The Round House Primary Academy

Round House Primary Academy is our third Fantastical Cambridgeshire school partner. This is the Fantastical Map that we created together. Below it is one of our favourite images by photographer Maciek Platek of the community day and also a short film made with his drone. 

Love's Farm Fantastical Map

Areial view Fantastical Love's Farm Community Day

Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd worked as the artists in residence at the school during the spring of 2017. Starting with Year Three but later involving the whole school, children were creatively adventuring  – 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 through a creative session run by Sally and Filipa.

Through Wild Exchanges we have also been 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.  

Our work has concluded with a new community project - artist Helen Stratford worked 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 were invited to share their own discoveries and help to create a fantastical map of the estate. 

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

Fantastical Love's Farm leaflet

A many layered map


Love's Farm Fantastical Map

This fantastical map was made collaboratively and contains over 100 layers of drawings and words and ideas, incorporating the work of children and adults alike – all carefully connected by illustrator Elena Arévalo Melville.

We think of this as a fantastical map because it combines real and imaginary places and stories. We explored many ways of adventuring in and around the Round House Primary Academy and Love’s Farm together as individual school classes and during our 24 hour Fantastical Love’s Farm Community Day.

Many of our creative adventures began by spending time playing with renaming streets and spaces – seeing the everyday in new unexpected ways.  The key below indicates how some of the elements on this map were created:

Red Dot Playing with renaming streets and spaces; walking and seeing the everyday in new ways – new names created included Slug Neots, Leafton and Great High Sky, a clearing became the Corn Field of Happiness and the hill was renamed Snake Path.

Purple Dot Discovering and imagining underground histories -  a Round House, Greek Goddess Minerva, skulls and bones.

Blue Dot Real and fantastical mythologies – James Toller’s fantastical playground and ‘the pig washed with wood’.

Pink Dot Real leaves from Auntie’s Woods and ‘Love’s Farm Blooms’ – community planting to create pondering places.

Exploring in miniature to open a whole new world – pond, forest snail, Dutch elm disease and fantastical flowers.

Looking up to explore real and fantastical thoughts and creatures – A Sky Goddess, her parliament of owls and bats.

Yellow Dot Real landmarks including the school, Cambridge Road, Auntie’s Woods (renamed the Tree Land of the Mythical) and the train line.

A sky goddess, underground discoveries & Minerva world


(Helen Stratford, producer of our Fantastical Love’s Farm Community Day at The Round House Primary Academy, looks back on the day)  With thunderclouds gathering, we start the 24hrs with some trepidation. It begins with some fantastical tasters at the school fair on Friday afternoon in anticipation of the big day on Saturday.

Parents and children crowd around the Fantastical Bookmarks, created by 8 and 9 year olds, chatting to Arts and Music Coordinator Mrs Rodgers and Year 3 teacher Mr Colborne who are running the stall. Next door the amazing Minerva world takes shape at the hands of families with CCI artists Sally Todd and Filipa Pereira Stubbs. Lengths of the Cairngorms and Italy form the skirt and legs of the goddess Minerva, whose archaeological discovery during construction of Love’s Farm has inspired children throughout the residency. The nearby tent of extraordinary sounds is adorned by Fantastical Cambridgeshire bunting specially designed by the children. Later, the tent’s wonderful night time wildlife sounds inspire amazing drawings of volcanoes, thunder and fantastical worlds by children at Love’s Farm House youth group with Jo Holland and Helen Tame.

Minerva World

Fantastical Bunting

Child drawing Fossils

Children drawing in the Tent of Sounds

Minerva, wildlife and fantastical underground adventures are the main themes for Saturday as the school is transformed into our base camp, with extraordinary activities including Fantastical Map Stations with Sally and Filipa, Botanical Slides with teacher Catherine Gregorious and Fantastical Belonging Mapping and Found Mapping led by Neotist artists Melina Lafirenze and Clair and Richard Slade. All these findings contribute to a 3D Sky, Eye and Underground map with Elena Arévalo Melville and myself. The map’s amazing clay, tape and drawn creations of underground creatures and fossils grow throughout the day with belonging thought bubbles and one-minute maps floating above.

Fantastical Belonging Mapping

Map Station


Fossilised tree close up made of clay

Sky Eye Underground Map

As with the previous two Fantastical Community Days, at Eynesbury and Offord Primary Schools, there are explorations of the local area too.  A crowd of adults and children trek to nearby Auntie’s Woods with teacher Miss Abbot, the County’s Arboriculturalist Richard Rice and local bat expert Caroline Jackson, exploring with clay creations, specially created backpacks from the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and flora maps created by local foraging expert Phyllis Hooper, while St Neots Museum’s Mystery Table and the fantastically titled ‘Magical Mystery Walks – with a Sky Goddess’ are an amazing draw with animal skins, antlers and the remains of a local shrine. In fact, it is Minerva the Sky Goddess herself who steals the day’s adventuring. While the thunder stays away and the sun shines, standing among the display of enormous drawings made by the children of Minerva and her parliament of owls, Liz Davies curator from St Neots Museum makes a special announcement that after a long journey the actual Minerva discovered underneath Love’s Farm is finally coming home to be part of a new exhibition at the Museum.

Walk to Aunties Woods

Walk to Aunties Woods

Aunties Wood Botanic Backpack

Aunties Wood Botanic Backpack

Bark and Shells Aunties Woods discoveries

Magical Mystery Table

Together with the children’s discoveries made during the artist residency at the school, these amazing events and outcomes from the day are all being fed into the creation of the Fantastical Map of Love’s Farm being put together over the summer by illustrator Elena Arévalo Melville.

We’d like to thank photographer Maciek Platek from the brilliant Neotists group for his film from above (shown at the top of this page) and many of the photos shown here. We also couldn’t have managed without our wonderful team of CCI volunteers – Sue Bainbridge, Bridget Cusack and Lois Gillie-Andrews.

Fantastical Love’s Farm


At 3.30 on Friday 30th June we started our fantastical 24 hour adventure with families in and around Love’s farm. We worked alongside expert children, The Neotists, St Neots Museum, teaching staff and all sorts of enthusiasts and together we had an extraordinary day.. With hundreds of people on the Friday and almost 200 more on the Saturday it was our busiest Fantastical Day ever. Below is a flavour of the day – from producing the magnificent Minerva and her parliament of owls to drawing surprising sounds and creating fantastical stone creatures.

We came with an open mind and it was so different, so great for kids (Dad).

I learnt why the Round House is called the Round House (Leah).

I loved going to the woods (Grace).

The museum objects were really interesting (Dad).

I liked collecting things to put in the sticky things (Stephanie).

The tent of extraordinary sounds was so different – hearing frogs and ladybirds and wasps. And I loved Colour my park (Iestyn, 8).

Creative adventuring for a whole school


(by Joanna Holland)

Until June CCI artists have worked in residence with 7 and 8 year olds at The Round House Primary Academy. But today was different. Today the whole school was invited to adventure creatively in and around their school and Love’s Farm alongside CCI artists and teachers.

Girl Looking

Children Adventuring

From minute maps to pondering about ponds and wild spaces, 420 children were invited to have a taste of Fantastical Cambridgeshire; getting ready for Fantastical Love’s Farm – an adventure for the whole community on 30th June. 

Children explored the language of mapping from constellations and aeroplane to navigation maps and Polynesian stick charts: What is it? A bowl? A cup? A volcano? A spiders web?

Martina and Sarah worked together to combine a mind map with a map of DNA to create…

… a language of patterns (Martina).

Others adventured to Auntie’s Woods and back, travelling up the newly named ‘Hippo Hill’ to get there and creating some fantastical creatures along the way.

I’ve made a map of faces (Lucas).

Those that explored Love’s Farm named roads that had no names – playing with geography and creating new places before arriving at their local community centre Love’s Farm House. Here they created ‘one minute maps’ and added extraordinary things to the huge Fantastical Map.

Children also got to look at the everyday in meticulous detail. Grass and Daisy’s became the most beautiful and delicate botanical slides.  

We also had exciting loans from St Neots Museum. We thought about what is underneath, handling Roman pottery and talking about the huge excavation that had taken place underneath the homes of Love’s Farm.

I loved it – it reminded me of spy history.

It was the busiest of days but the best of days – so many new things to see in our everyday.

Clay man on a tree

Group of Fantastical Cambridgeshire Slides

Children drawing and adventuring

Children drawing and adventuring

Children drawing and adventuring

Children drawing and adventuring

Our fantastical map


(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) Back in the classroom, Goldfinches gathered all their experiences over the past weeks. Remembering thoughts and using their sketchbooks as inspiration they created a fantastical map together.

Wonderful new Minervas and James Tollers which had been created with Mrs. Gregorious, were cut out and  placed carefully into the map.  The woods became more huge, and rich - filled with imagined and remembered creatures.  Beautiful designs inspired by our micro drawing informed the map borders.

A township grew up amongst the feet of James Toller giants.  And a favourite place was featured - the marshy pond, where earlier in the day the children had explored the whispering grasses and unseen creatures.

My sketch books says I can draw whatever I want to.  Zara
It’s called Fantastical so why not have fun, why not climb trees... Bradley.

Which path goes where

A town of giants

All our homes are here

Creating the marshy pond

Fierce big tree

All together, creating the map

Patterns of nature bordering the map

Roundhouse school on the map!

Mapping Aunties Woods


(by Filipa Pereira Stubbs)

Goldfinches finished their last morning in Auntie’s woods. With long pieces of paper, they carefully mapped the woods together.

The woods were filled with impressions, stories, associations, feeling, sound and images. The shadows created by the dappled sunlight were a particular attraction, as was trying to map the wind.

Group drawing in aunties woods 3

Group drawing in aunties woods 2

Group drawing in aunties woods 1

The tallest tree way above us

Drawing the wind

Beautiful big tree

Capturing the shadows with our pencils

This is what the wind looks like

Walking the Landscape


(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) Our last residency day with the Goldfinches and the sun shone even as the wind blew. The children set off to map the immediate landscape - we had walked the streets once before, but now took the time to settle into landscapes and draw what we saw. We imagined new place names and thought about how naming a place could reflect an experience that had taken place there.

Perspective became an intriguing riddle.  We played with scale and drew landscapes to their horizons, drawing the tiniest of flowers in detail.  Some children experimented with using flowers and grass to bring colour into our drawings.

I can feel the air.  Jed
My street’s going to be called - Cold Valley ....or Freezing Valley because it’s cold and it is a little bit freezing. Paige
I’m calling it Danger Zone because at night the Foxes come out. Ronnie
My pencil’s bigger than a lamppost and a house. Alex
Now me and Daisy are in Stone Daffodil land.  Paige

Drawing the snakey snakey path

the pencil is Holding up a pencil which from a distance looks bigger than the lampost

Drawing the detail of daisy

Closer and closer girl drawing

Image of our marshy pond

The Corn Field of Happiness


(by Sally Todd)

The Hairy Swamp

Snake Path

Today we set off again with Year 3 Wagtails and Goldfinches to rediscover the local landscape. This time it was sunny and we only had the element of the wind to challenge us.

Most children live locally and as we called out the street names and recognised friends’ houses, we also started to play with renaming signs… Oliver Way turned into Oyster Way, Bawlins became Bowling, followed by Middle Ground, Little Crown and Clarke Lane into Clarke Kent!….we were reinventing the map of Love’s Farm.

We walked past the playground - Snake Shadow, and turned away from the streets toward the open spaces and nearby fields where the familiar terrain was looked at anew. We sat and drew, renaming the bench area as The Camping Land, otherwise known as Medieval Lane.

We then viewed the draining pond. It looks like Hairy Swamp… it’s Shredded Wheat Hole….it’s a secret!

Continuing up the hill (Double Hill or Snake Path) we found a clearing beyond the boundary of the trees and suddenly you can see far into the distance. The wind was very playful here, animating everything around us including our giant ‘thinking’ paper that tore as we collected more names and locations for our map.

We noticed ‘the grass dancing’, ‘the swervy wavy weeds’ and ‘a sea monster’s tail in the grassy sea’

‘Well this is a mysterious place because what’s behind those trees and what’s behind those houses and what’s behind those fields?’ Iestyn

The expansive clearing inspired all sorts of names…

The Vast Vacation (Joe)

Camel Square said Holly, as we could still see Camel’s Hump Hill at the bottom of the path and Kian named it The Corn Field of Happiness

The Sea Monster's Tail

The Woodlice Slide

We gathered more names for our fantastical map….Wolf Brook, Milky Way Lane, Great High Sky, Bleeding Heart Close, The Helmet and The Get Together and then made our way to Auntie’s Wood, now called Tree Land of Mythical. In the wood we drew spiky trees, cactus trees, people shaped and bird shaped trees and reimagined trees as giant slides for woodlice with their own escape hole underground.

Returning to school it felt like we’d journeyed on our adventure in the expanding landscape for ‘maybe 5 hours or even days’.

I felt relaxed happy and excited at the wheat circle. Lacey P

Look 'WTDNAG' we’ve been walking thinking drawing naming adventuring. Michael

What lies beneath


We have been loaned a collection of beautiful fragile bones by the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology and set these up for the children to explore - an ancient turtle skulls and skulls from a dog, a turkey and some rabbits.  Working with white pencils and white chalk on black paper; different skull and bone shape drawings were created.  

We think about what lies beneath the ground we are working on.

Rabbit skull by KianRabbit Skull

Cat skull by DionneCat Skull

Turtle shell bone by EvanTurtle Shell Bone

It’s a circle, it keeps going inside


Image of Ted HughesAmulet by Ted Hughes

Inside the wolf’s fang, the mountain of heather.
Inside the mountain of heather, the wolf’s fur.
Inside the wolf’s fur, the ragged forest.
Inside the ragged forest, the wolf’s foot.
Inside the wolf’s foot, the stony horizon.
Inside the stony horizon, the wolf’s tongue.
Inside the wolf’s tongue, the doe’s tears.
Inside the doe’s tears, the frozen swap.
Inside the frozen swamp, the wolf’s blood.
Inside the wolf’s blood, the snow wind.
Inside the snow wind, the wolf’s eye.
Inside the wolf’s eye, the North star.
Inside the North star, the wolf’s fang.

(By Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd)  This poem inspired our afternoon. Hughes wrote about the process of hunting for words, as one would a living creature.  Inspired by shamanic experiences, the relationship between the imagination and nature, and believing that words have the power to summon, evoke, call forth, Hughes was interested in a circular form of poetry, but witnessed rawly and first hand, situated by being in the landscape.

In previous sessions we have been exploring the minuscule and the enormous, finding story, form and details in both.  In Amulet, the narrative moves from the fang of the wolf to the horizon to the tear drop to the wild woods. We invite the children to explore this shifting of viewpoint, sending themselves far off into the edges of the landscape and horizon A place around us and then back into the tiny detail. Sally asks: Can we close our eyes to imagine what it would be if we were there?

It's a circle, it keeps going inside. The first one is the wolf's fang. And the last one is the wolf’s fang. James

I was in the middle of a forest. Ben

When I was imagining I saw a wood. Walking by I saw the wolf and it jumped at me. James

I could imagine all the places where the wolf’s parts were. Joe

The children were invited to create their own Amulet poems, inspired by their morning of adventuring and adding images if they wanted.

Bat amulet by Michael

Inside a bat is a wing
Inside the wing is wind
Inside wind is a bat's eye
Inside a bat's eye is the park
Inside the park is the bat

Inside the snail's shell is the grass
Inside the grass is the snail's back foot
Inside the snail's back foot is the dirt
Inside the dirt is the snail's eye
Inside the snail's eye is the log
Inside the log is the snail's shell

The Time After Minerva
Inside St. Neots is Love's Farm
Inside Love's Farm is Round House School
Inside Round House School is Wagtails class
Below Wagtails class is some animal bones
Below animal bones is a mammoth tusk
Below the stone age axe is the statue of Minerva
Tiarna and Nia

It’s very very very deep


(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd) Our penultimate adventuring day, and the forecast for rain has come true.  The rain falls more or less steadily all day long.  Prepared and undaunted all year three children set off, many with umbrellas swinging cheerfully in the lull before more rain.  Wagtails head one way, Goldfinches another.  We explore the immediate landscape of Love’s Farm, following routes around familiar streets, locating where people live (even the teachers) and where things happen and remembering stories.  Before we head out we remember how an artist mapographer might set off on a new adventure - finding the unknown in the familiar landscape.  We are walking, dreaming, noticing, thinking, listening, and sharing.  For once, we are not drawing.

We stop and really drink in what we see around us.  Walking through a puddle It’s very very very deep. We notice the shades of grey sky reflected in the puddle.  We are drawn to details -  skylines of rooftops, markings on drain covers, the slope of the street, the colours and shapes of leaves, colours, sounds…..square bent leaves…paw shaped leaves…the wind is quiet,I mean, loud and quiet….circles getting bigger and bigger and bigger…greyey-blue pink-reddish…look a leaf, crumbled and old.

Secret writing with trees!Secret writing

It was very very very deep - image of children in wading in welliesIt was very very very deep

We notices other things too:  I saw a little rabbit kidding….I saw a frog.  It was tiny.  It was inside Sofia’s hand.  Long legs and stretchy….I felt the soggy clover….And look, I saw a snail hang- out by the fence.

We walk openly and freely, letting our interest settle where will it will.  Some parts of this landscape are very familiar, some quite unknown.

When we return to the classroom, having walked a landscape, we prepare to build new maps.  Settling in small groups, each group is given an old map, and asked to create a new map, thinking back to the experience they have just walked. 

We are aware that maps have many layers: topographical - recording detailed description - and delineation and phenomenological - where we map our experiences. Mapping in this way is a creative process of personifying a landscape, conveying historical, personal, and legendary information and imbuing landscape with imaginary characters and stories.  It works alongside the bodily experience of walking the landscape.  The children are drawing on all these. With no more than one large blank sheet, each other, an old map, magnifying glasses, scissors and glue, each group of children set about uniquely creating a map.

Camel BumpCamel Bump

Creating ideas for mapsCreating ideas for maps

'Mapographers' growing a landscapeMapographers growing a landscape

We watch the children add houses & numbers, streets & street names, Minervas & James Tollers, dragons & snakes, creatures & characters, woods & clouds, puddles & umbrellas, schools & family, adventures and much, much more creating beautiful rich maps about where and how they imagine and live. Together, we look at each other’s maps, paying attention to details, possible stories, and enjoying each other’s ideas.

Minerva within Roundhouse schoolMinerva with Roundhouse

Map with fox hiding spotMap with fox hiding

Big Boss mapBig boss Map

Roundhouse Houses, Rain and UmbrellasRoundhouse Houses, Rain and Umbrellas

The dragon within the hills, behind Sofia's houseThe dragon within the hills, behind Sofia’s house

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. 

Child drawing - blowing up details

Fern by Karl Blossfeldt

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

Alien bug by Zak

Painting of an anxious butterfly, Rose and Termites by Yasmin

Picture of a Woodlouse by James

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. 

Darwing of a Fox in a Pirate Suit

Group of children exploring Blossfeldt

Child drawing creating Creatures

Children sharing the narratives of our Creatures

Image of Microslide held up to the light

Drawings of Imaginary 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


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

Children pointing - I think it's a bat

Children balancing on a log

(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.

Colouring the paper with leaves

Settling into Drawing the Woods

Contemplating the Sky

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

Pictures of Adventures


Your imagination comes from you.  Niamh

Pupils Alex working on their sketch books

(by Sally Todd and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs) On our second day at Round House we offered sketchbooks to the Year Three children and thought about how we might use them throughout the project.

To remember what you’ve seen (Raphael) case you come across something you like, then you can quickly sketch it (Holly)….sometimes when you get stressed out you might want to draw a picture (Haydn)…It’s a book where you write your ideas down (Finn)….a sketch book is a book that you keep with you all the time so if you have an idea you can write or draw in it so you don’t have to go all the way home but then forget your idea at the end (Gabriella)…the way I look at a sketch book is that you don’t always draw, like me I have wrote in it (Oscar)

The sketchbooks began to be animated with some of our earlier drawings; cutting, reassembling, folding, sometimes adding newly drawn pathways as we placed each piece. We also used our sketch books to write down questions as they came into our mind, so we would be able to think about them later.

The books got named too: My Book of Drawing, Book of Exploring, Adventure Book to name just a few. Mr Colborne noticed that all the sketchbooks looked really distinct.

Connor's map of the world in his sketch bookConnor’s map of the world in his sketch book

List of things a sketch book is forWhats a sketch book for?

You can design it how you want LaceyYou can design it how you like Lacey

Alex working on his sketch bookAlex working on his sketch book

Pencil drawing by James of his houseMy house James

We then thought about maps and the stories they tell. We asked about the stories within the local landscape surrounding Love’s Farm and why is it called Love’s Farm? 

It used to be a farm (Kian)….people love the farm (Russell)…the family name is Love and its my auntie !( Lucas)

There is definitely a strong sense of community here in Love’s Farm. This is reflected in the drawings where children’s houses often appear next to each other’s. We continued with our local stories….

My sister thinks when we go to the woods there are monsters (Nia)…once I was with my sister and she saw a black cat but she thought it was a fox (Yasmin)…one day I was reading a story and I forgot I was in my room, I thought I was in the story! (James L)

We shared the story of James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant and a local legend, unknown to many of the children, and the exciting discovery by archaeologists of an ancient statue of the Roman Goddess Minerva. A god that’s a girl said Jasmine.

Fantastic interpretations of the Giant and the Goddess emerged and, reflecting on the sketchbooks again, Iestyn announced well it’s not really a sketch book, I think it’s a Pictures of Adventures book.

Pencil drawing of a Minerva by TiarnaMinerva Tiarna

Pencil drawing of James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant by NiaJames Toller Nia

Pencil drawing of James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant by NathanJames Toller Nathan

We have been drawing all day


(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd) After lunch on our first day we worked in our classroom groups (Sally with Wagtails and Filipa with Goldfinches).  We reflected on different aspects of our map making project:

What is an explorer?

Someone who likes going on adventures, and exploring new things.
Ladies, men, girls, boys.
Everybody can be one - we all go on adventures.

What is an artist?

An artist goes somewhere to find something to paint, and then they paint it.
I might put art on the fridge with magnets.
A really good person who paints…if they want to challenge themselves they go outside and draw people. Iestyn
An artist creates an image off of their mind or a real thing.  Zak

What is a cartographer?

This was a bit more puzzling

A scientist? Russel
Going round the world like Howard Carter? Reggie
A person who takes photos in the wild? queried Jayden

We weren’t sure, but after talking about it, we decided a far better word would be a mapographer - someone who makes maps.  During this project we are going to be experience what it is like to be explorers, artists and “mapographers”.

We then challenged ourselves to draw a map of our home in 5 minutes only.

Then we found an area in the school grounds, and taking paper with us - different sizes, small, square and long - we looked, listened, noticed, drew, investigated this area. The pond area, the climbing trail and landscaped rock area were all investigated. The rock area has different parts and many names:

rock circle, rock pit, probably rock area, rock star, stone maze, blank space, really nothing there circle

rock area HollyRock area Holly

looking at climbing trailLooking at climbing trail

Rock drawingRock drawing

stone maze LestynStone maze Iestyn

The blank space LucasThe blank space filled with knight and dragon Adam

The blank space LucasThe blank space Lucas

We spent a long time creating our drawings, some of us sitting for ages drawing one thing, some of us moving about the area freely, some of us excavating and looking at the minutiae of tiny beetles, curious stones and even an ancient shell fossil, some of us getting so excited we drew picture after picture after picture until our paper was all filled up.

Leaf, rock, stone by SezinLeaf, rock, stone Sezin

Pond by AlexPond Alex

In Wagtails classroom there was a sudden excitable sound of paper folding as some of the children began to experiment with how they might fold or even roll their first maps and in Goldfinches, at the very end of our day, Zuzannah turned to me and exclaimed with huge delight...

We have been drawing ALL day.

Taking a Line for a Walk


(by Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Sally Todd) To mark the collaborative spirit of the project, we began with both the Year 3 classes (known as Wagtails and Goldfinches) and their teachers together in the hall.

We introduced ourselves as visitor artists and began to talk about Fantastical Cambridgeshire, adventuring and mapping. We will be making our very own Love’s Farm map, exploring places around the school grounds and beyond in the local landscape. This map will be made up of the many layers and explorations that we embark on and share together over the weeks to come.

We will be doing a lot of drawing and a first activity was to take a line for a walk.

An active line on a walk moving freely, without goal. A walk for a walk's sake.
Paul Klee

Jayden M Wow it looks like a leopard stretchingJayden M wow it looks like a leopard stretching

line for a walk drawings

We began individually on small pieces of paper, then we shifted to big pieces of paper; the children organising themselves into groups of two and threes, and allowing their pencils to move freely and openly across the paper.  The hall was filled with dynamic, different, magnificent drawings.  

            It felt good…peaceful…relaxing…fun.

collaborative line drawing Ben Alfie

We followed with a challenging task - drawing Love’s Farm in one minute only. Where do you begin? What’s important to get on your map?

After play we sat in a darkened hall, with an old-fashioned overhead projector unfamiliar to the children (Does it show slides?) to look at maps we had collected -  there were maps from across the ages and across the world.  It turned out some of these were ‘actual’ maps, some, emphatically not.

An ancient Indonesian map spurred these responses:

It looks like a nest....or a bowl….like a spiders web...half a spiders web....If you turn it sideways it looks like the moon.

What is a map we asked?

Maps are still art but they're still drawing. Jayden
A thing you can use to find your way somewhere. Nia
A thing for adventuring with. Joe
If you get lost it’s an object, it will help you when you’re lost. Zak

We finished our morning with taking time to focus and actively look at different maps that were spread across the hall floor.  We had magnifying glasses to discover details, flashlights, and scraps of paper to scribe our findings, including: little people, dotty sea, Chinese writing, red stars, secret passage, penguins.

A beginning


Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

It was important to begin this project by spending time with all the educators at the school. We were able to have two precious hours with all the teaching support staff in the afternoon and then all the classroom teachers that evening once the children had gone home. We wanted to take time to give a sense of how the children might work with us and how we begin a creative process and invite child led research and thinking.

We brought in a selection of our favourite maps from across the ages, viewing them through the old-fashioned screen of an overhead projector. We gave groups their own maps to re-imagine in new ways encouraging them to add personal elements and enjoy playing with the range of simple materials  - inks, pastels, paper, scissors. Tom, Max, Ben and Alex described theirs as both a digital and abstract map of the world and mankind - we’ve put ourselves here in the corner ready to pounce, whilst for Frankie and Hannah and Hannah all the numbers and journeys and places they included in theirs had a personal meaning for each of them.

The range of responses struck everyone and we took time to notice the differences and think about how these ways of working could benefit the children in the school:

Year 6 need to experience this.

We noticed how we all had different approaches.

There’s so much around us that we call creative but it all ends up looking the same.

The social thing that is part of this way of working can really help our children….can support them to learn to work with each other.

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps

Staff at Round House Primary School create beautiful and strikingly individual maps