World Book Day Cabinet

I celebrated World Book Day with the children of Annemount School in Hampstead Garden Suburb. A few of the children dressed up as characters from the Big Match and one boy, Rafael, completed his costume with a ‘book cabinet’ for guessing the book. The box opened to reveal mini pictures of all of my books.

I couldn’t believe the work that Rafael and his family put into this – two days I’m told. He wanted to give the box to me to take away at the end of the day (with his Mum’s permission, of course) – it now takes pride of place on my studio wall.

British International School Budapest

IMG_0112Back from Budapest where I spent time working with the kids and staff at the British International School. I was helped by the school’s wonderful librarian who acted as my wing-woman for the entire 3 days and made sure everything ran to schedule.

After my initial school talk, I ran a series of workshops with all classes where I showed the children how to make their own pop-up books.

A pattern for the sessions emerged fairly early on when I matched each class to a mechanism, guiding them through the process so they all had a completed pop-up framework ready to go. Following a discussion about their storyboard ideas – the blank storyboards were sent ahead of my arrival – I used some of their material to demonstrate how to convert mechanism into fully illustrated 3D scene. Some of the images show these, others show the children’s work-in-progress.

The school places huge importance on reading and runs several initiatives to encourage the love of books. At a certain point each day, everyone drops everything to read for five minutes. The doors were also being decorated as book covers while I was there – check out the Detective Paws ‘door cover’.

CO-Gas Safety Competition

I was asked to briefly address the prize winners of the GDN and CO-Gas Safety competition in Committee Room 10 at the House of Commons on Tuesday. I’ve been involved with the judging of this for many years – my way of giving something back to the charity CO-Gas Safety for their support and help after we suffered from the effects of low level CO exposure in 2003.

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) can be emitted from any combustible fuel

Up to now, it’s been run as a poster competition for primary school children. The Gas Distribution Networks have taken over the project and under new rules, it can involve any form of creative expression to highlight the dangers of CO – so pick what you’re good at. It’s now also divided into KS1 and KS2.

Details of the competition here: competition
Entries and queries: COschoolcompetition@energynetworks.org

This sort of initiative is important as it gets the message out there through the kids, it informs them of the dangers of CO and helps them keep their families and friends safe.

Key points are:
Get your gas appliances regularly checked.
Install a CO detector (smoke detector is not the same thing).
Learn how to recognize the symptoms.
Know what to do when a leak occurs.

With that in mind, please go to the site Katie Haines Trust and use the drop down menu ‘Carbon Monoxide’. There’s a few videos on the home page as well, but read the hard facts first.

 

Stopsley Primary

First school of the year tomorrow at Stopsley Primary in Luton for a 2 and a half day project in pop-up book design.

Day 1 will consist of learning the basics. Each of the 3 Year 4 classes will learn techniques which they will then share between them before my next visit. Images show the ‘manual’ I’ll be leaving to guide them and to show the starting point for day 2 when we develop the books further.

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Britannia Village Primary

I was back at Britannia Village Primary School last Monday for Day 2 of our paper (cardboard) engineering project. As Year 6 set off for France with their giant pop-up constructions, Year 5s (3 classes) stepped up to the plate to start work on a pop-up reinterpretation of Alice in Wonderland set in London.

Britannia Village Primary sml

I was impressed by the way they took inspiration from Boxpark in Shoreditch, the surrounding streets and graffiti they photographed. I gave them guidance with the construction of the main framework and worked with a small team to get it in place and glued, while the rest of the children got to work on the other smaller components. They were given broad instructions for the painting of the structures but apart than that they were completely free to bring their own ideas to the final surface decoration.

Also very gratifying to see how all the teachers had used what they learnt in the initial inset session to help their pupils create small-scale pop-up pieces before my arrival.