Wednesday, 8 December 2010

aliens land in bradford
click above link


stunning short made by children of bowling park primary
Keep telling yourself
'it's only a film!'

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

value

As a child in a crowded classroom you may often feel that there is no time for what you have to say, and that your ideas or thoughts can get lost. While no one can easily resolve the problem of large classes and time constraints, having a sketch book space can offer the flexibility and freedom to think personally and creatively. This is a place where the individual child’s voice matters.

Every child needs to have a voice and to know that it is being respected and valued. If children feel that what they say matters and has relevance, they are more likely to engage with the process of learning. As their confidence grows they feel able to take risks, and learn that building from ‘mistakes’ can have a positive outcome.

Monday, 15 November 2010

on creativity

On Creativity

Here are an exciting selection of inspiring thoughts from the teachers, creative practitioners and LEA staff who attended exciting minds.
'Being creative is what makes us human, who we are. If you can’t even imagine how to get out of bed then you don’t exist. It’s as fundamental as that.'
Claire Marshall, Creative Director, ArtSites Birmingham

'How do you extend creativity across the curriculum? Creativity shouldn’t be in the domain of purely artistic disciplines. It’s about making teachers and pupils aware of creativity through collaboration – seeing traditional disciplines in different ways.'
Graeme Rose, Education Co-ordinator, Stan’s CafĂ©

'Creativity is about original thought. It’s important to instill this in young people at an early age - that they should challenge and test what’s already happening, their own abilities. Creativity goes hand in hand with education and in order to have original thinking you have to have imagination.'
Kirstie Davis, Associate Director, Watford Palace Theatre

'From a creative point of view you try and make the curriculum fun and exciting for the kids. Making it more pupil centred, they will begin to take responsibility for their own learning, which should have an overall impact on their performance.'
Helen O’Brien, Teacher, Clavering Primary School, Hartlepool

'Creativity and learning are the same thing. When we learn it’s a very active process of making meaning and sense. There is a strong case for saying the two things are indistinguishable. So to talk about uncreative learning is as silly as talking about passive learning. What people from creative backgrounds can tell us is that there are many forms in which creative learning can manifest itself.'
Miles Tandy, Aspect Leader Curriculum and Pedagogy, Warwickshire County Council

'Learning comes from the inner depths of yourself, the soul. If you feel proud of yourself and have self esteem then the sky’s the limit. You can take charge of your learning and you’re happy with your learning. It’s all about trying to get the disengaged engaged. It’s difficult but through creativity it’s possible.'
Tony Metcalfe, Head Teacher, Clavering Primary School, Hartlepool


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

conversations with teachers

The use of sketchbooks as a means of exploring personal identity, a journey a response to and through a visual world during teenage years is vital to an individuals sense of being on this planet and its social order. 
Their reaction to peer pressure levels, and their engagement or lack of engagement via personal choice and selection is all part and parcel of this fantastic visual tool. It should look like a treasure trove of a mystical land the outpourings of each individual mind, with glued and torn and tattered edges remnants of meals and experiences littering its personal pages.

Journeys taken meeting the end of the road until a new bypass in understanding is found and the journey can continue once more. Where sketchbooks are these rich tapestries of personal expression they serve an arts purpose. 
In secondary education often another purpose is served that of documenting the journey to a final examination peice like a well laid out spoon-fed logical essay, pride is taken in getting this pristine book correct to tick all the examination assessment objective requirements, it serves an artistic purpose.
 Where the sketchbook is purely a once a week homework book set by the teacher marked with a quick comment it becomes a book with pages torn out where mistakes are made,or grades are poor, it is book that is the cause of detention for not being handed in on time and is frequently lost and replaced by the teacher. It is shoved in the bottom of a bag or in a locker down the corridor never to be seen again, what artistic purpose does this serve?

philosophy

  • “The creative mind plays with the things it loves.”
  • Carl Jung

  • “Genius is childhood regained at will”
  • Baudelaire

Monday, 8 November 2010

creative learning journals

What are the main benefits of using sketchbooks throughout primary?

Using a journal allows the children to take control over their own learning, offering a space for idea development, exploration, play and self evaluation and reflection. Reluctant writers are encouraged to make marks, give meaning and tell stories in a none threatening and creative space. It a space they have control and ownership over and is therefore more engaging and inspiring. If we are involved, have a personal interest and emotional connection with our learning then we are less stressed and under less pressure and ultimately content. Under these conditions I believe we learn


How exactly are they used throughout each school, how much say does each teacher have in how they are used?

Some schools are using the books as diary spaces alone, offering time to the children where they reflect on the day, with a focus on what they have learnt. This may be in the academic or the emotional curriculum. They are not simply written accounts of the day, with focus set on full stops and capital letters but often pictorial representations or poetry, collage or mark making or colour expressive responses.

Other schools keep track of the learning in history, geography or p s c h e learning in art ideas books and journals. Here the art schemes are strategically linked the subject, extending the opportunities for learning with arts activities that have an output that can be recorded in the books. Sometimes visual, sometimes written, often both. Drama lessons linked to an historic focus might be summed up in the journal using collage techniques, music lessons may be incorporated into visual art lessons, combining text and image, then extended into ICT work. The important aspect of this, is that the journal becomes a way of tracking the learning journey. True cross curricular work.

Are parents involved?

We have started running workshops with parents at nursery level to introduce them to the techniques and power of journal keeping with their children. I believe this can be abn important bridge between school and community. family history projects and local focus work is a great way of developing understanding in a cross cultural context. Sharing work with one and other through the books, having school events where the work is exhibited, has also added weight and importance to their use

Do children take their books home?

Children do not take the book home but are encouraged to bring in things from home that are inked to the learning. Challenges are often set to try and encorporate something from home into the book, in a creative way, sewing collaging, scanning, layering etc.

Do children use them as unique, personal books at all or are they always based in aspects of the curriculum?

I try to find a relevance in the learning so a learner becomes empathetic, therefore bridging or connecting the person with the subject. This works in particular with historic learning, thematically. Transition, war, migrancy, social order, power, relationships.

What are the costs involved?
Commitment and time. Cost are minimal

how not to make orange

How not to make orange

A beginner’s guide

Scenario; year 4 girl with statement for special educational needs works with support worker colour mixing.

Adult; ‘Right, it’s our job to make orange, what colours do you think we need to make orange?
Let’s start with yellow, what shall we add to yellow to make orange?’

Child picks up brush and heads straight for the blue

Adult; ‘remember, ( pause ) we are making orange

Child looks at the adult and without losing eye contact moves toward the black with the brush.

Adult, showing slight signs of panic in her voice, ‘Black?  (pause) In yellow? ( tries to control her horror)  Oh that would make a messy colour wouldn’t it?

Child still hasn’t said anything or made a mark on the paper

Adult; how about you trying some red?

Child dips in red and mixes orange

Adult breathes sigh of relief and says to the child, ‘Yes, well done you did it!’

Objective achieved?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Monday, 2 August 2010

Monday, 26 July 2010

Friday, 23 July 2010

http://www.nsead.org.uk/primary/education/event.aspx?id=109&nsc=2


inspiring day at the British museum, some wonderful feedback from participants

“Fab day – v. Informative, interesting and creative. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.”

“Excellent day. Good mix of gallery visit, doing and making and historical interest.”

“This was an inspiring day but I would have liked two days as it was such a lot to take in and respond to. Thanks for the opportunity to attend such an event.”


“Fabulous day – although I would have liked more time to work on the sketchbook.”

book out soon

Monday, 12 July 2010



curiosity, mystery, surprise
as long as we keep asking, we keep learning

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Saturday, 26 June 2010

“I am aware that children are being more and more manipulated by the media, which is driven by pop culture and consumerism. I am more interested in children learning to be thinkers, makers, carers and doers'


eileen adams (the big draw)

Monday, 21 June 2010









Once you have a voice and are feeling valued, your confidence builds and you no longer worry about making mistakes or being humiliated.
Then the sketchbook provides a space for experimentation and it becomes your playground.
With growing confidence the child feels able to take risks, understanding the value of ‘going wrong’ and learning from ‘mistakes’



‘Let your children’s lessons take the form of play'
Plato

Let the sketchbook become a playground for ideas, take risks and remove failure

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

soundroutes



northern quarter a collaboration with the band on the wall
Sonic visual crossover Mapping Expression zones Audible marks Texture
Experience Memories Identities Emotional routes
Evolving manuscript Resonance
Composition
Layer
Grid
video

a power map
A map containing memories, emotions, history and sound,
urban mythologies, attachments and echoes




Being willing to play is one of the conditions of creativity.

The fascination with what is strange is, like play, a step to creativity

‘An intimate history of humanity’

Theodore Zeldin

recognising creativity a staff audit


We can be creative when we
  • are open minded
  • explore
  • play
  • go into the unknown
  • push boundaries
  • reflect
  • take risks
  • are confident
  • are enthusiastic
  • are positive ‘ I can’ mentality
  • are adaptable
  • motivated
  • free to think
  • are original
  • make emotional connections
  • independent
  • listen to others
  • share ideas
  • draw on personal experience
  • use imagination
  • observe
  • feel good about our selves
  • express
  • use tools
  • are willing to try
  • are resilient
  • dare
  • are bold
  • believe in ourselves

Thursday, 10 June 2010

a container
a museum
a collection

whole school project explores curiosity,
as long as we keep asking, we keep learning

spring grove primary huddersfield

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


What are the main benefits of using sketchbooks throughout primary?
Using a journal allows the children to take control over their own learning, offering a space for idea development, exploration, play and self evaluation and reflection. Reluctant writers are encouraged to make marks, give meaning and tell stories in a none threatening and creative space. It a space they have control and ownership over and is therefore more engaging and inspiring. If we are involved, have a personal interest and emotional connection with our learning then we are less stressed and under less pressure and ultimately content. Under these conditions I believe we learn
How exactly are they used throughout each school, how much say does each teacher have in how they are used?
read more.... 'am i a book' page above

Thursday, 27 May 2010


The discarded

A cabinet of curios

year 3 materials project

Through the weeks prior to the day, children made a collection of different materials and categorised them, discussing reasons for categories linked to their properties.

Strength, flexibility, hardness, potential use, suitability for task

They started a collection of mystery objects/ materials from home, perhaps things that are no longer fit for their purpose; the discarded, fragments from broken toys, old clothes, buttons any thing that used to have a use.

Children went on collecting walk to find the discarded, noting materials and categorising.

· An archaeological dig in school grounds

· The collection of materials and objects were frozen in plaster slabs, labelled and incorporated into museum cabinet.

· Poetry was written on the surface of the cabinet; a mixture of hand written and collaged text took journey around the exterior of the cabinet.


british museum event forthcoming


spring grove primary work makes the news



Thursday, 13 May 2010

some questions



somequestions
1
How do you make it? Is it a skeleton? What’s inside? Is it a dinosaur? What’s it called? Is it full of treasure? Can a mouse live in it? Where does it come from? Is it a feather pen? How can you wear it? Who’s in the photo? Who will know the answer? What is it? Where is it from? What is in the box? Is it a deadly crocodile? Can you open it? Is it a real bone? Is it wooden? Does it make a sound? I’ve seen it at home but forgot.
Can you wear them? Where do you get that from? Is it heavy? How old is it? Is it smelly? Why have you got it? Is that a map? Is it special? Can I look inside? How do you open it? Look at this I can hear something.
This looks nice. It is so old. It looks like a marble. It shines. How does it feel? A dragon’s skull! A question book? Were there wheels a long time ago? Where did you get these things from?
2
Did you buy it from a shop? What colour is it? Is it wood or soft? What shape is it? Is it an animal?
3
What is it about? Have you been there? Did you go to your grandmas? House and did she give it to you? What’s that called? How much did it cost? How do you spell Dubai? How does it work? Where did you find it? Did you put that collar on? Who made that doll? Are these people? It doesn’t make sense.
Is it a diary? Did you find it or make it? Who’s that? Who are these people? How do you close it? Is it from another country? Who are all the other people? Does it bite? How fast can you go? Are you the champion? Are you telling the truth? Is it real? Is that your family? Are they Victorian? Which way is it? A different language. How long have you had it? Why is it orange inside?

Sunday, 25 April 2010


excerpt from TES 2001


Individual pupils are targeted with imaginative programmes. Jamil, eight, was disruptive and never able to settle to anything except when he was drawing or painting. Ever watchful for potential, staff concluded that he possessed exceptional visual awareness, so they created an individual programme for him that included visual challenges within the normal curriculum. In a recent dance lesson, he was asked to make a quick sketch of how pupils should be positioned in a dance they had composed. Jamil also spends a good deal of time with Dave Hulston, an artist and musician who works at Medlock two days a week as an arts development officer, advising staff, creating schemes of work and working with individual pupils.
An exhibition space has been set up in a reception area where large, powerfully expressive paintings on themes such as the "horrors of war" and "identity" - all linked to curriculum topics - are displayed. The paintings, worked on over weeks, are often linked to poetry and writing. It is here that children such as Jamil come to work with Mr Hulston, and where he gives them some freedom to take the initiative. For example, Jamil became interested in a pile of stones Mr Hulston had brought into school, and made stepping stones with them. This turned into a discussion about journeys and a painting by Jamil on life as a journey - a darkly layered self-portrait super-imposed with stones, shells and keys, and text with statements such as "I wish to fly"; "Sometimes we hurt on the outside, inside we have our happy memories".
Staff considered the key to engaging Jamil in learning was allowing him plenty of space for self-discovery and expression, working things out at a deep-seated level. An emphasis on developing children emotionally, says Mr Herrington, is central to the school's mission. Mr Hulston started working at Medlock on a voluntary basis when he lived on the local Ardwick estate and his two daughters attended the school. He was then taken on half-time as a support worker for a special needs child. When this task came to an end, he was retained to develop the visual arts. Developing a role for Mr Hulston and managing to keep him on by contracting out his services to other schools is typical of Medlock's "outside-the-box" thinking in meeting its pupils needs. Mr Hulston now works half of his week for Manchester Arts Education Festival, helping to devise programmes for 47 other schools, and creating partnerships between schools and the nearby Whitworth Gallery.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


How not to make orange
A beginner’s guide
Scenario; year 4 girl with statement for special educational needs works with support worker colour mixing.
Adult; ‘Right, it’s our job to make orange, what colours do you think we need to make orange?
Let’s start with yellow, what shall we add to yellow to make orange?’
Child picks up brush and heads straight for the blue
Adult; ‘remember, ( pause ) we are making orange
Child looks at the adult and without losing eye contact moves toward the black with the brush.
Adult, showing slight signs of panic in her voice, ‘Black? (pause) In yellow? ( tries to control her horror) Oh that would make a messy colour wouldn’t it?
Child still hasn’t said anything or made a mark on the paper
Adult; how about you trying some red?
Child dips in red and mixes orange
Adult breathes sigh of relief and says to the child, ‘Yes, well done you did it!’
Objective achieved?

Monday, 5 April 2010

















this is the heart line

burned into a playground
this is the line down which you may run
a line for chasing
a line that
we will remember
crossing

fragments

a sketch box


am I a book?














to think that you reflect
hold web like for fear of some small snap
that will resonate
as ripples
will fade

the light that your fingers let slip
shatters across this surface
and whispers
will fade