Creative and Performing Arts

Edsential can help deliver a comprehensive approach to the Creative and Performing Arts by providing; residential courses that excite and engage, teaching in schools that raises attainment and meets National Curriculum objectives, Arts Projects, Exhibitions and Arts Festivals that promote community engagement and celebration.

Edsential aims to encourage young people to explore their artistic and creative potential. We can help you achieve ArtsMark and individual Arts Awards and can provide visual, tactile and sensory experiences and an alternative way of responding to the world.

We can help you enable children to communicate what they see, feel and think and create the opportunity for them to work with high quality professional artists and develop new talents, confidence and aspiration.

We have the capacity to provide whole school INSET or tailored CPD.

Please contact us to discuss your setting’s needs.

Cate Madden – Creative & Performing Arts Manager

I was born in the Isle of Man and I am very proud of my Manx heritage and the inspired music in schools and at home which led me to become a member of folk groups, choirs and orchestras, as well as numerous stage performances.

Having moved with the Music Service from the Local Authority into Edsential, I am really excited to have been asked to review the cultural offer from our organisation, including the creative and performing arts in Edsential Residential Service. As designated Deputy Safeguarding Lead for Edsential as well as continuing my Advisory role, I am passionate about promoting engaging, safe activities for children and young people.

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Having taken a degree in English and Drama at Chester University, I decided to pursue a career in teaching – despite numerous warnings from family members already involved in education! A PGCE in EYFS and Key Stage 1 at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth led to teaching posts in Cheshire and a recognition that although creative and performing arts mattered to schools, many teachers found delivering the arts curriculum a challenge. Having spent many years coordinating and specialising in delivering the music and the arts in primary schools, I was part of a regular school inspection which was judged provision to be outstanding: Music is a real strength of the school. Pupils sing beautifully, compose their own pieces of music, and have opportunities to learn to play a variety of instruments. Their performances are of remarkably high quality due to the high expectations of the specialist teacher.

As a result, I was seconded to Cheshire West and Chester Music Service where I worked for over five years. Within that time, I have supported practitioners still at University through to experienced Music Coordinators, delivered CPD and bespoke curriculum guidance, planned and delivered large scale music making and singing events for children in inspirational venues including the Bridgewater Hall and Chester Cathedral. In addition to supporting instrumental and vocal tutors in their work in school and at the various Music Centres where the ensembles rehearse, supporting schools’ music in Sefton and Knowsley (Sky Music Education Hub) and of course within Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral (Edsential Musical Routes Music Education Hub), I worked closely with Debbie Cottam, former Arts and Residential Lead to understand the current provision.  In order to ensure that the information and guidance I share with colleagues continues to be current, I am undertaking a Masters in Creative Practices in Education at the University of Chester. I also represent Edsential in the Local Community Education Partnerships, or LCEPs, an Arts Council initiative with direction provided by our bridge organisation, Curious Minds. In collaborating with local and national organisations to support and promote children’s and young people’s access to Arts and Cultural activities, Edsential is delighted to be working alongside our local and national arts providers, schools and families within the LCEPs in both Cheshire and Wirral; #CheshireLCEP and #WirralLCEP.

Contact: or 07710 706 194

“Creativity takes courage”
Henri Matisse











Arts Festivals

The delivery of Arts Festivals for cohorts of schools creating inspiring opportunities for pupils’ to perform and for schools to engage their wider communities. The service involves planning, liaising with identified co-ordinators, providing expert tuition in the Creative and Performing Arts, developing a programme, managing logistics, hosting an art exhibition and running the event.

If you are interested in commissioning an inspirational Arts Festival please email who will tailor a unique event to meet your specific requirements.

“As your story telling fellow said – its days like that that will live in the memory.”
Darryl Pickering, Head Teacher, Cambridge Road Primary School

“My teacher said it was the best festival we had attended, and was hugely impressed!”  Sutton Green Primary School

Art Events

Edsential host a number of events and exhibitions show casing children and young people’s work.

Artists in Schools

Edsential has a wide range of experienced, well qualified visiting artists and teachers who can deliver inspiring and stimulating Dance, Drama and Visual Art workshops in schools.  These can support curriculum links, add to your extended offer, support your ArtsMark application and contribute towards experience for Arts Award at Discover and Explore levels.  These workshops provide  exciting experiences for the children that raise their aspirations and contributes towards their confidence in participating in the Arts.

Many of our artists and teachers can provide tailored INSET days and twilight sessions.

Please ring 01248 714 501 or email to make a booking or enquire for  further information.

“We have very recently been inspected and the work that you have done at various points with our children has been described as “stunning” in the report!”

David Jobling – Head Teacher, St Michael’s Academy, Crewe

Art Projects

Edsential specialises in developing and running Visual Art projects that involve artists and educators working with pupils to produce high quality pieces of artwork. The projects take place in the schools and culminate in an exhibition in an inspiring setting.

Pictures from Turston School – to see more click here

“We have very recently been inspected and the work that you have done at various points with our children has been described as “stunning” in the report!”  David Jobling – Head Teacher, St Michael’s Academy, Crewe

Exam Support Courses

These courses are aimed at raising attainment in the Creative and Performing Arts and support schools with their formal GCSE and A Level syllabuses.

These residential courses are attended by over 1,000 students a year and the feedback from pupils and teachers alike is that they contribute to achieving higher grades.

“I just wanted to express my appreciation for this indescribable weekend. The way in which I got to explore every aspect of drama on stage and off stage was just unreal. Like I said to you, my dream is to become an actor and after this weekend I don’t want to return to normal school day life. I want to act and perform every day, re-live this weekend. I have noted down everything that I can! As I progress with my GCSE course I’m going to use everything I’ve stolen from you, and the other artists.”  Charlie Shaw

“Workshops were intensive, with students working from 9:30am – 9:30pm, resulting in some fantastic outcomes and really pushing students out of their comfort zone! Turton students were a credit to the school and great ambassadors for our Art & Design Department. All work produced throughout the weekend will be entered as part of students’ GCSE Art & Design coursework which, in turn, should raise attainment.”

Turton School

Pupil Residential Courses

We can help you deliver a comprehensive approach to the Creative and Performing Arts by providing residential courses that excite and engage children, contribute to raising attainment and meets National Curriculum objectives.

By providing expert tuition in the Creative and Performing Arts these courses unleash talent and enthusiasm to showcase the curriculum in a very unique way.

Our team have the range of skills necessary to engage, support and provide fun learning experiences for children and young people. They are passionate about providing inspiring courses which increase children’s aspirations and understanding of the Arts.

Teachers CPD

A wide range of Creative and Performing Arts courses designed to support the needs of teachers in schools. Venues includes Tattenhall, Anglesey and the Williamson Art Gallery.

“This was an excellent course which covered a range of skills which could be applied immediately to my teaching and used in the classroom. It was all practical which is just what I needed. I came away with lots of examples that I can refer to.  Lynn is obviously experienced in the primary classroom so all her suggestions and ideas were pitched just right. The course has given me the confidence to try all the activities out in a classroom situation and I can’t wait to get started!” 

Sam Robinson – Willaston Primary School

Young Artists in Tuscany

The Italian Art Education Tour is a highly successful A Level project, offering a unique opportunity to study and work in Tuscany, probably the most loved region of all Italy. Practical workshops run alongside organised visits to see the works of the Italian Renaissance artists.

Students use sketchbooks to record, from first- hand experience, their personal responses to the Renaissance works of art, thus developing their critical appraisal skills and adding to their knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of art.

“Overall this trip is an irreplaceable experience which I will never forget. It has helped me to develop as an artist and bring confidence to my approach to work. I am so shocked and proud of the achievements I have made during this whole experience. This was not just as trip, but a life changing opportunity that I am so grateful for.”Lillie Ford, Bishop Heber High School.

 You can find full details and book here