Freelance Artist Call Out

Photographer/Visual Literacy Specialist

Are you a photographer or visual literacy specialist skilled at working with teachers and with experience of using images to improve children’s creativity?

The Forge is looking for an inspirational practitioner to join our team to oversee and deliver the second-year phase of an exciting Teacher Development Programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

You will work closely with The Forge team, with our seven partner schools from across the North East, and with a writer/practitioner on a Continuing Professional Development and Learning programme for teachers. Your role will be to help develop teachers’ photography and visual literacy skills; to work with teachers to co-create schemes of work; to develop a visual literacy toolkit to support pupil learning; and to contribute to research that tests whether photography and visual literacy strategies can improve children’s creative writing.

What are we trying to achieve with this project?

The aim of this CPDL programme is to support teachers to use photography and images in the classroom. Specifically, we are helping teachers to develop a visual literacy/multi-literacy toolkit that they can draw upon to support and improve children’s creative writing skills. The development of this toolkit will contribute to the creation of a digital learning resource that will be shared across the education sector more broadly. We completed a pilot programme testing this approach in 2018, funded by an Explore and Test grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation offered us a Teacher Development Fund grant to continue our work and we have now delivered the first year of this CPDL programme. Having completed the first phase of their training, our teachers have some experience of using DSLR cameras, have a broad understanding of compositional skills, and some awareness of visual literacy techniques. However, our programme was disrupted by school closures and the removal of face-to-face workshops, therefore we are now looking for artists (a photographer and a writer) who can help us deliver the project in an exciting digital way.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a skilled photographer/visual literacy specialist to deliver the next phase of the programme. Specifically, we need you to:

  • Create and deliver online workshops/training sessions to build on teachers’ existing skills, to introduce new skills, and to increase teachers’ confidence in using photography in the classroom
  • Work closely with participating teachers and a writer/English specialist to co-create digital resources and schemes of work that blend photography and image work to support literacy and creative writing
  • Create and curate an online space/forum that will serve as an enquiry hub (community of enquiry) for teachers’ discussions, image sharing, research and exhibition
  • Work with The Forge team and school partners to advocate for the project and to embed learning across whole school communities
  • Engage senior leaders in the work and ensure that they feel confident in advocating for this work both inside and outside of school settings
  • Be adaptable and be able to offer face-to-face sessions if and when circumstances allow
  • Contribute to our enquiry approach and our final evaluation of the work
  • Contribute to – and create content for – a Visual Literacy Conference/INSET programme at the end of project.


Essential Skills

  • Ability to inspire and support
  • Experience of working with teachers/other artists
  • Experience of delivering photography workshops and working with children in a school setting
  • Experience of leading a project within a formal education setting
  • Strong understanding of digital technologies
  • Ability to deliver engaging and purposeful online learning and create digital resources
  • Experience of delivering online workshops
  • Experience of project documentation, evaluation and research
  • Strong collaborative and team-working skills
  • Flexible and reflective approach


Desirable Skills

  • An understanding of the primary curriculum
  • An understanding of the issues surrounding the teaching of writing in schools
  • An understanding of visual literacy theorists and theories
  • An understanding of constructivist approaches to learning
  • An understanding of the role of cultural capital in the learning process



Deadline for applications 5pm Monday 14 December 2020
Candidates notified of interview Wednesday 16 December 2020
Interviews (videoconference) Friday 18 or Monday 21 December 2020
Planning meeting Week commencing 4 January 2021
Contract begins / ends 11 January 2021 / 31 December 2021
Location Home based / online/ plus possible face-to-face meetings/delivery
Fee £7,000 (£250 per day delivered over 56 half days)


How to Apply

Please send your up to date CV and a letter of application of no more than two sides of A4 to Reference Teaching Things Differently in the email header and please note that applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Your letter should address the following two areas:

  1. Your thoughts on delivery
  • A description of your approach to working with teachers and the sort of skills-based content that you might deliver through digital workshops
  • A description of how you might engage school senior leaders in this project
  • How will you keep the project alive and facilitate teacher-to-teacher discussions, image-sharing, impacts, and examples of practice over the course of the year.
  1. Suitability for the role – by offering
  • An example of your previous experience of working with school partners
  • Examples of any training programmes you have delivered to adults
  • Information about your work demonstrating relevant track record – particularly your ability to deliver against multiple objectives.

Your application should also include contact details of two referees (preferably including one educational reference).

If you are interested in applying, but would like to learn more, we are running a webinar, including a question and answer session, on Monday 7 December 2020 from 10:00-11:00; this webinar will be repeated on Wednesday 9 December from 17:00-18:00. If you would like the Zoom access code for either of these sessions please email and we will send it to you.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in person, or have any questions about the role, please email and we will schedule a chat with our Creative Producer, Bev Briggs.

Please note – we are also currently recruiting for a writer to work alongside this photography-focused role. We are happy to consider individual applications for each role, or joint applications from two artists for the two roles. If you submit a joint application with another artist, please let us know whether you would also like your application to be considered individually.

About The Forge

The Forge is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation that uses the arts to improve the life-chances of children and young people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. We achieve this by delivering creative programmes in schools, offering children the opportunity to participate in and experience a range of different art-forms. The majority (95%) of our programme occurs in places of least cultural engagement (Active People Survey) and focuses on overcoming barriers that prevent people from accessing arts and culture. As the region’s leading arts in education agency, we are keen to work closely with artists, teachers and school leaders to explore the impact of the arts and to evidence its effectiveness in supporting disadvantaged and marginalised young people.

More about our Teaching Things Differently

The following article gives an overview of year one of this work:

Teaching Things Differently – Paul Hamlyn Foundation (

About our funders – the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Teacher Development Fund

The purpose of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Teacher Development Fund is to support delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to do this through supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience.

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

The Forge is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, ethnic origin, marital status, age, sexuality, socio-economic background, religious belief or disability.

In order to help us monitor the effectiveness of this commitment we would ask that you answer the following questions on the attached short monitoring form. The information supplied is confidential; it is detached from your application before shortlisting takes place and will be used for statistical monitoring purposes only.

You can decline to fill this form in, with no consequences to your application.

Thank you