A Brilliant Morning at Blatch

This week, thanks to Little Green Pig, I was lucky enough to be invited in to Blatchington Mill School in Hove to deliver a comics workshop to a group from Year 7 as part of their Creative Writing programme.

Days like this are hands-down my favourite days.

It was a little nerve-wracking, as not only had I not planned a session quite like this before, but I’d misread the brief and prepared for a whole day, when we actually had just a double lesson! Cue a frantic re-working of what I planned to do and crossing of fingers that the students would still get enough story-building practice…

I needn’t have worried. The 21-strong class helped me through and three amazing volunteers* from LGP kept everything moving and the lovely school staff kept me on schedule.

(*I’m keeping everything anonymous here, because it was a school setting, but they know who they are and I could not have hoped for better colleagues)

We started out with a quick run through of a six step story:

  1) Introduce the Character(s)
  2) Begin the Adventure
  3) Encounter an Obstacle
  4) Overcome the Obstacle
  5) Resolve the Story
  6) Make the Point

Everybody came up with their own protagonists and settings and then set to work drawing and writing a short story that built on this term’s themes of Heroes & Villains and Personal Identity.

I was blown away with the hard work, creativity and bravery of all the group. With a mix of experience and confidence levels, it can be easy for some pupils to lose motivation, but thanks to the LGP and Blatch teams. every one of them gave it their best effort.

There were more great comics made in an hour and a half than you could fit in a graphic novel!

With the school’s permission, here are a few that the artists said I could share with you…

If you enjoy seeing these as much as we enjoyed making them, keep your eyes peeled ~ I have a suspicion some of these stories are going to have sequels made over the summer!

A thousand Thank Yous to Blatchington Mill School and Little Green Pig for letting me have this much fun.