Category Archives: Every Child Is An Artist

Mission 2097 – creating work inspired by the future

My name is Emma and I have been working with students at Hobmoor again this term to create videos, animations, comics and other visual work based on our theme of what the world might be like in the future: ‘Mission 2097’.

I make videos and lead workshops teaching others how to make their own films and animations using whatever technology they have access to. There are so many great apps out there for our phones and tablets that make it easy for us to flex our creative muscles!

This term I have been working with years 1, 2, 4, and class 6D – I had already worked with the year 4s when they were in year 3, so they already had a bit of a head start on the apps we have been using.

At the beginning of term we talked about what we thought the world might look like in the future, including the homes we would be living in, the vehicles and other technology we might have, and how we ourselves might change.

Future house and guard robot
Future house and guard robot – made using Huepaint


Robot eyes!
Robot eyes!

 Moving images

Once we had talked through some ideas of how the design of our future houses, appliances and vehicles might look and what features they might have, we also talked about our own appearances and how human bodies might change. Could we find a cure for ageing? Would prosthetic limbs and body parts be improved? Would we be able to even change our biology, or that of other animals?

To explore this, we used drawing animation with iPad app I Can Animate, an affordable and very simple to use animation app. The app has an ‘onion skinning’ feature which allows you to see the ‘ghost’ of the last picture you talk, so it helps users to line up their object or drawing in the right place for each photo.

Robot car – made using I Can Animate

Robot friends – made using I Can Animate

Interviews, ads and trailers

For the video work, we used iMovie, a very simple app for filmmaking. We interviewed eachother about our future predictions, made trailers for futuristic movies, and also advertisements for future products.


Most recently, we have been using the app Comic Life to create comic strips and posters trying to teach people ways that they can change or things they can do to make the future better. The messages we have concentrated on the most are bullying, dropping litter, and racism.

Comic about littering - made in Comic Life
Comic about littering – made in Comic Life

On Wednesday the 7th of December we will be putting all of this work on display in the hall and innovation studio, so watch this space!

Virtual Futures

Hello! Ben Neal here, I’m a Creative Coder and Gadgeteer who’s been working with years 5 and 6 to create futuristic computer controllers to navigate around virtual worlds filled with our artwork.

During last term we used the LittleBits kits and MakeyMakeys to create our own Human Interface Devices made from recycled cardboard boxes and padded envelopes to replace the mouse and keyboard.

We made drawings of what we think we’ll look like in the year 2097 and added these to an interactive 3D world around which we can navigate and explore.

Below you can see some screenshots of what we’ve been up to and an animation of a virtual wall full of students work.

Click play to watch the video above

LittleBits kit
LittleBits kit
3D World
Inventor’s Schematic
Interactive vitual boxes


Every Child Is An Artist – Music Production

HI its Ashley here – A Digital Artist who has previously worked with the pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 to create amazing works using digital technology, electronics and code.

Well I’m back in school under my other guise – an electronic musician and producer who performs and dj’s in various spots worldwide.  I’m in school this Summer term working with Year 5 and Year 6 to show them a different approach to creating and performing electronic music using a series of Apps on the iPads and beyond.


Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 13.53.54


Grid control:

Breaking down tracks into segments (clips/loops) is like deconstructing a building into various blocks. By taking each sonic element of a track – the beats, the bass, the melody, the vocals and the effects and then further refining down into the various different sections – full drum loop, percussion only, just a kick drum we can mix and match each of these loops with others to create and build entire tracks that change and flow differently each time.


Using a grid controller gives you access to multiple clips of audio loops that at a touch of a finger can be played or stopped all in sync with the other playing loops or clips. Using multiple fingers gives you the ability to play multiple loops and clips and switch instantly between them. This creative flexible approach allows anyone to perform and play without needed to read a large manual beforehand. Very fun, intuative, expressive and hands on. The sounds all work together in sync and at the tempo you have chosen – the only thing to do is use your ears and find out what sounds great !!!

Using a grid controller or software laid out this way gives us a much clearer visual understanding of these blocks of our song. We can actually begin to think of intro, verse, chorus, verse, outro as a way of combining our sounds, removing some, adding in extras to create an overall track.


Launchpad Intro:

If you don’t have a physical Launchpad Device or access to an iOS device you can still jam with the grid based concept of Launchpad using a html5 version online. This works in any modern web browser but runs very well in Chrome on most mobile devices as well as desktop / netbook / chrome-book. This has a small selection of sounds and gives a real immediate playability of them within the browser. Great fun and a good ‘intro’ indeed.




Launchpad for iOS:

If you really want to get creative with loops then the best way to start on an iPad is to use the Novation Launchpad App. This gives you the ability to have 32 pads with sounds and the ability to have 8 playing looped clips at once alongside some seriously fun FX to twist and shape the performance.

The Launchpad for iOS App is FREE to download with a bunch of optional purchases for sound packs and extra effects. We can get funky right away jamming out with the included sounds with no need to spend any cash upfront at all.

As with our grid control method we can play only 1 loop per column but up to all 8 per row. We have access to a series of effects that totally change the sound output and gives us creative flexibility to chop and change our sounds to keep it all interesting.

Every loop is already set to be the same bar length as the others to ensure that they are in sync with each other. The App automatically begins playing any sound you choose to drop in in sync and at the right time to ensure it fits with the timing. Learning beat counting and bar lengths is something comes with practice however the App conveniently gives a countdown in the middle of each pad so that you can visually see where you are in the loop and help you learn when to drop in and out the loops. As the project goes in we will concentrate more on this structuring to enable us to elevate our performance and music into something much more than just a series of loops.


IMG_20160427_102319IMG_20160420_114627IMG_20160427_102409 IMG_20160420_114635


Once we have played with the scenes already in the App its time to build our own selection of sounds to play with. Start a new blank project and this will open up with completely empty pads. We can now click on ‘edit pads’ and begin to chose exactly what sound goes into each of the pads.

A tutorial from Novation gives an overview of how to edit the loops in each pad to give you full control of which sounds you mix and match together.



Every Child Is An Artist – Spring Exhibition Video

Every Child Is An Artist – Visual Arts from Mercurial Dance on Vimeo.

At the end of last term we celebrated the great work the children did with our artists, Elaine, Claire, Faith, Emma and Jayne. Our exhibition took place throughout the school and this short film shares some of the amibitions about how the project worked and what the children made.

Our theme for the term was ‘Our Community’ and we explored this in different ways with each class, using different media including clay to make ceramic totems, found objects, recycled materials, and screen printing.

Coordinates, Electronics and Treasure – Aspire Day

My name is Ashley and Im a Digital Artist who has worked in Hobmoor as part of the Every Child Is An Artist project.

Today for Aspire Day I worked with pupils and we used a combination of Maths skills, alongside engineering and electronics to be pirates out to discover and retrieve treasure.

Problem Solving

Most of the Maths we used today involved problem solving. One of the most used skills across the curriculum from subjects such as science to sports and all areas of development.

Logical Thinking

Working iteratively and making decisions based on estimates and coming to conclusions based on a process of thinking and elimination.

Coordinates and Maps

Using columns and rows to describe a position on a map and to use terminology to pinpoint a place.

Directions / Instructions

Using instructions to create a series of coordinates so that a route could be followed across the map to avoid the obstacles.

Electronics and Engineering

Using Little Bits to create a pirate winch to haul up the treasure chest. We worked iteratively to improve our design to build a strong enough winch to lift the weight of the treasure box.


What did we make ?

The pupils created instructions from the Maps to find routes across the seas to reach the Treasure and then constructed a working crane winch to lift up the treasure box containing a stash of chocolate bunnies !