Artist Primary School Brief

About Rivers of Hope

River of Hope is an international art and education project which aims to inspire young people through creativity whilst linking to the geography curriculum at KS2. 

Over the period 2023-25 the project will be delivered in 4 UK regions and 2 overseas countries, linking with key cultural events such as Totally Thames, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Tamar Festival and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. 

The project seeks to benefit teachers by giving skills and confidence to apply art-based learning to their practice. It provides each school with the opportunity to link with a school in France or Ethiopia, who is also delivering River of Hope in their school. We ask schools to commit to the project for two years with the same teachers to provide maximum benefit and legacy.


Project Overview

We are looking for artists to deliver a combination of CPD and visual art-based workshops in Newham (London) primary schools over the months January – July 2024.

There will be 10 schools recruited. Each school involved will be asked to select a KS2 year group (8-11 year old pupils).

The aim of the project is to upskill teachers, leaving them with the confidence to apply arts-based learning to their curriculum teaching.

The schools will receive the following:

  • In-person CPD: Teachers from all ten schools will be invited to the CPD session where the artist will outline the project and lead a hands-on practical skill sharing session. This will last approx. 3hrs.
  • Zoom support sessions: Over the period March to June 2024 schools will be invited to attend x 2 zoom sessions (each 1hr) to share their project progress and ask questions / for assistance in the creation of their digital flag artwork.
  • In-school art workshops: Four schools will be selected (on a most to gain basis) to receive three days-worth of hands-on art workshops. These will be delivered across an entire year group and will result in an in -school display as well as digital artwork for a school flag.
  • Twilight whole staff CPD session: A 2hr after school session will be offered to all staff from the four selected schools. The aim of this session is to inspire and to show a simple art technique which they can apply use in their classrooms.

It will be the artists responsibility to research and decide the direction of the work, however, it is essential that the themes respond to the KS2 Geography curriculum and feature the local environment and specifically the river (wildlife, pollution etc) and that the young people get a sense of how Climate Change will affect them now and in the future. 

The artist will also decide on the best media for each workshop, for e.g., printmaking, sculpture, photography, collage. We are looking for an innovative approach, giving teachers and pupils the opportunity to work with materials they may not have used before. The materials must be environmentally friendly. The medium must be accessible and able to be repeated by the class teacher in the future.

Each school is to create the artwork for a flag (10 in total across the 10 schools). These will be digitally printed, incorporating the work of young people.

The flags will be shown as part of a four-day installation in multiple locations by the river.


Person specification

Artists applying should have:

  • Experience of working with young people, including those with special educational needs and providing in-school art workshops.
  • An inspiring creative portfolio.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • Experience of delivering teacher training (desirable).
  • Knowledge of the KS2 curriculum (desirable).
  • Good knowledge of Photoshop (desirable) – or ability to document art works digitally and make print ready.
  • A current DBS certificate.
  • Good availability during January – July 2024.


Artist Fee

£6,500 + £1000 to cover all material costs.


  • Timeline
  • Sept/Oct 23: School briefing on zoom
  • Jan/Feb 24: In person CPD session for all teachers
  • Jan – July: In person art workshops in 4 schools
  • March & Jun: 2 x 1hr zoom support sessions with schools
  • July 24: All digital artwork submitted for printing
  • Oct 24: Installation of flags


How to apply

Please email the following to Kate Forde at the email below.

  • Download this job description.
  • A cover letter outlining your relevant experience and what you feel you could bring to the project, including how you might interpret the brief.
  • CV.
  • Up to 5 images of your work.
  • Complete our equal opportunities form.



5pm on Friday 30 June 2023.


Thames Festival Trust Is an Equal Opportunities Employer

We are committed to working towards a more diverse cultural sector. Our recruitment process is open to all, but we are particularly keen to hear from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME). those who self-identify as LGBTQIA+, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those who self-identify as disabled, as these groups are currently underrepresented in our teams. Recruitment equal ops data is anonymised and used internally to identify ways to improve our process and reach the widest possible pool of candidates.

Got a Question? Give Us a Bell!

Kate Forde

Head of Education & Engagement

Kate has an arts background having completed an Art Foundation at Central St Martins and a Fine Art Degree at Glasgow School of Art. She spent the following years working in Art galleries and continuing her own practice until returning to London and joining the Thames Festival team! Kate has worked on many exciting projects and festivals and has travelled to numerous countries with Rivers of the World. She strongly believes in the importance of high-quality art education for all children and young people and has played a central role in developing all our key education programmes.

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