The Round House Primary Academy

Fantastical MapWe are thrilled to be working with Round House Primary Academy as our third Fantastical Cambridgeshire school partner. Below you can find posts where we will keep you up to date with all that is happening with Round House and their community.

Filipe Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd are working as the Fantastical Cambridgeshire artists in residence at the school. Starting with Year Three but later involving the whole school, children will be creatively adventuring alongside Filipa and Sally over the next six months – investigating and discovering all sorts of extraordinary adventures in and around Love’s Farm.

Before the residency started CCI had a chance to get to know all the staff at Round House School – you can read more about their creative mapping session (pictured here) below.

Through Wild Exchanges we will also be introducing some of the children’s ideas and discoveries into the working worlds of adult professionals in many walks of life - as inspiration for new work and prompts to remember where their own fascinations began.  

After this we will be embarking on a new community project - artist Helen Stratford will be working with the residents of Love’s Farm to produce the first ever Fantastical Community Day on Love’s Farm estate. Over a 24 hour period on the 30 June and 1 July, the whole community will be invited to share their own discoveries and help to create a fantastical map of the estate. Please save the date!

Elena Arévalo Melville will work with all these strands of discovery and creative expression to develop a Fantastical Map of the local area –as a legacy of the project and an invitation for everyone to keep exploring.

We’re going to be busy but we’re very excited! Keep on the look-out for new posts… and tell us what you think:

Ginormous Trees and Mrs Toller


In the afternoon, inspired by our trip to the woods and the famous 8ft man James Toller, Wagtails and Goldfinches collaborated on creating giant trees and characterful giants including an alien rock star and Mrs Toller.

It was fun because you got to draw everything Lacey T

It was hard working in groups of eight. Yasmin

I thought it was helpful for our normal work in school…working in teams Joe

At the end we were measuring how tall the giants were in people and the trees were three and a half people Ben

I didn’t think our drawing was good until I got up to leave and then saw it and it was amazing Nia

Today has been the most amazing day.I have enjoyed it the most so far. Jayden

Miniature and Immensity


Pond area slides held up to the light

Thus the miniscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire world. The details of a thing can be the sign of a new world which, like all worlds, contains the attributes of greatness.
Gaston Bachelard

(by Sally Todd and Filipa Pereira Stubbs) In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard compares the botanist and his magnifying glass with that of the enlarging gaze of a child. Today we took out magnifiers to look more closely at the natural world, collecting plants and making nature slides…we gathered tiny petals, leaves like hearts, blood colour leaves and fairy seedlings.

Boy measuring himself with a post

Child hands holding petals and leaves

We also noticed the tiny insects and thought about their habitat and how they mapped or journeyed through their ‘world’. A wood louse slowly making its way across our path turned us into giants and the path into a ginormous insect highway, while the long grasses made us small again.

We took time to really slow down, close our eyes, and heighten our senses, lie in the grass, smell, listen, ‘freshly’ open our eyes, and really take notice of all the details of the surrounding nature just on the door step of the classroom. We enjoyed collecting.

We made careful drawings of leaf shapes and patterns, were inspired too by Karl Blossfeldt’s close up photographs of plants suggesting other worlds, then imagined other insect life beyond the classroom each with its own story. 

Leaf studies by Evan, Emma, Tiarna, Leo, Joe, Raphael

Fern by Karl Blossfeldt

Child drawing - blowing up details

Picture of a Woodlouse by James

Painting of an anxious butterfly, Rose and Termites by Yasmin

Alien bug by Zak

20 million years ago the alien bug crawled around the earth as a 48cm bug. It was the scariest insect in history, but he was extremely fussy. ‘I don’t want onion with my chips’. One night he was eating dinner when god struck him and caused him to shrink and that’s just the beginning……

Back in the classroom we imagined what creatures might inhabit the playground space.  We created detailed stories and facts about these creatures. We laid out all our imaginary creatures - work in progress - along with our ideas.  We took it in turns to read out facts about our creatures. 

Child drawing creating Creatures

Group of children exploring Blossfeldt

Darwing of a Fox in a Pirate Suit

Drawings of Imaginary Creatures

Image of Microslide held up to the light

Children sharing the narratives of our Creatures

How do you fold?


(by Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Sally Todd) Back in the classrooms, we were busy with enriching our sketchbooks and continuing our travelling line.

We enlarged extraordinary Minerva goddess drawings, and aligned them along the corridor.

Lining up Minerva

Lining up Minerva

We thought a bit more about maps - the magic and puzzle of how they fold up, how they unfold.  We experimented with large bits of paper, exploring different ways of folding. Again and again. We passed our folded paper to our friends and challenged them to fold them up. We invented different shaped maps… a diamond map, a wearable map, a rocky hills map, a pyramid envelope and many travelling maps too or, as Nia said, Message in the Air Maps!

Folding Paper...once...

Folding Paper...again...

Folded maps

a folded map thats a hat

Finally we thought about what a map might contain - taking inspiration from books, from one another, from previous ideas, we created different maps. We added fantastical and imaginary aspects to our maps in colour - maps of our day, maps of our neighbourhood, maps of football pitches and maps of favourite, embellished places.

They have what you want to have in them. Zara
Maps have the places where you want to go. Daisy

These are some of the things maps have in them:
pictures, words, colour, continents, adventures, countries, ideas, instructions, trails, names, secret journeys…

Lines that take you somewhere, that take you places. Jayden

We folded, rolled, closed our maps, and gathered them safely into our sketch books. At the very end of the day we had so much to show and share with one another.

So much to share

Look out for our next blog with pictures of the maps we made.

A pig washed with wood


Children balancing on a log

Children pointing - I think it's a bat

Tree canopy - Ben's photo of a 'bat' sighting

(by Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Sally Todd) Today we visited Auntie’s Woods. A short walk out of the school, the woods overlook the playground. When we reached the edge of the woods, we slowed right down, and opened our senses wide to the landscape of the woods. Paper and pencils ready to capture what we could see up above us, what we could see at eye level, and what we thought might be underneath the ground.

Contemplating the Sky

Settling into Drawing the Woods

Colouring the paper with leaves

We heard birdsong, trains rushing by, the girls football team cheering...we noticed the tops of the trees swaying, we felt the wind blow our cheeks...we smelt the earth - a few wrinkly noses... we noticed the trees had small new green leaves, and the ground was covered in old crunchy brown leaves. We discovered so many things:

I didn’t realise the wood went so deep. Leo
It’s full of holes. Kian  
I’ve found a broken cannonball. Ben
This is from a museum, this is an ancient artefact. Molly, Emily and Ronnie
I’ve found an x marks the spot tree. Leo
This stump looks like a miniature castle. Joe and Archie
So he's got stripes, he's got a horn, and that bit’s the mouth and there are the eyes.  We just found him when we were walking around. Daisy and Summer
That was a pig that was washed with wood. Ronnie

The wood’s full of holes

A broken cannonball!

We found an ancient Artefact

The pig that was washed in wood

We met a few creatures; a huge bumblebee flew onto Mrs Gregorious.

Bumble bee

We drew fantastical creatures, normally unseen, but who come out at particular times, and have particular characteristics. And we named them.

Declan’s Aeleg

Finn’s Fankazi

We brought back bits of the wood with us - fascinating leaves, snail shells, broken birds eggs, stones, bullet casings, concrete shapes, feathers and bits of wing, sticky weed, acorns with weird hairdos… all kinds of treasures. 

Tree by James

Tree by Kian

Tree by Dionne

Found bird wing

What was it like in the woods?

Amazing because it felt like my first time there Haydn

I love Nature…


I love nature, and in the sky, I even love it under the waves. Michael

Pupils Sketching outdoors

Concentrated looking, concentrated drawing

Looking at the shadow of a leaf

Concentrated looking, concentrated drawing

(by Sally Todd and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) This was our second venture outside the classroom to look at what’s immediately around us and imagine we are seeing it for the first time. It’s a real discipline to look and keep looking when you draw something observed. We shared with the children the thoughts of the artist and writer John Berger - if you look hard enough the thing you are looking at might reveal its secrets to you. We saw an amazing amount of sustained looking by the rocks and in the pond area that teemed with life, colour and movement.…tadpoles, frogs shading, slugs, a worm, a big black orange fish, a skier, look, look its like a spider swimming so fast!

And the surface of the pond was inspiring too:

The tree looks better in the reflection, changing its shape as the fish are breathing Jasmine

It’s been beautiful, the reflection brings out the colour more Nia

Drawing of pond with reflections of people Ocean

Pond area drawing by Haydn

Later in the classroom we asked the children to take a detail of their drawing and recreate it on a much smaller scale, as a way of bringing different elements together on a collective ‘mapping’. Stones and frogs and imaginary tornadoes appeared and George drew his whole drawing again as a 7cm sized miniature, an exquisite map of the pond perhaps for the insects.

Two drawings of Shrunken Details

Tiny pond drawing by George


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