Artis Specialist Journey


Artis Specialists have a diverse range of skills and backgrounds: from drama, musical theatre and classical music to acrobatics, physical theatre and dance. They playfully take an onomatopoeic name – such as Ping, Squeeze or Bamboozle – that best describes them and that will set the scene for their imaginative sessions.


Their journey starts at our accredited training, going onto working as highly qualified practitioners in schools, with the opportunity to progress into mentoring and recruiting our growing talented team.

1. Recruitment

We recruit, train, develop and support our Artis Specialists to the highest standards. We add to our highly skilled team on a regular basis and each performing artist is trained to deliver excellent and enjoyable performing arts sessions for children in schools.

Artis Specialists have a diverse range of skills and backgrounds: from drama, musical theatre and classical music to acrobatics, physical theatre and dance. They are selected through a competitive recruitment process and satisfactory written references and enhanced DBS clearance are sought for all applicants invited to join the Artis Panel.

2. Training

Artis Specialists are invited to attend our award winning Training and Development Programme, which includes regular residential courses with some of the country’s leading performing artists and educationalists. The programme is ongoing and Artis Specialists receive five days’ training each year for continuing professional development. Not only does our training programme build performing arts skills, it also includes the generic teaching skills necessary to deliver inspired and inspiring work in the school context.

Artis Training and Development Programme includes sessions on:
• planning and preparation
• classroom and behaviour management
• child development and inclusion
• progression and differentiation
• child protection and health & safety.

3. School delivery

Artis Specialists are self-employed. They can do as much work as they wish: from occasional cover and project work to delivering ongoing programmes for the full academic year. Ongoing work ranges from 0.5 to 4 days per week, depending on availability and suitable matches to schools.

Artis Specialists plan their own sessions but we offer a lot of support with this, including access to over 200 programmes of work which act as useful guidelines.

4. Mentoring

Consistency is vital to Artis, so to ensure Artis Specialists continue to thrive, each one is assigned a personal mentor for weekly monitoring, support and advice.

Our Mentors observe Specialists working in schools twice in their first term and once in every subsequent term, providing verbal and written feedback which informs to the Specialist’s annual personal development programme.

5. Artis Mentor and Mentor Leader

Artis Mentors benefit from support from a small team of Mentor Leaders. The Mentor Leaders offer coaching and guidance to Specialists and Mentors and regularly lead professional development workshops for teachers in schools. In collaboration with the Education Manager they actively participate in quality assurance and Specialists’ training and recruitment. Applications to become a Mentor or Mentor Leader are invited as vacancies arise.


Artis has professional partnerships and relationships with a diverse range of national bodies including SSAT, Nesta and RNCM. Artis is a professional partner of the Royal Northern College of Music for mutual benefit, sharing of best practice and diversification of the curriculum.


Some of our talent


Dee-Anne Donalds

My Artis name is Swoosh as it describes how I move when I dance and it has a wonderful resonance, which I like to believe I leave behind when I’m gone… I studied at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and have a BPA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance. I have performed in numerous choreographic platforms at NSCD, and toured with Verve 06 to the Royal Opera House. I love to dance and enjoy working with children, and I think creativity is one of the most important things in life.

 Dee-Anne, Artis Trustee & Former Mentor Leader

See profiles from more of our talented team of Specialists

You can read some of our Artis Specialists’ experiences with Artis and learn more about their portfolio careers here.


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