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Get To Know: Sarah-Jane Harrison

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Sarah-Jane Harrison lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, daughter and two cats. She's originally from the South East of England from a village on the cliff tops overlooking the Straits of Dover.

Sarah-Jane, Art & Design Teacher, Cambridge

Sarah-Jane studied Art in London while living there for 18 years loves being creative.

"My degree was in Mixed Media Art. After completing my degree I went on to gain a PGCE in Art and Design. I taught at Secondary and a Private school before becoming a Senior Lecturer at London Collage of Fashion where I taught on the Foundation in Art and Design - and many other courses and subjects too."

Whilst working at London College of Fashion she completed a part-time Master's in Fashion Curation.

She then had a something of a career change and moved into Primary education.

A still life setup of skulls, books and fabric

"I then moved up to Cambridgeshire to start my life, with my then fiancé. Whilst in Cambridgeshire I started my journey working with young people with SEN. I furthered this experience working at Gretton School and was able to help the young people there grow and build strategies to be able to flourish, with various spectrum conditions."

This readied her for new challenges and, in order to grow further professionally, she wanted to work with young adults with SEMH.

"This wish led me to In Toto Ed."

Sarah-Jane has been working at In Toto Ed since September 2022: "I am a teacher of Art & Design. I love working with young people individually or in small groups. I am keen to inspire and challenge creatively to help students achieve a qualification or to just enjoy art in which ever way they wish."

Art Teacher and student reading about an artist

Her favourite part of being part of the In Toto Ed team is working outside of the box and changing things to suit every students' individual needs and drive.

"No matter how small the provision – if everyone works as a team, then big things can be achieved!"

On what makes In Toto Ed so special, Sarah-Jane says,

"In Toto Ed is a small, developing provision for young people with SEMH and various spectrum conditions, the goal being to set these young people up with qualifications that will help them succeed in life and feel confident in being able to get a job or to live independently. I feel privileged to be part of something so special that is growing every day I look forward to experiencing this journey with a fantastic, friendly staff team and a group of amazing young people.

We asked Sarah-Jane what advice she would give her 16-year-old self if she could.

"If I were to advise my 16-year-old self I would say 'be yourself, love yourself and spend less time worrying what others think of you'. I'd also say 'chase your dreams and work as hard as you can to succeed them... after all if you snooze you lose!'. Have fun and surround yourself with a small group of friends and family, who you really care about you – for they will carry you through every difficult situation. Try not to regret things you have done – but learn from them instead – and use your past to better your future. Experience as much as you can, because everything you do will make you richer. One last thing... forgive those that have crossed you and always strive for what you want – because if you wish for it enough, it will happen!"

Sarah-Jane, Art & Design Teacher, Cambridge

Sarah-Jane is, firstly, a Mummy;

"This takes up a lot of my time – I would never have guessed how much! I volunteer at Forest School every Friday and love spending time in the woods, making fires and nature bathing in hammocks. I love camping - especially by the sea – with my family.

I like stripping away all of the material things and going back to basics ... 6 days is my limit, mind! I paint, up-cycle, take loads of pictures and cook yummy food – my favourite is food is Asian; spices make me happy. I am also undertaking a Photography course; studying something that I am passionate about is so fulfilling."

When thinking of her future, Sarah-Jane says,

"I hope to continue my journey at In Toto Ed – after all it has only just begun."

We asked he what her favourite wise or inspirational quote is,

‘Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you will land amongst the stars!’

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