Skip to main content

Portfolio Gallery


Creative writing workshops
Art and writing projects

Night of the Gargoyles
Leeds primary school, Year 5 and 6, 2017

The fabulously creepy Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting was the perfect inspiration for some spooky gargoyle artwork. Scroll down to watch the audio-books that we recorded from our gargoyle stories...  

The Freak Show by Belma (Year 6)

The Spooky Night of the Gargoyles (by Elzio, Year 6)

Japanese woodblock style painting
Leeds primary school, Year 5, 2017

These beautiful willow paintings were done in the style of Japanese woodblock prints and accompanied our excellent work to celebrate the Japanese cherry blossom season (Sakura). 


Creative literacy and art workshop - Leeds primary school, Year 5. 
A galaxy far, far away... (Star Wars) - January/February 2016A few weeks ago, in a primary school not far away six boys were chosen to take part in a Star Wars creative writing workshop. This work challenged their imaginations, their writing and drawing skills and - most importantly - their understanding of how writing can be fun and worthwhile. To accompany their original stories (see my BLOG POSTS) for information on this, I taught the children some basic drawing skills: shading, colour and inking. These practise illustrations were a chance for the children to put those skills into action.     

Creative literacy and art workshop - Leeds primary school, Year 4. 
The Arrival (Shaun Tan) - November/December 2015
This workshop was all about character development. Using the The Arrival's story of a family separated as they prepare for a new life in a safer country - based on the story of emigration to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries - the children imagined themselves as fellow migrants. Deciding what their character should take was a creative challenge as they sought to breathe life into their storytelling. The items were chosen specifically for their character's personalities and situations and arranged artfully. The sepia filter put on the photographs reflects the style of Shaun Tan's illustrations.      

History Focus Week - Leeds primary school, Year 5
The Vikings - February 2016
Building on the children's work on the Vikings during their history topic week, I decided to put the rich vocabulary they had been learning to good use with these fantastic word-art portraits. We discussed the meaning of Viking runes and the children matched an appropriate symbol to an image: strength with a horse, protection with a helmet, fire with a dragon. The children charcoal-transferred an image onto a strip of paper (their first time!) and then used the vocabulary to fill in the lines. As a set they look very effective!


Creative literacy and art workshop - Leeds primary school, Year 4. 
The Island (A Greder) - June and July 2015
Some examples of the superb artwork created by children during this workshop. The images show the processes children went through during the six week workshop: colours and mood, experimenting with charcoals and pastels to make seascapes, using pen to draw illustrations and self portraits. A great collection!

FREE taster workshop - Leeds primary school, Year 3 and 4. 
Little Beauty (A Browne) - 15 May 2015
Some more examples of the superb mixed media artwork created by Year 3 and 4 children at a primary school in Leeds. 

Teacher Training Day - Leeds Lantern Trust - 13 February 2015
The teachers who attended my Creative Literacy workshop last week really enjoyed exploring how art can inspire children's writing.

Using the illustrations from The Island by Armin Greder as our inspiration, the teachers created some fantastic pastel drawings. 

Creative participation is a key part of all ARTiculate's workshops for people big and small!

Little Beauty - Anthony Browne (Autumn 2013)
These images were created my Year 4 class (aged 8-9 yrs). This was the culmination of several weeks of work on the text exploring the characters, themes in the text and the language used. Working from the book's illustrations, the children decided how they would represent the characters' mood and emotions and which materials would be the best to do this. 
Build a bridge, not a wall - Shepard Fairey (Spring 2014)
These spectacular, personal images were created by a Year 4 class as part of a topic on Jerusalem. After learning about the city and its attractions, we also looked at Jerusalem in popular art. The American street-artist Shepard Fairey explores the idea of peace from conflict and has work on display in Jerusalem's streets. In these pictures, created with ink and collage paper, the children are breaking down, peering through, pushing over or looking around the barrier to learn how other people live and how that understanding can help peace to grow.

 Hi! I'm Stefan and I am a specialist teacher 
in primary creative writing. I work with interesting,
creative schools to inspire their
children to write!

Find out more about me here.

Popular posts from this blog

Creative writing based on Hokusai's The Great Wave

The Great Wave - Creative writing workshop, Year 6

Week 1: Vocabulary development

Inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai's masterpiece The Great Wave, Year 6 are starting on a creative voyage to bring the iconic print to literary life! We spent some time poring over the features of painting: the spray, the wave, the boats and, well hidden, Mount Fuji.

After reading an account of Ellen MacArthur's sailing voyages, we began to generate some cutting edge vocabulary to give our writing some sparkle.

This was the process:
Children labelled the features of the picture, including parts of the wave (crest, barrel, swell, lip)We chose personified verbs for the different features. 'Grabbing', 'scratching' and 'grasping' for the finger-like lip of the wave; 'screaming', 'slapping' and 'whistling' for the wind.The group selected similes for each of the features. The wind became 'a bellowing dragon', the boats were 'a floating feather&…

Blood thirsty Macbeth posters

Creative writing workshop, KS2
Macbeth is a blood-drenched, gory and spooky tale. Too gruesome for little ones? Apparently not! The Year 4 and 5 children I have been working with this half term have become completely immersed in the Scottish play.  As well as getting the children to write short playscripts, developing the climactic showdown between Macbeth and Macduff (more on this at a later date), my groups have designed some concept posters for the play. The children chose a colour and symbol that represented some aspect of the play (bloody red, royal purple, a black cat for the witches, a chess piece for the king) and overlayed it with words that help tell the story. We used emulsion paint and big worn-out brushes (the ones at the back of the cupboard that nobody uses...) to achieve a battle-worn, scratchy effect. Gory blood splatters went down a treat too! Here are some fine examples!

ARTiculate newsletter: March 2018

Hello teachers!

Well this is embarrassing! 2018 is already three months old and this is my first newsletter. A combination of exciting creative work and house moving has stolen my time. But here is an update on everything ARTiculate and, as usual, resources and recommendations for you to use to add a creative spark to your literacy teaching!

Between the lines: a lesson in diversity from a bookshop in Cape Town
This month I am in South Africa’s most beautiful city: Cape Town. There are many issues in education here in South Africa, not least the massive disparity in opportunity and funding for children in many schools. After a visit to the fantastic bookshop The Book Lounge, I have been inspired by the interesting range of children’s literature on offer; crucially, it is literature representative of the diversity in the country.

A bit of a poke in the ribs for teachers like us in the UK: how much does the literature we use in our classrooms reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of th…