Every Child is An Artist – Creating a 3D City!!


My name is Darius and I am an Artist.  Over the past three weeks, I’ve started working with wonderful students in year 3 & 4  as part of the Every Child is an Artist project. The classes are learning about 3D modeling to create their own virtual cities to be viewed in an Augmented Reality iPAD App.

Wait a minute…What is Augmented Reality?

Ah…yes, what is Augmented Reality (AR for short)? AR allows us to add layers of video, images, 3D models and more to the world around us through an iPAD app. AR is becoming very popular in computer games like Pokemon GO, toys like Lego and in modern art.

Our AR app will be called My City and will contain over 20 virtual cities made by the students. In December, friends and family will be able to explore the cities by scanning small markers across the school. Each marker will reveal a new city created by the students.

AR Example for My City
AR Example for My City


Week One: City Planning

The students began by working in groups to decide on a theme for their AR city. We had lots of great ideas including Candy City, Robot City and Business City. Once each group had an idea, we discussed what makes up a city:




Trees & Signs

Each group began to design what they wanted to add to their cities and designed maps to help decide where everything goes.


Week Two

Learning about 3D Modeling

Each city will be created in 3D! So we began by discussing what is 3D? The students had a good idea, “A cube is 3D but a square is not!”.

Learning to use 123D Design

123D Design is a FREE iPAD App (also available on MAC / PC) for creating 3D models. The students got hands-on using the APP and began experimenting with combining different 3D shapes (spheres, cubes, pyramids, cylinders etc) and changing the size, position and rotation.

123D Design


Week Three

Designing Buildings 

After learning to use the 123D Design app, in the previous session, students were ready to start creating their buildings. Everybody had an iPAD and some brilliant designs were created, a few examples can be seen below:



Castle from Chocolate Kingdom

House by Raheel

We’ve had a great start to the project and the students are loving using the iPADs to create their cities. In a few weeks, we will add colour and texture to the models.

Next session Transport!

Video and animation on the iPad

Hi, my name is Emma – I make videos, and run workshops teaching others how to make their own films and animations using whatever technology they have access to. Now  that we all have so many gadgets at our fingertips there are a wide variety of apps and programmes that users can access to make their own creative projects, and in the age of smartphones and tablets everyone can get in on the fun.

I have been working with pupils in years 2, 3 and 4 using equipment that they already have varying degrees of experience with (iPads) and free or very low-priced creative apps. I am one of four artists currently working with students at Hobmoor to explore what it is to be an artist – in the first few sessions I asked them for their thoughts on this and it seems that most believed that you weren’t an artist if you couldn’t paint or draw! We talked about the many ways in which one could be an artist and through working with different media, they are discovering that there are many routes to finding their ‘inner artist’ and expressing themselves creatively.

Introduction to video and animation

Over the first three weeks of this project, the pupils have been working with an app called Vine – Vine is free for smartphones and tablets and is accessible from computers too (it requires an email address or Twitter account to login, so I have set up a profile for each class). It is a very simple app for making short videos or animations, and is quite unique in that the videos are square (not TV shaped!), you record and stop by lifting your finger on and off the screen rather than pressing a button, and you are limited to a duration of six seconds. Once you finish recording, you are able to do a little further editing within the app if needed (although only in terms of cutting or removing clips) and you can share it instantly.

Learning to use Vine


In the first week, I wanted to introduce everyone to the basics of animation without making it too complicated, so I had the pupils pull as many silly faces to the camera as they could fit into the 6 second time frame, stopping and starting the recording throughout. I was certainly impressed with their face-pulling abilities!


In the second week we moved onto animating objects, which required a bit more time and care; the children used tripods to keep the iPads steady and Vine’s onion-skinning feature – the ‘ghost tool’ – to see how far they moved the object between shots, as smaller movements give better results. The trickiest parts were keeping the tripods still and making sure everybody’s hands were out of the way!

Topic: Identity

Last week I introduced the topic that we are going to be working with for the rest of the term; ‘identity’. We talked about what identity means and the different factors and influences that make up who we are – where we have lived, the things we like, our cultural and ethnic backgrounds, languages we speak, etc. In each session, we identified how many countries and cities we could represent as a whole class – I also asked them what they knew about some of the places on the lists we came up with, and asked them to draw things that we might expect to see in those places. As you can see from this picture of one of our lists, Hobmoor is very international!



I then asked the pupils to record a Vine video (no animation this time, just a continuous six second recording) talking about their identity; the countries and cities they have known, the languages that they speak, etc.

This was very challenging within the time limit, but we already knew that our identities are far too interesting to be summed up in six seconds – which is why we will be moving on from Vine and making some longer videos next!


Every Child – Becoming Digital Artists

Hi my name is Ashley and I am slowly becoming known in the school as the ‘Makey Makey Man’. I am a digital artist and coder who uses technology to create playful creative works that range from smartphone applications to large scale art gallery light installations.

I have been working in school with Year 5 and Year 6 to start our exploration of Digital Arts, Creative Technology and using our artistic inventiveness to explore and understand computer programming with a creative and playful outcome.

So far we have made pianos and musical instruments out of bananas! and our bodies. We have created games controllers to play Flappy Bird with our own colourful play dough creatures.




We are understanding what it means to be creative and use technology as our medium to become aspiring Digital Artists of the future.

We have explored what it means to be an ‘artist’ and to have an art form or ‘practice’ that describes what you do or make. We looked at ‘mediums’ or materials,tools and processes that allow you to be able to create that art form.


We are using throughout the project a variety of technology, hardware and software solutions to enable both creative outputs and understanding. These tools are available globally and empower users to make and be creative through light, sound, touch, movement and coding – real world physical interactions that get us looking beyond the screen and the digital world. We are investigating how different interfaces and different people interact with computers in fun and playful ways.

We have used a Makey Makey , a digital interface that allows us to connect everyday conductive objects such as coins, fruit and ourselves to control content on the computer.

Using resistive electricity we create and connect circuits with these objects to the Makey Makey device so that when connected together by touching the objects with our body, they operate like a switch and simulate the pressing of a key on the computer, such as the spacebar.

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Behind the creative outputs is the understanding of how computers, and more importantly ‘logic’ and instructional programming  works.

We have been learning about INPUTS and OUTPUTS and creating basic blocks of instructions using an ‘IF THIS happens, then DO THAT’ understanding.

We have started to create our own digital media on the computers using a visual programming language called Scratch which enables us to create games, animations and drawings using defined blocks of code that join together like modular building blocks, like a kind of digital lego. So far the children are using simple INPUTS of keyboard presses to move a character around the screen (OUTPUT).



Every Child Is An Artist

This term we have launched a new project for the year called Every Child Is An Artist. Children in years 1-6 will be working with the Mercurial Dance team every week and this terms theme is Digital Arts.  A whole school project will develop the children’s creative, artistic and design skills.

Our Focus for the Autumn is Digital Arts: taking the children to the latest in digital making, creating, hacking, coding as we build towards a game and installation in December. In our creative journey we start to look at what makes up a city? and how might we augment reality

Leading the Mercurial Dance team is Artistic Director Oliver Scott and this project builds on some of the arts and film projects he have led in the school.

Here is a bit of info about the Artists your children are working with this term.

Oliver Scott., Mercurial Dancer – Dance with years 1&2

Oliver will be developing a new dance curriculum for the Oasis Hobmoor welcoming and working alongside a new dancer to the Mercurial team for the autumn with Years 1 and 2.

Oliver Scott is a versatile individual. He is artistic director of Mercurial Dance, and founding trustee of Mercurial Arts Charity. His work spans roles as a performer, choreographer, artist educator and arts consultant/producer. He has toured internationally, performing with a range of dance and theatre companies. Highlights include launching the Bubble Chamber, Mercurial’s pop up performance space for dance and technology;  recent Mercurial Dance productions include Fair Youth (2015) a duet for libraries inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and the fun projects at Oasis Hobmoor such as Aspire! week, The school anthem En’Light’en and digital dance work Chaotic Liquid Network (2014)


Ashley Brown – Digital Artist and Coder – Years 5&6

Ash will be working with Makey Makey’s, Littlebit and Arduinos to explore physical computing with Yrs 5 and 6. It could include turning a bunch of bananas into a keyboard and playing music or seeing how your pot plant sounds when you stroke its leaf!

Ash has worked with Mercurial Dance for a number of projects over the last 6 years. His work includes creating interactive objects and environments, hacking and repurposing devices, crafting code and working at the intersection between art, technology and design to uncover and reveal new potential and crafting beautiful (and not so) objects that make people smile for the past 6 years. Ash produces electronica and dubstep under the name DJ Arctic Sunrise.

Darius Powell – Digital Artist and Game Designer

Darius will be working on creating a game environment with Years 3 and 4, populating a virtual world with avatars, buildings and creations.

Darius is a digital artist and tutor who is also based at QUAD in Derby with over 10 years experience in animation and media. Darius regularly works on media products requiring his skills in video, animation, motion graphics, Photoshop and interactive design. A regular workshop leader, he has delivered animation training to thousands of people aged 3 – 80+.

Emma Puente – Filmmaker

Emma will be working with year 2H, 3 and 4 working on Filmmaking, animation, editing and skilling up the children for a launch of Hobmoor TV later in the Autumn Term.

Emma produces videos, works with image editing, animation, design and other things of that ilk. She has led many workshops with both young people and adults on the use of creative software and equipment, mainly with a focus on filmmaking or animation but occasionally other pursuits such as image editing and comic creation. She has taught at schools, youth/art centres, museums and village halls.


Blakesley Hall

IMG_0725.JPG IMG_0388 IMG_0639 IMG_0627 IMG_0925Year 5 were lucky enough to visit Blakesley Hall this week as part of our Princes, Peasants and Pestilence topic. We learnt about Richard Smalbroke, the owner of this house. We also looked at some of their plates and cutlery and learnt about the smells there would have been in the house. In groups we had to match herbal cures to their ailments and we were fortunate to be able to make our own lavender soap and tussie mussies.

If you want to know more then please ask any of our Year 5 experts.


Year 5 Drug Workshop

On Monday 14th September Adam, from a charity called Narcanon, came to speak to us. His charity is based in America and provides drug rehabilitation, drug education and drug prevention programmes all around the world. He spoke to us about how alcohol and drugs affect our minds and bodies.

What did you find interesting? Please leave a comment.drug workshop

3K Scrumdiddlyumptious Engage Week

We started our new topic today, Scrumdiddlyumptious!

We were investigating different types of foods and recording how they felt, furthermore we tried to guess what types of food they were.

Also, today we did some still life drawings of food; using colouring crayons and pencils. We learnt the difference of being light handed with our pencil and how this creates different shades on the paper.

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