Giant School Pop-Ups

I spent a very exciting and creative two days at St Agnes RC Primary School in Cricklewood earlier this week.

A whole-school schedule was drawn up beforehand which included talks, storyboarding, reading and live drawing, illustration and pop-up book workshops, and an interview with the school newspaper (this was conducted by the wonderful Chelsea and Ziemek from year 5 and 6).

I noticed that year 3 and 4 hadn’t been included in any of the activities, so decided to set them a special challenge. Presenting them with two giant, pop-up, cardboard frameworks, I gave them a brief set of instructions – go off, have a discussion, decide what each construction would become, organise yourselves into working parties and get started. I tried not to influence them in any way but did show them photos of what a previous school had produced and challenged them to beat it.


The final ‘showing assembly’ had representives from each class showing work-in-progress. My aim had been to provide them with a starting point from which to work and they were very successful and creative in developing what I showed them and making it their own.

The giant pop-ups were saved for last and what was revealed was completely unexpected and truly spectacular. I was impressed by the wide variety of materials used (not just paper and card) as well as the incrediable amount of thought and innovative ideas that went into the project, including many techniques that I hadn’t actually shown them. And most astonishingly, both structures (you can see them below) still folded flat. A very moving moment – in all senses of the word!


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