Artist Call Out – St Silas Primary School, Blackburn

28th July 2016

Super Slow Way is looking for a resident artist to work with St Silas Church of England Primary School in Blackburn


St Silas Church of England Primary School in Blackburn is a large primary school with approximately 450 pupils with a large majority from Pakistani and Indian backgrounds. For the most part, the pupils of St Silas speak English as an additional language and approximately a quarter are at an early stage of learning English when they join the school in Reception. St Silas endeavours to maintain a holistic approach to pedagogy and seeks to provide their pupils with a broad and balanced school experience that enables them to develop essential life skills, rather than narrowly focussing on the purely academic aspects of learning. The school prides itself on its inclusive outlook and holds a range of non-curriculum events throughout the year: Anti- bullying week, Interfaith Day, Harvest Celebration, Remembrance Day, Eid Assembly.

With this in mind, St Silas has previously worked with external organisations and practicing artists and are genuinely open to creative collaborations. St Silas is part of the Slow Education Network and believe that time for curiosity, passion and reflection should be at the heart of all their pupils’ education. Slow Education encourages deep, meaningful and dynamic learning experiences, in the context of a broad curriculum, and seeks to celebrate the talents of all children and young people. In essence, Slow Education is about process: how children learn is as important as targets and tests.  In line with this broader approach to education the school has a ‘St Silas Promise’ – a bucket list of activities they would like to see all their children take part in while at St Silas, such as go to the seaside, bake a cake, sing a song.

For further information about the school please visit the St Silas website.

And to gain a deeper understanding of the ethos of the school and its approach to pedagogy watch this video.

Artist Brief

St Silas School would like to facilitate a residency where the artist is to work as an artist within their school setting. Unlike many artist residencies where the school curriculum and delivering art-based learning opportunities are priorities, we are looking to appoint an artist interested in developing meaningful work informed by their experience of being a member of the St Silas school community. This residency values process above product and we would like to see an artist having conversations, building relationships, taking the time to reflect and develop ideas which engage/challenge/comment/impact on the pupils, parents, neighbourhood, locality and wider local community.

St Silas is keen to develop its engagement with performative, site-specific and/or interdisciplinary art forms and are excited about the (yet) unknown possibilities of working with an artist with a creative perspective on life and the world in which we live. The school are particularly eager to engage with their parent and carer community and would appreciate the opportunity to incorporate a mass participation event within the residency.

We would expect you to work approximately 90 days (term-time) with a majority of the days on-site during the next academic year, starting ideally after October half-term and ending July 2017.

The fee for this project is £15,000 (approximately 90 Days)

Materials Budget available.

Please note that the fees listed above are indicative but will need to be inclusive of preparation, planning and delivery time. We are, however, open to innovative approaches and are flexible in our delivery timetables and production budget.

Skills and experience required:

The successful applicants will have:

  • A thorough understanding of community engagement and participatory arts practice and a proven track record of working collaboratively in a range of community settings – not necessarily school contexts
  • The ability to communicate confidently and get people, particularly young people, involved and inspired, coupled with the ability to explore creative processes and engage participants in meaningful dialogue
  • We are particularly interested to hear from artists who have an interest in or experience of working within Asian/British Asian contexts
  • DBS clearance and appropriate public liability insurance

How to apply

If you would like to be considered for this residency please submit your CV along with a short statement which includes:

  • A brief description of your practice and approach and how you work with people
  • Initial ideas around how you would approach the residency
  • How you meet the skills and experience criteria as described above

You are also welcome to include web links to examples of recent relevant work or projects. Please email your completed application to Laura Kelly (, stating clearly in the subject header ‘St Silas Artist Residency’. If you would like an informal chat before sending in your application please contact Katie Musgrove on 07967 229730 or

Deadline for applications: 1st Sept
Provisional Interview Date: 14th September