Arts overview

Arts overview

Palm Bay have the unique opportunity of a team of artists in residence, who work in our dedicated art studio space. We take part in large scale projects in collaboration with the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

For the past five years, we have been working on major projects with the gallery, including ‘Art Inspiring Change’, which saw our YALs (young art leaders) leading workshops and creating site specific artwork within our community, and more recently, ‘My Classroom is a Gallery’.

Mrs Tong and the team of artists continue to recruit new YALs each year, and encourage the children to develop their leadership skills with other classes as well as with teachers.

We host family art events including ‘The Big Draw’, STEAM events (science, technology, engineering, art and maths), and open studios with our artist team.

We continue to develop our children’s art skills and working with a variety of techniques through our termly ‘art progression projects’, comprising termly focus on drawing, painting, printmaking and 3D building skills. These skills are then used to explore and enhance the year group topics.

We continue to share our arts practice with other schools through our local networks as well as with the support of the NSEAD (National Society of Education in Art and Design), and Mrs Tong consults as ‘Teacher in Residence’ at the Turner Contemporary.

My Classroom is a Gallery

This project involves every class and teachers working directly with an artist, to plan all lessons to move their classroom practice to the gallery for one day per class. Our children benefit enormously from learning outside their classrooms, and alongside our beach and forest school projects, this collaboration provides an additional opportunity to explore different spaces and approaches to their learning, stimulating an ethos of curiosity and asking questions.


Our projects are funded through our unique, annual school art auction, during which we receive donations of around 50 artworks by local and national artists, that we auction. Our friend of the school, artist Keith Brymer-Jones hosts the event and members of the public attend. We also fundraise in collaboration with the Turner Contemporary and Canterbury Christ Church University, and have received support through these collaborations from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, as well as smaller successful bids.

Looking ahead

During 2019-20, we will continue to develop ‘My Classroom is at the Gallery’, whilst also taking part in a high profile project entitled ‘The schools prints project’. This project will enable our school to own a small collection of nationally acclaimed artists’ prints, which we can respond to and enjoy within our school. As part of the project, we will share our previous good practise with the gallery with other schools.

For more information about the Arts at Palm Bay, please contact our Art and Creativity Leader, Mel Tong: