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Authors encourage pupils to get creative developing characters

Date 17.05.2017

Year six pupils from Milton Keynes School, Oxley Park Academy spent the afternoon on campus at the University of Northampton learning about character development from authors and illustrators Birgitta Sif and David Barrow.

The pupils were treated to insights from Birgitta and David on the creative process of character development for their novels. Birgitta talked about her book ‘Oliver’; which tells the tale of a young boy, who’s a little different, and his adventure to discover a new friend. Using illustration, she crafts a world of familiar characters alongside the story, demonstrating the power of imagination and the strength of the friendship Oliver finds.

After reading the book, the pupils got crafty and created their own characters from an illustration of a circle and two eyes. The pupils created a diverse range of characters for their own story; from racing car drivers to spiders and bumble bees.

Returning to campus, University of Northampton Alumni, David Barrow, then talked about how he uses characteristics to give even more life to his illustrations; asking the pupils think about the kind of props and tools to show the characteristics of a character.

Kimberly Webb, a second year student at the University, studying Primary Education, commented: “I really enjoyed meeting David and Birgitta today, I’m keen to develop my confidence in teaching primary English, so this session has been great as its sparked ideas for ways to teach young people about story telling. I’ll be going to teach in a placement school shortly and I’m keen to use what I’ve learnt today to plan creative sessions which will get the children thinking.”