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Our offer to schools

Like all our programmes, our programmes for children and young people, are based on the principle that creativity can be a vehicle for change. Creative learning approaches can inspire improved confidence and life choices, and act as an alternative learning model for those struggling to engage in mainstream education. Our work with children and young people accounts for over 60% of the work we deliver and with work ongoing to develop effective routes for progression in each of our local authority areas, we are helping young people find the right support at the right time, and make positive transitions towards sustainable outcomes.

The past year has been extremely hard for our young people and we know that many are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and/or poor mental health. Some may be anxious about their life transition and this is been exacerbated by COVID-19; others will be facing some of the same fears as well as having additional barriers. We work to ensure that no one is left vulnerable, and each young person is treated as an individual with individual needs that are responded to on a 1-1 basis.

In light of COVID-19 and the effect it has had on children and young peoples mental health, we have built resilience and wellbeing into the core of all our programmes, and are able to signpost participants to specialist youth based Counselling. All programmes are staffed by art tutors as well as Youth Workers. Across all we do, we wish to protect and support our children and young people; ensuring that they are best equipped with the skills and confidence to move forward today and in the future.

We offer school based group work for children and young people through a variety of programmes:

Primary School Pupils

High School Pupils

Artist in Residence:

Working in partnership with your school, we will provide an Artist in Residence, who will engage pupils and key staff members in high-quality creative workshops. The workshops will be designed to inspire the children and young people, and the artwork created will enhance the School environment and encourage members of the community (parents/carers, extended family, stakeholders) to engage it as a welcoming and uplifting space.

Creative Play:

The programme engages primary school-aged children in creative outdoor pursuits which instil a love of playing outside. Creative Play Rangers will provide loose materials and suggest a range of ideas and activities designed to spark the imaginations of children, allowing them to explore new ideas and activities which are fun and designed to increase physical activity and engagement with the environment.

We know that Children’s exercise and time outdoors was in serious decline ahead of the pandemic and is being further jeopardized as a result. Play is proven to stimulate learning; as well as improve health and wellbeing.

Nature based educational and learning is proven to increase physical activity levels, and decreased sedentary time, as well as improve balance, self-regulation, nature relatedness and play interactions.

Our fully trained and qualified creative practitioners provide children with a range of complimentary creative opportunities, while encouraging children to interact with the materials and their surroundings. A focus will be on imaginative play, where children can create mini performances, dens, vehicles and games. The artists will ‘suggest’ how to start engaging as opposed to actually leading formal games, allowing children to take greater control of the process.

Art Therapy:

Impact Arts’ Specialist Therapeutic Arts Group projects are delivered by experienced and qualified arts therapists and art psychotherapists. The projects are ideal for vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are experiencing difficulties at school or home e.g. difficulty with transitions and/or engaging with their peers, communication difficulties, bullying, affected by loss, parent of carer substance misuse, abuse etc.

Therapeutic Arts Group - Over 10-12 weeks, with groups of 6-8 children we explore themes that affect and unite the children – such as identify, care experience or transitions. With support and guidance, from our trained practitioners, pupils will explore this theme both as a group and individually through creative processes. A crucial element of this work is to make sure this is a fun, positive and supportive experience and not a stigmatised ‘therapy’ group.

Therapeutic group work can support those displaying emotional, social and behavioural issues, and the development of positive peer network/relationships, whilst helping to instil social skills/emotional resilience that will enable successful and ongoing integration with mainstream education. (Waller, 2014)

1-1 Support - This intensive support, delivered by trained and registered art-psychotherapist supports pupils who are experiencing significant levels of disadvantage/barriers to their personal and educational development, and/or who are identified as being affected by adverse childhood experiences. This might include family breakdown, movement into care, parental addiction, bereavement and/or mental health issues. Our dedicated Art Therapists are able to provide a supportive, safe and therapeutic environment for children dealing with a wide range of issues.

This approach has significant grounding in academia, and through research has been shown to:-

  • Effectively allow the exploration and resolution that would otherwise develop into bigger and more serious problems later on in life.
  • Improve learning, develop cognitive, motor and social skills and improve self-awareness and confidence.
  • Offer opportunities to work with behaviour, attitudes and feelings that may be disrupting access to the curriculum for the student or others around them.
  • Provide a natural way, through creativity and play, for children and young people to make sense of their world and offer a safe and focused way to express complicated feelings that can be difficult to put into words alone.
  • Allow children to communicate through metaphor and representations, taking the pressure or fear away from direct discussions.

(Case and Daley, 2014; Hogan, 2014; Freire, 2005)

Family Support - Our Dyadic Art therapy offers a joint approach to art therapy that involves a child and their parent/carer in joint sessions. It allows both children and parents/carers to process their own emotions and develop positive coping skills, and for parents/carers to better understand their child’s social and emotional needs of their child. By working with both the child and parent/carer in shared sessions, dyadic support helps to build the bonds of attachment; supports parents/carers to co-regulate and mentalise; and process traumatic memories.

This approach has been developed and delivered successfully by Impact Arts since 2018, and our own evidence, as well as that of academics, highlight that where dyadic support is appropriate, the benefits to the child and their carer can be greater than that provided through one-to-one therapy.

“Impact Arts has made a very positive impact on the young people’s future outcomes. We have been most impressed with the therapist who has provided a first class service.” – Head Teacher

Creative Connections:

An innovative programme engaging S1-S3 young people who are experiencing difficulty or declining to engage in mainstream education, and P7 children who are identified as at risk of not making a successful and positive transition to secondary education.

Supporting school refusers to increase their engagement with education, the programme has been developed to give young people the opportunity to work in a small group of peers on a creative project for 3 half-days per week over 6 weeks, designed to build confidence and re-ignite an interest in learning.


Our signature programme CashBack to The Future, offers free, safe and creative spaces for participants to be inventive and imaginative. Sessions are now available throughout the school day, as part of a pupils alternative/flexible timetable. Sessions will be delivered online at set times throughout the week and will contain a mix of pupils from across Scotland. Through fun visual art activities, pupils will be supported to build their confidence, increase their communication skills and develop a positive routine, to continue throughout the rest of the school week.

Make a Referral

If you would like to find out more about one of the above offers, please email or complete our referral form and a member of the team will get back to you.


Donate now

The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

You can help us achieve this target through making a single gift, or a regular donation. Thank you.

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