Power of Pictures Conference

On Monday, I was very excited to be attending the 'Power of Pictures' conference at CLPE HQ in London. Those who attended the Power of Reading sessions will be familiar with this organisation and the great work that they do.

The day started, predictably, with me buying one or two books- no surprise there!- before Katie Myles (CLPE Primary Advisory Teacher) welcomed us all to the day. 

Then Ed Vere asked us the key question- what is a picture book? He suggested many things, but that essentially they are sequential art. They offer cause and effect with much happening through the pictures. His enthusiasm was infectious and he proved his point by sharing his book, 'Banana!'

Ed was fascinating to listen to and, with  Charlotte Hacking (CLPE Learning Programmes Leader), explained how the idea behind the 'Power of Pictures' had developed. You can find out more about this here: https://www.clpe.org.uk/powerofpictures/about-power-pictures

Sue Horner and Janet White spoke next as the Project Evaluators.  Their findings showed just how much impact the project has had so far on the schools lucky enough to have been involved, both on individual students, classes and school communities. 

During the day, we were able to choose from two of a possible three workshops:

  • Viviane Schwarz- creating characters
  • Alexis Deacon- reading pictures
  • Benji Davies- interplay between words and pictures

Not able to choose, I was allocated places with Benji Davies and then Viviane Schwarz! Lucky me!

I made pages of notes during this session- far too much to share here!

Benji told us so much about how he works and the way in which he develops his characters and settings. He encouraged us to draw faces and experiment with expressions and moods.

Before lunch, the wonderful Chris Riddell amused and entertained us with his incredible ability to draw, talk and be funny all at the same time! Passionate about the role of illustrations and art, he showed us his Laureate's Sketchbooks and answered 'Ask the Laureate' questions! 

Lunch was amazing...

In my second workshop with Viviane Schwarz, we learned about creating characters and developing knowledge of them by asking them questions. 

We had great fun creating characters- and then pinching bits of other peoples'!

Finally, Ann Gelder from Headcorn Primary School told us about her experiences of the project and showed us work and video clips of her children. It was so lovely to see!

To sum up, Alexis Deacon showed us this:

Would we mark a child's picture like this? So we how should we mark their writing?!

It was an amazing day. There are video clips, teaching sequences for all ages...all free on their new website! Make sure you have a look!