This year’s NPD theme is Freedom, and she used the idea of being as ‘Free as a Bird’ to kick off some imaginative model making. She delivered two sessions to some brilliantly creative Key Stage 1 pupils from local Trowbridge area schools. To compliment a fun Reading and Rhyming session delivered by Trowbridge Library, Claire read the poem ‘When I Swing’ by Manchester teacher and poet Matt Goodfellow. They listened to how this poem made the group feel, and then followed one of the poem’s themes (flying) to imagine how everyone would look and where they’d fly if they had wings, before moving on to the making, re-inventing themselves as birds or fictional flying creatures. Claire gave a demonstration on fun model making, sharing top tips for sculpting models with wings, that stand up by themselves and don’t fall apart (hopefully!) The pupils seemed to enjoy the sculpting of eye balls and sockets and beaks most, and very quickly used their new skills to invent some very imaginative models – from flying hedgehogs to one eyed aliens. By the end of the fun morning the pupils had created quite a flock of flying creatures, that flew back to their schools with them. Claire uses the same brightly coloured clay that Aardman Animations use, which youngsters and adults alike enjoy getting their hands on. The group had fun describing all the ways in which they were warming up and blending the clay – they were squooshing, mushing, pummelling and pushing… and everyone agreed those words are the start of a model making poem!