Pop-ups in Croughton Primary

croughton primary 01I was working with the children at Croughton All Saints Primary School yesterday for the start of an art and books project. The aim was to give the children enough skills to finish the pop-up books in their own time, combining text, illustrations and paper-engineering. This is a beautiful school, situated in a rural village near Banbury, with a warm, friendly atmosphere. I found the children to be very open and enthusiastic about pop-up design and I was able to teach them quite a number of techniques in a relatively short space of time.
croughton primary 02

Flying Hats and the Planet Mars

I was given a very warm welcome by staff and children at Thorn Grove Primary School in Bishop’s Stortford last Monday when I joined them for their Bookmaking Week.

Y1 and Y6 were each given a brief set of instructions and a collapsible cardboard structure before being sent away to work as teams on the project. The results were very impressive. Y1 managed to include a narrative in their giant pop-up which was inspired by a book they were studying in class (Rosie’s Hat by Julia Donaldson and Anna Currey). They showed the girl’s hat being blown up over the roofs, into the clouds and down again onto a truck carrying logs – brilliant!

Y6 did equally well and produced a fantastic Martian scene, showing the surface of the planet on the one side and outer space on the other.

While all this was going on the other year-groups were hard at work producing their very own pop-up books.

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!