NEATEN Susan has continued to share her ideas and her colleagues ideas and experience and helped foster strong and new working relationships between a breadth of art educators, galleries (specifically Baltic) and other parties interested and involved in shaping art(s) education. I believe Susan is one of the most energetic, caring and passionate people I have met involved in art and design education she is generous, knowledgeable and her talks/insets are very valuable in shaping art educators continuing professional development. On top of all of this she continues to make art!”
Elizabeth Kane, visual artist

“The superb quality of the CPD session and the resources we prepared/shared during the half-day training allowed all staff to leave the session feeling confident in delivering the lessons learned the very next day back in school (which many of us did!). This can definitely be accredited to Susan’s meticulous preparation, superb quality of resources, and assured delivery – we all left the session feeling competent and capable, with a clear sense of purpose as to how/where/why we could use these strategies within our teaching.”
Denise Taylor, Assistant Head Teacher Lord Lawson of Beamish School.

“I am delighted with the Art department and the forward thinking approaches that they apply to their lessons. Your mentoring and training most certainly supports this. Thank you. In the meantime, many thanks for going that extra mile to challenge the department and to get them thinking about questioning and engaging students.”
Paul Sampson, Head Teacher at Walbottle Campus

“Thank you so much for your training session this afternoon.
It is a long day for us all but we enjoyed the challenges you set, I always love how we leave your training sessions bursting with ideas and itching to get started with our classes.
You have given us a set of really useful tools to help us develop our work on questioning and engaging students in artwork- I for one feel empowered to engage the students in anything from Monet’s water lilies to Tracey Emins bed! That wouldn’t have been the case yesterday!!”
Cherry Crooks, Acting Art subject leader at Walbottle Campus

“Susan devised the Coaching for Excellence programme we use at the college which involves training Year 10 learners to act as coaches for some of our younger learners. The new “coaches” loved the training, and the trainer! Susan really was an inspiration and they truly felt empowered to make a difference! As did I! The impact of the training on our younger learners was fabulous: they were more confident, happier at school and enjoyed having someone to talk to. If you are considering using Susan’s talents to develop your staff or learners, don’t think for too long…just do it! “
Susanne Miller, Assistant Head Teacher, Houghton Kepier Sports College.

“Thanks so much for yesterday’s inset session. Absolutely terrific as always. I tried the “What is Art?” with my Y8s this morning and it was tremendous!!! Ranging from comments like “a plug socket is a piece of Art because someone has designed it to look good on a wall” to “Everything is Art if it has been created – and it doesn’t matter what the purpose is” – it was magic!! They ranked all of the cards as being Art before we’d even looked at the Powerpoint. At the end of my lesson (and when the bell went,) not ONE of them moved, as we were busy talking about how Damien Hirst might have gone about making his shark piece. What a productive and satisfying morning!”
Denise Taylor, Assistant Head Teacher, Lord Lawson of Beamish School, Birtley.

“I had an amazing lesson today! “What is art?” with year 10 GCSE got some great feedback of the type of art they now want to produce. Thank you for yesterday, it was superb, as always.”
Rachel Atkinson, Art teacher, Framwellgate School, Durham.

“I was at your training session last Friday on engaging boys which I thought was fantastic.”
Jo Hewitt, Ashcroft High School, Luton

“Hi Susan,
Thankyou once again for your fab input with our Rotherham Network.
In these new and uncertain times, it is more important than ever for us to ‘gather’ our resources, ideas and support each other, whilst keeping up with the latest direction of education.”
Debbie Hepplestone, Community Arts Co-ordinator/AST,
St. Bernard’s Catholic High School

“Hi Susan Thanks again for yet another thought provoking session, the Heads of Art & Design in Rotherham really appreciate your updates and carefully focussed discussion of the most relevant and appropriate issues and ideas within Art & Design. Your presentations are always a joy, so clearly demonstrating your passion for our subject and your wicked sense of humour. How does she keep at the forefront of innovation I often ask myself? What a professional!”
Bev Attwell ,Senior Learning & Teaching Consultant

“Dear Susan
Thank you for an inspirational talk on Thursday in Manchester
Thanks again for a great day.”
Cath Thomas,Westwood College

“Thanks so much for the training on Wednesday; it was fantastic as I knew it would be.”
Sarah Anderson, Art Subject Leader @ Walbottle Campus

“Thanks for the course. It was the most refreshing one I have been on in ages”
Liza Morton, Head of Photography, Ewell Castle School,Epsom, Surrey

“Your course was jam-packed with information and ideas. My head was reeling after it! My previous knowledge of you informed my decision to apply for the course as I knew it would be down to earth, good, solid advice and best use of my time.”
Sheila Goodwill, Art Subject leader, Crofton High School, Wakefield.

“Hi Susan,
Just a quick note to say a very big thank you to yourself and Lighthouse. I really enjoyed attending your course and think you have a fantastic attitude and great energy. I hope you will be glad to hear that I have been following your advice all week, and have been making a wonderful experimental mess with the boys in school, and yes, they loved it! Thanks.”
Kay Lynch,Art teacher, Paignton, Devon

“Hi Susan,
Just wanted to say thanks so much for today. Your talk and session were fantastic and I can see from the evaluations that everyone really enjoyed them. I think the talk really helped them all to see what the whole purpose of the sessions was and the gallery session was brilliant in terms of making everyone feel confident in using the art and able to get to the nitty gritty of things.”
Helen Burns
Schools and Colleges Programmer
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

“Thank you for all the meetings and events you have organised this year. I know everyone appreciates them.”
Louise Gatti, Art Teacher

“We first dipped our toes, gingerly, into the scary prospect of organising a performance art project with GCSE students under the excellent facilitation of Susan Coles. This involved devising a mini artistic residency with artist Jordan McKenzie who worked closely with the students over the course of a week that culminated in the creation of collaborative group performance. It was Susan’s breadth of knowledge of contemporary art practice and how it could be practically applied in class sessions that made this project the outstanding success it proved to be.” ben ponton and lee callaghan, amino arts.
amino arts

“Thank you for yesterdays excellent course. I can honestly say that it is the first course in five years that I have left feeling enthusiastic for my subject again.”
Alistair Ruskin ; Art & Design,Thomas Clarkson Community College.

“Hi Susan, just wanted to say thank you again for such an inspiring day, and I’m certain that my students will be eternally grateful too! Looking forward to seeing the pictures from today.”
Sarah Edwards, Cottenham Village College.

“Thank you for an interesting, enlightening, inspiring day yesterday. I cant wait to get started with your ideas.Best wishes.”
Lynda Skerry,The Marsh Academy

“I really enjoyed your presentation yesterday – I thought it was vibrant, engaging and original and it really made me think about the need to make more effort with our online presence!”
Angela Hind,Assistant Director,
Black Country Creative Partnerships

“Susan recently facilitated an excellent session on networking and reaching teachers for Programme Managers of the national Creative Partnerships Programme. The skills I had seen Susan use in working with teachers and student teachers at Baltic were easily transferred and adapted to addressing this different audience. The session was a breath of fresh air for a group of professionals facing difficult political and organisational challenges – it raised their spirits and helped them to think about finding new ways forward, again, feedback was excellent.”
Helen Burns,Schools Programme Manager
Creativity, Culture and Education

“I found your course an extremely informative and thought provoking day-my mind is now buzzing with ideas-fabulous !”
Sarah Thompson, Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, Lincs.

“dear sue, how are you, your regular art network e-mails are like ephemeral torches in the darkest of lands.” Matt Horton, Whickham School

“What a fantastic meeting last night!! Absolutely brilliant, inspiring work and fantastic company! Look forward to the next!” Leanne Forster,
Learning Assistant, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

“I cannot thank you enough for your extremely positive , informed, and stimulating delivery on the “Newly Appointed and Aspiring Art and Design Subject Leaders CPD”. Your message of hope and belief in the professional abilities of today’s art and design teachers was welcomed by all those present. So too was your presentation of current issues as opportunities, not obstacles. Challenging us both collectively and individually to use our creative abilities as teachers and artists to make stimulating and exciting provision for our young people and it was entirely appropriate and timely. The formal evaluation sheets were full of praise for your session and my problem now is how to follow this next year” Tim Wilson, County Adviser for Art and Design, Suffolk.

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