Drawing People with Year 5

A couple of weeks ago I visited Mowmacre Hill Primary School Nr Leicester during the day I did several drawing sessions with the children, but only remembered to take pictures of one of the sessions, which I’m pretty sure was Year 5.

I asked if there were any dancers in the class and gained a volunteer who proceeded to throw some shapes. One pose was great and I asked here to hold it a minute while I drew her. Someone said she looked like an ice skater, so I added skates and a rink and an audience and so a figure drawing turned into an illustration.

I drew it all again, step by step and was this time followed by the rest of the children and here are the results – wonderful, I think. All of them the same pose, but all different according to the personality and style of the artist. Well done and thanks for a great day!

Opening the new library at Mowmacre Hill School, Leicester

open-library-2 open-LibraryI was so pleased when Hope Toms-Fitzgerald, the Reading Champion at Mowmacre Hill Primary School near Leicester, asked if I would come and visit the school for the day and open the new library. Ans so I did, a couple of weeks ago. Where has the time gone?

Hope and her army of helpers have been working away at this wonderful project for over two years, raising funds and turning a cold, jumbled storeroom into a warm, friendly and inviting library for the children of the school.

Hope truly is a Reading Champion! The only way to learn to read is to read. Knowing all the ins and outs of grammar may score you marks on some Ofsted scoresheet, but true literacy comes from the process of actually reading a lot of text. Books are still the dest delivery vehicle for that process.

The way to engage new (and reluctant) readers is to give them a choice of wonderful and engaging books that will get their attention and turn them into readers. There is nothing like a school library for raising reading levels. Not grammar testing, not iPads, not websites, just a plain, good old-fashioned library full of books that make you want to read, that entertain, thrill, educate and maybe even make you cry.

To become truly literate, the words need to be screwed down on the page, not dancing around and singing to you. To become truly literate, you need to witness language being used at its best, to see how words strung together evoke mood, character, place and emotion as well as providing information. Reading is not an exercise in syntax. The very best writing tends to break the rules of grammar anyway.

So well done Hope and well done Mowmacre Hill. It was a pleasure to visit and an honour to cut the ribbon and declare the library open for business!

Pictures from Mowmacre Hill – thanks!