Art in Schools & Communities

Jessica Perry is an experienced artist and educator, enabling children and adults of all ages and abilities to expand their own creativity.

She provides schools, community groups, art galleries and museums with bespoke projects to any given theme, with Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, up to and including adults with complex needs, as well as In-Service training for education specialists.

Jessica is a regular Art Workshop Leader for adults with supported needs at Thornage Hall Independent Living, near Holt, Norfolk (, developing and enabling skills and confidence in printing, painting, sculpture and decorative craft.

She is a strong advocate of the importance of hands-on learning and loves to share her inventive, inquisitive and imaginative process with children adults and mixed groups. Her approach is calm and confident, with an intuitive awareness of the different ways of learning, listening and responding.

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Aylsham Wide Sky Festival 2015 - Vivat Aylsham
featuring a short film now on YouTube of the live art event filmed in the swimming pool at Aylsham High School.


Aylsham Afloat was a collaboration devised by Jessica Perry: floating waxed lanterns drift around on the water, in the dark, on Aylsham High School's swimming pool.
This collaborative educational project promoted Aylsham, its independent shops and its residents.
Copy and paste the following link to view the short, beautiful musical video of the event and the making of it:
Made as a live film and photographic event, and a community art project, this ambitious collaboration showcases the imagination and life of this market town in a beautiful, evocative and unique way.
Paper bags were drawn on by 60 Yr 7/8 students, using felt tips, to describe the shop-fronts of the town.
Jessica then dipped and sealed the bases with hot wax, and then a team of staff, students, volunteers and friends filmed and photographed the night-time floating on the school pool.
There were also two synchronised swimmers in the pool too, helping to move the lanterns.
Residents of the town were also invited to draw their own house fronts as paper lanterns to add to the third staged floating event.
The bags were also floated during the Aylsham Festival (22 - 26 May 2015) on a medieval garden pond in the heart of the town, with guided sunset walks organised where the public could view it all as it unfolded.
A projected 8-minute film and sets of postcards were produced to sell during and after the festival to support next years programme.
This popular project brought together an awareness of the diverse architecture and range of independent businesses in this town, and included all ages in the process

Kangaroo Carnival at Roughton Primary School.


Making masses of kangaroos and Joeys with Yr 5 children, using papier-mache and recycled plastic milk bottles.
The annual school arts week was all about the Carnival of the Animals, combining music and art: Jessica showed the children how to make a kangaroo, full of character, including a baby Joey in the pouch, using a recycled plastic milk bottle.
A video of the music and the bouncing kangaroos was compiled by Siri Taylor, artist film-maker: see the link (and a selection of her other Youtube videos on:

Bird Sculptures: outdoor sculptures at St Nicholas School, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk.


An assortment of birds made during a sculpture project with Jessica Perry by Year 3 & 4 children at St Nicholas Priory Primary School in Great Yarmouth, for permanent outdoor display .
The children made bird sculptures using cotton fabrics dipped in 'Paverpol' - an acrylic hardener that makes textiles completely weatherproof.
Jessica led the children through the process of making an armature, filling it out and applying the layers of graded textiles.

This process has been the base of many successful sculpture projects in schools, where children have made small and large birds for display.

A messy, sticky and enjoyable project where the children looked carefully at the different shapes and breeds of birds.

“I am always amazed at how creative she can be with recyclable materials.
She helps children to think 'outside the box' in both artistic process and
Steven Hales ~ Head teacher.

The Body Beautiful: a sculpture and drawing project in response to Anthony Gormley


An arts week at Walsingham Primary School led children through mixed-media life-size sculpture, model-making on a small scale and drawing techniques
The life-size figure sculptures here are made up of a series of coloured card rings, worked in oil pastel, and layered as a stack, corresponding to measurements taken from the children's own bodies.

Birds at 'Cley 12' Exhibition


Cley 12, a major annual group exhibition based around Cley-next-the-Sea, including this collaborative exhibit at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitors Centre, Cley, Norfolk.
'Cley 12': a contemporary art exhibition featuring work by professional artists, and that year it included this exhibit at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitors Centre, Cley, Norfolk.

This work was a collaborative project between Jessica, 30 x Yr 6 children from Sheringham Primary School, and Dr Kevin Elsby (RPS acclaimed wildlife photographer & GP).
The children wrote stories about the imagined lives of travellers from this area, using the names they copied from the gravestones in the church yard.
Their impressively handwritten tales were bound by Jessica into a large 'ancient' book (this project included a bookbinding aspect for the children), alongside an installation of 'eggs' (fired clay built around decorated flint stones).
Jessica made 5 of her own bird sculptures to accompany these items, and Dr Elsby gave a extraordinary lecture & slide presentation to the children about his travels to the Galapagos, and the migration of bird species from Norfolk, and he displayed some of his photographs as well.

Plastic Bottle Art: Greenbuild at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk.


Jessica has discovered 'over 100 things you can make' with empty plastic milk bottles: for a simple and achievable project there are many designs achievable by all ages within 30 minutes.
Recycled plastic bottles, from 1 lire - 4 litre size.
Jessica runs a popular workshop every September at 'Greenbuild', Felbrigg Hall for North Norfolk District Council.
The example shown here shows one of many animals made, using just sticky labels, wire, buttons and permanent markers for decoration: no glues or sticky tapes required.


"Jess has worked with families to create inspirational and dynamic pieces of
work, communicating with all generations in an inspiring manner."
Monica Harding, Aylsham Cluster Family Learning coordinator.

“The children and the staff have all got so much from your visit to our
school. It was refreshing to give our more talented pupils an extended
art activity. Teachers are already planning art activities using similar resources and ideas to the ones you introduced. As well as this, many of the children have been inspired to try these techniques at home.”
Amanda Blezard – Arden Grove Infant & Nursery School

'Every Child Matters' felted wall hanging, made as part of a Family Learningevent.


Felt panel made collaboratively with all the school children, carers and parents at Hevingham Primary School.
This remarkable one-day project made a 3' x 5' felt panel with whole school involvement and parents.
The technique was simple, wet and enjoyable: colours and mixed fibres make this a very hands-on (and 'feet-on', when it comes to the felting process!).
The panel is now on permanent display at Hevingham Primary School, Norfolk.
Made as part of the Every Child Matters scheme.

“The children and the staff have all got so much from your visit to our
school. It was refreshing to give our more talented pupils an extended
art activity. Teachers are already planning art activities using similar resources and ideas to the ones you introduced. As well as this, many of the children have been inspired to try these techniques at home.”
Amanda Blezard – Arden Grove Infant & Nursery School

Memory Sticks - a storytelling textile sculpture.


Family Learning Art & Storytelling activity at Hevingham Primary School, Norfolk
Working with the whole school, one class at a time and with parents, this activity used the story of Three Billy Goats Gruff to devise a visual 'memory-jogger'
Each child had a stick and used scraps of coloured fabric, wool and plastic to remind them of significant stages in the story.
Each child's wrapped 'memory stick' was then made into a 'rope ladder' to become a bright collaborative sculpture.
The rope ladder was then also used as a prop and device to describe the bridge in the story, whereby the children held onto the ladder across the floor of the school hall, and could take part in stepping over 'the Troll Bridge: trip, trap, trip, trap'. This physical, interactive play really engaged the whole class as was evidenced as a method that encouraged reluctant readers to engage with a book.

Tour of Britain 2010: Buxton Primary School 'Living Art' bicycle project


Jessica worked in partnership with Buxton Primary School to create a 'Human Bicycle Wheel' and an outdoor sculpture using recycled CD's for the Outdoor classroom (see Gallery for images).
See images at:
This collaboration involved all 120 children at this school.
Over four sessions, working one class at a time (including Reception, all the way up to Yr 6), the children rehearsed the moves to be the components of a revolving wheel. i.e. the hub, spokes, rim and tyre, and the track too.
Children wore colour-coded baseball hats, so that when filmed from above, their hats made the image stronger.
The children in the central 'hub' wore red hats, the children who acted as spokes and rim wore white, the tyre children wore black, and the grass children were green.
Finally, the whole amazing performance was filmed from the tower of the neighbouring church tower.

A woven panel was also made with masses of recycled bottle tops, buttons and CD panels, and hung outside the Outdoor Classroom. Jessica worked with all the children, one class at a time, so everybody had the opportunity to make their contribution.

Images at:

Plastic Bottle Greenhouse


Class project building a functional greenhouse at Buxton Primary School, using 2 litre bottles within a wooden framework.
Putting plastic bottles to good re-use: the Plastic Bottle Greenhouse at Buxton Primary School, Norfolk used 2 litre bottles to make a fully functional greenhouse/cold frame.
This was an excellent 'whole school' endeavour which links well with the outdoor learning curriculum.

Surestart Children's Centre at Holt, Norfolk


Jessica was commissioned to make mant collaborative artworks made for permanent display in Surestart Childrens Centres iaroundn Holt, Wells, and Fakenham, Norfolk.
Working with very young children with their parents, grandparents and carers, Jessica co-ordinated textile, paper and clay artworks for permanent display in several Childrens Centres around Norfolk.
The image illustrated here includes hand shapes drawn around the hands of children, babies, grandparents etc, transformed into friendly creatures, such as fish, jellyfish, octopuses, chickens and people.
These permanent artworks gave the Surestart Centres a strong visual identity upon entry, and were a positive experience for the participants involved.

Artists for Climate Change at the SCVA


'Snails, Trails and Food Miles': an interactive and mixed media project for primary and secondary schools, examining the subject of 'food miles'.
Norfolk County Council, in collaboration with SCVA, Norwich developed a programme of activities for schools called 'Artists for Climate Change' - namely a directory of artists available to work in school and community settings on the broad theme of climate change. It was awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark for Sustainability.
The Artists for Climate Change initiative aims to support county carbon reduction targets, and to make sustainable lifestyles seem both achievable and desirable.


“Jess has inspired children and staff with her amazing art ideas, many of
these make great use of recycled materials. Her outside works, especially 3D
sculptures, have added a new dimension to our art work.”
Fiona Chant – Head teacher at John of Gaunt Infant and Nursery School