After the half term break, TICE mentors Sam and Lottie revisited Bailey Green Primary School in Killingworth. The day was spent with year 6 – on the first day back of a very important term. With SATs round the corner and secondary school only months away, a day exploring creative and innovative thinking was a great way to kick things off!

We started the day with an icebreaker task. Sam talked us through the rules of the game, it involved some speedy maths, quick thinking and quite a bit of imagination!
We imagined ourselves as eggs (!) birds, and omnipresent beings (!!) and challenged partners to quick draw maths battles in order to move up the ranks.

Now that we were warmed up, it was time to find out about what the day had in store. Sam and Lottie introduced ‘The Creative Industries’, how we can combine a love of creative subjects with other, more academic subjects and why creative thinking is a great skill, and something employers seek out in job candidates.

Sam and Lottie talked to year 6 about their careers, and shared the path they each followed from primary school, to where they are today.

Sam loved sports and football when he was 11 years old, and it wasn’t until he was quite a bit older that he decided to become a musician. This was quite encouraging for those of us that didn’t know what we wanted to do for a career; to hear that our career path can, and probably will, change direction was quite reassuring.

Lottie had a slightly different experience to Sam, and thinks she knew when she was 11 what she wanted to do. The clues were in her treasured colouring pencils. Drawing and colouring were her favourite ways to relax and chill out when she was younger, so it made sense that she went on to become an illustrator. The group were asked to consider the things they love to do most, and looked for clues as to what they might become.

Then we moved onto some activities. Year six took part in two warm up workshops, designed to sharpen their creative thinking skills and prepare them for the main creative challenge ahead.

Sam’s session concentrated on composing rhythm patterns that conveyed emotions: joy, sadness, anger etc. and analysing and responding to music.

Lottie set her group a series of cryptic thinking and drawing tasks. ‘What vegetable is sad?’ ‘What does laughter taste like?’ ‘What animal is an iPad’ were amongst the questions asked and the group considered how they could convey the meaning of descriptive words with only colour and mark making.


We were now ready for our challenge.
Year 6 had a creative briefing and the task was introduced on the board.

Your challenge
Create record sleeve artwork to accompany a given track.
Listen to the music and lyrics and respond using creative and innovative thinking.
Consider how colours, media (paint, chalks, collage, inks, etc.) mark making and artwork theme can help to communicate the meaning of the song.

Year 6 were split into teams of 6. The groups would work as real-life creative teams, as they would in industry. All group members would contribute to the making of the record artwork, but each person would get a specific role and responsibility. The teams consisted of a project manager, copywriter (to come up with name and album title) art workers and a lyricist (to create a lyrics sheet)

Before we got started on the artwork, we needed to listen to our given tracks – ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barclay and ‘Love at First Sight’ by Kylie Minogue.

Handouts helped us to record our thoughts and ideas and we worked in teams to note down all of our ideas. Some project managers introduced voting systems to make sure that decision-making was fair and inclusive and the groups thought carefully to plan how their ideas could take shape.

Initial, rough ideas were completed before the groups discussed their intentions with Sam and Lottie. As soon as we thought we were ready, it was time to make a start.

Each team worked independently, with the support of their project manager, teachers and Sam and Lottie.

We saw ink -blot folding, tissue paper staining, blown paint through straws and good, old-fashioned paint splatters.

Sam and Lottie had not yet told the groups that they would be awarding shared books vouchers to one team. The next hour and a half was an opportunity for them both to observe how the groups worked together to come up with creative, innovative outcomes.

One big final push from the project managers contributed to everyone finishing on time and we cleared desks to display our final record covers and lyrics sheets.

After much debate, Sam and Lottie were unable to pick just one winner, and elected to choose two winning teams. The decisions were based both on team working skills and originality of artwork. We’re sure you’ll be suitably impressed with their combined efforts!

This team’s attention to detail impressed Sam and Lottie, one team member even posed as a hand model to get the proportions of the illustration spot on!
This team created a paint gun themed record cover, featuring an explosion of paint and inks. This group demonstrated very impressive team work skills!
The paint gun themed lyrics sheet showed lots of thought and creativity.

A big thank you goes out to Bailey Green Primary, thank you for having us again, we really enjoyed working with you!