Who is Austin Kleon? An inspiring contemporary poet. He uses newspaper articles from the New York Times as unique canvases for creating his verse. Here is one of Austin's first time lapse videos that immediately had me intrigued last year: Of course the first thing I wanted to do, after trying it out myself, was to see if the children would find this technique successful and worth exploring. We began by visiting the official website Newspaperblackout.com, where the children could read examples by Austin and view poems shared by fans using his method. As we watched a short interview with... Read more →

Our Titanic topic this term has the children so engaged! We've been observing old postcards and photographs of the liner and trying to capture the essence of her size and significance. I love how this child has made his charcoal Titanic escape the page, conveying the scale so effectively! This topic is of local interest too as our school is quite literally a twenty minute walk from the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Next month we are visiting the Thompson Dry Dock, where the liner was fitted out and painted. My class won £1,000 in an art competition this... Read more →

We are so excited to be participating in Zoe's International Postcard Swap, over at one of our favourite blogs: Playing By The Book. If your book-loving family would like to take part in the fun, you can find full details at the link above. What a great idea, snail mailing to five families anywhere in the world - it's been such a long time since we've sent any post this way! We've our postcards of favourite picture books picked out already.... closing date is May 17th. Tweet Read more →

This half term, our class are appreciating the work of various children's picture book illustrators and attempting to recreate their techniques. Here is our first project, focusing on the work of Oliver Jeffers in The Incredible Book Eating Boy masterpiece! This book was one of our first choices because Oliver grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I think that it's so important for the children to identify with local success stories. Also, Oliver uses mixed media in his illustrations and this is an area that we really needed to develop. This new video of Oliver has recently been released... Read more →

If you haven't shared Helen Cooper's Pumpkin Soup with your children yet, then you're in for a treat. This is a seasonal favourite for us, and as soon as pumpkins start appearing in local shops, we search through the bookshelves for our copy. Beautifully illustrated, the story explores friendship, co-operation and sharing as the three main characters (duck, squirrel and cat) disagree on who should do what while making pumpkin soup. The cosiness of the cabin with its warm quilt and good smell of soup always puts us in the mood for making our own pumpkin soup (we always use... Read more →