Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...


Cultured (St Helens Cultural Education Partnership) was created to ensure that we are offering the best possible information about all arts and cultural opportunities across St Helens Borough, as well as working in collaboration with schools to build on the town's already fantastic offer.

As an Artsmark town, a creative quality standard for schools accredited by Arts Council England, St Helens Borough recognises that all creative subjects are a driver for whole school improvement, developing students’ confidence, ability and creativity.

Here is a link to find out more about Artsmark and Here is a link to the Arts Council England homepage.

Schools can subscribe to our comprehensive arts and cultural offer via the Services4Schools website or for more information, please email Evonne Bixter or call on 01744 676498.

Painting with stencils

Learn to create amazing, vibrant artworks inspired by Henri Matisse. Have a look at this film and this information sheet to find out how.

VE Day: 75th anniversary celebrations

We created this fascinating exhibition in 2018 as part of Armed Forces Day. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, take a look at this display and learn all about Private James Downey and how he is remembered here, and in France, where he died.

Why not use this information to write a poem or story about World War 2 and the amazing men and women who fought for freedom? You can share it on our community wall.

Create your own stamp

Have a go at creating your own stamp as part of our online 'Posting Our Message' project with artist Emmer Winder. This is a great opportunity for you to thank the people caring for you while also developing your artistic skills. Share your designs on Twitter using the hashtag #postingourmessage

Stop motion animation

Have you ever wanted to create your own animations? Now is your chance. Use our online resources to create your own animated story at home. When you have finished, you can share your film with us on Twitter @CulturedSTH

Dancing at home

Take a look at our introduction to clog dancing with dancer Grace Smith. You'll learn how to create your own set of simple dance steps to share with your family.

Zero tech coding basics

Have you ever wanted to learn basic coding but not known where to begin? Now is your chance. Mako Create have put together this great set of resources to help you, and best of all, no tech needed, just big imaginations!

Art challenge

Learn about famous artworks and have fun recreating them at home

Drawing like Quentin

Have fun drawing your family in the style of Quentin Blake.

Drawing sound

Have a go at drawing sounds and mono-printing with artist Dave Bixter.

Cultured Arts and Culture package for schools includes authentic workshops with practising artists, visits to local venues and support with planning, networking and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities with colleagues, creative practitioners and arts organisations.

We also work with the local creative industries to promote the creative sector in terms of further study and future job opportunities.

Schools will also be fully supported to gain the Artsmark by addressing key areas of their school improvement plans through arts and cultural learning.

In 2019/2020, we worked with 33 schools, supporting them in ensuring the best outcomes for their students.

These are the practitioners we are working with in 2019/2020:

Altru Drama CIC
Drama, Dance/Movement, Spoken Word
Suitable for Key Stage 2 & 3

Altru Drama CIC is a creative education organisation that uses drama as a tool for learning and personal development. Their workshops and performances are all based around curriculum topics and issues and aim to help children learn, develop and grow through fun, participatory and high impact work.

St Helens at War
One class of children will work with a practitioner to create a performance about WWII with a specific focus on the role St Helens and people from St Helens played in the war effort. This will include a section on Private James Downey and Altru will bring accompanying material to school so that pupils can learn more about Private Downey and his war experience. The day will culminate in a performance for the rest of the school and invited parents, and the drama work particularly lends itself to the development of writing on this theme. The family workshop will focus on the same theme and parents and children will be encouraged to work together to explore the theme through drama and creative writing activities.

Henry Iddon
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4

Henry is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience working in the arts. He has exhibited his work across the UK and internationally in places such as: Brazil, Nepal, Italy and Syria. He also shoots for a range of editorial, commercial and broadcast clients including BBC World in London. Henry’s workshops allow students to experience how cameras work and the wonderful experience of seeing a photograph develop in a portable darkroom. Sessions can include a brief history of photography and cameras and then making a wearable camera obscura. This allows learners to experience ‘being’ a camera. This is followed by using a pinhole camera in groups and processing the black and white negative image in a portable darkroom.

Kate Hodgson
Visual Art
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4

Kate’s artistic practice is rooted in the process of printmaking and collaborating with others. She is interested in print’s role as a ‘democratic art form’ that can be taken away from the confines of the gallery and used to spread messages. Print is an interesting medium because it is used for familiar things such as t-shirts, posters and magazines. People recognise it. Print allows artists to communicate messages, thoughts and feelings in a direct way.

Kate’s workshops will draw upon her passion for print, focusing on slogans and text, something that is particularly important in her artistic practice. The sessions will explore how words can be used to say something to an audience whether meaningful or absurd. Participants will use different methods of printmaking and take inspiration from newspapers, slogan t-shirts and posters.


Grace Smith
Dance and Music
Suitable for Reception up to Key Stage 3

Grace Smith is a folk musician and clog dancer. Having studied traditional music at Newcastle University (MMus Music, Distinction and BMus Folk and Traditional Music, 1st Class Hons.), she has worked as a professional musician, dancer and educator in a range of settings. This has included performances at festivals across the UK and abroad, as well as leading workshops for organisations including Folkworks, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company and Lancashire Youth Folk Project. Grace’s workshop will include the opportunity to discover clog dancing, learn clog steps, and the participants will have the chance to create/choreograph their own steps. The workshop can also include exploring folk songs and instrumental tunes, as well as participating in musical games designed to increase awareness of rhythm, pitch, pulse and ensemble.

Claire Weetman
Suitable for Key Stage 2-4

Claire is a St Helens based artist working in a variety of mediums. Her practice has recently included projects related to mental health and with refugees based in St Helens. She creates performances, installations, photographs, drawings and film.

How do we feel welcome?
Claire’s sessions will explore metaphor in contemporary art and how it can be used to express experiences of feeling welcome in a place, linked to emotional or social issues relevant to the age group and school.
Exploratory activities will focus on personal experience to respond to different ideas, and will encourage abstract visual expression;
• Express a figurative phrase such as 'welcomed with open arms' using the movement and position of our bodies against a shadow screen.
• Using our hands to make gestures in trays of sand that express different emotions. These could then be cast in plaster to create an art installation.
• Asking a class of pupils to place a small light on a map of the school in a space where they feel that their skills shine.
These activities will give pupils the confidence to develop a collaborative contemporary artwork that empathises with people who they would like to feel welcome.

Dance, Music
Suitable for all ages

Capoeira for All is an acclaimed community arts organisation that uses the exciting and dynamic Afro-Brazilian art-form of Capoeira to inspire young people to realise their potential, explore their creativity, build confidence, develop cooperation & communication, encourage respect & empathy, and bring the school community closer together.

Capoeira combines dance, movement, martial arts, acrobatics, music and play. Rich in a history that dates back to the 1500s, its origins can be traced back to colonial Brazil and the struggle for freedom following the enslavement of Africans by Portuguese colonialists. This beautiful physical art has survived through hundreds of years of adversity, in 2014 was granted ‘Cultural Heritage Status’ by UNESCO and is an expression of values such as human rights, dignity, mutual respect and cultural understanding.

Capoeira for All workshops present this cultural art-form in an engaging inclusive way providing participants with a range of unique learning activities and experiences.

Dave Bixter
Visual Art
Suitable for Key Stage 1-4

The Shape of Sound
David Bixter is an Artist, Designer and Musician whose practice focuses on exploring drawing and process. His current work uses a theremin (an electronic instrument controlled by movements), exploring visual responses to sounds to create unique abstract drawings and soundscapes.

Dave’s workshops explore the science of sound through an expressive multi-sensory creative process. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with creating sounds using the Theremin and will also develop their drawing skills. There is a strong focus on building resilience and confidence through the development of drawing techniques, transferrable creative skills and adopting a positive outlook on “mistakes”

Mako Create
Creative Digital Tech and Art
Suitable for Key Stage 2-4

MakoCreate aims to turn consumers into creators by delivering creative, digital, art and media activities that inspire participants.

Drone Light Graffiti
Students will learn basic block code and how this code can be used to pilot a bespoke flight path for a drone to fly. They will also learn how you can use long exposure and slow shutter speed on cameras to capture light trails and how we can combine this with the flight paths they have coded to create drone light graffiti. The students will then use the code they composed to fly a drone and capture their flight path as a light graffiti photograph. This activity requires a large space, ideally a school hall or similar, with the ability to control the lighting in the space (we need to make it dark for the flight)

Cara Looij
Suitable for all ages

Cara Looij is a creative arts practitioner working with applied theatre, puppetry, visual art and multimedia projects, with a strong commitment to social change, education and wellbeing in her work.

Option 1: It all starts with a worm
An introduction to play, movement and character
Working with a very simple worm puppet design the young people taking part will learn about the significance of materials when making a puppet and the different ways in which the body can be manipulated in order to convey a variety of emotions and share a narrative.

Option 2: Into the Shadows: An introduction to shadow puppetry
Participants will create shadow puppets for a story and develop performance techniques. Part one will be designing and making and part two will be devising and rehearsing.

Emmer Winder
Visual Art
Suitable for Key Stages 2-4
Emmer Winder is a teacher of digital photography within De La Salle School. She also has 19 years of experience in developing her own personal practice, which covers many disciplines but is centred on conceptual creative art. Her ideas lead approach to creating artwork reinforces the idea that everyone is an artist if they have something to say. How we visualise our ideas can take us on a journey, constructing a deeper understanding of the subject we are commenting on and inviting comment from others.
Emmer’s workshops will introduce participants to conceptual art, inviting them to respond to the theme of climate change and challenging them to become creative activists. Focusing on the powerful statement to parliament given by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, students will discuss how they can create a series of outcomes. These may vary in genre from;
• Video art: in order to create anti- commercials
• Sculpture: to form symbolic interactive reminders
• Performance art: by creating, distributing and documenting common objects with a twist to cause public questioning.

Emmer’s workshops will expand and stretch the participants understanding of art. An alliance between students, teachers and parents will grow through the process of creating a message, exhibiting it and taking an active role in social change.

Please contact Evonne Bixter for further information.

2020/2021 Primary Schools Programme – What’s included?

2 x half day in house creative workshops (Visual Art, Drama, Music, Dance)

Each school can choose 2 workshops, which can be in the same art form or two separate art forms. Each half day of workshops will accommodate between 15 and 30 students in total, depending on the art form. Each half day will also include a 1-hour family session, when the students can work creatively with their parents/carers. There will be an option for schools to buy additional workshops.

Access to a programme of CPD opportunities in each art form

In September 2020, we will release a calendar of CPD events for teachers and school staff. Schools can access as many of these opportunities as they would like and can book up to 5 places per session, subject to availability. The sessions will be delivered by experts in the arts and creative education.

Cultural Visits

We will provide transport up to the value of £300 to regional arts and cultural venues and support with the planning of content for the visit. Where there is a charge for tickets, we may be able to negotiate a discounted rate. Once schools have used this allocation, they can continue to book their arts and cultural transport through Cultured in order to benefit from our reduced price.

Suggested venues are:

The Walker Art Gallery

The World of Glass

Tate Liverpool

Cultural Hubs Arts in Libraries performances (for schools who subscribe to the Schools Library Service)

Citadel Arts

The Liverpool Philharmonic

The Everyman and Playhouse, Liverpool (due to a partnership agreement, visits to this venue will include an accompanying workshop where available)

FACT Liverpool (extended activities only available via this offer)

If you would like to suggest an alternative venue for your visit, we will contact them to negotiate a special offer.

Creative Industries Careers Event

Schools will be invited to bring up to 30 students to a town centre careers event in the summer term, providing the students with information about careers in the Creative Industries. 

Networking Opportunities

We will continue to facilitate the Primary Arts Network, helping primary Arts co-ordinators to share best practice.

Access to support from the LCEP Development Officer

Each school will be able to contact the Development Officer for guidance or assistance in the planning and delivery of their Arts and Cultural offer. They will also be supported in terms of their Artsmark journey by engaging in all of the activities listed above.

Cost per school:


NB Schools will be encouraged to use their potential refund for additional activity, such as in-house CPD for staff.

Refund if bought into Music Service


Refund if bought into the Schools Library Service


Final cost to schools subscribing to Music and Schools Library services:



Engaging with this comprehensive offer will:

  • Enhance the Cultural Capital of your students
  • Support your delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Evidence your SMSC provision
  • Provide access to CPD opportunities delivered by creative practitioners
  • Support your Artsmark journey
  • Promote health and wellbeing amongst students, staff and families

Image Explanation: The image on this page shows a student drawing.  It features quotes from teachers at Rivington and Newton Primary Schools pleased with how the course increased pupil engagement and interest.