Canonbury Primary School & Primary School 

Everybody Draw was set up by CUBITT artist Emma Kay in January 2007 at Canonbury Primary School. It aimed to engage children in shaping the form and content of their learning, in providing opportunities for the children to take ownership of their work, and to promote cultural involvement. The project facilitated self-directed learning through creativity throughout the school, by bringing artists in to work with the children. The idea arose from Cubitt’s conviction that greater value could be placed on art as an intellectual activity in the curriculum, which would benefit new generations of both potential artists and audiences. Everybody Draw took place every Monday morning for 30 minutes in the school halls and developed to include every student from nursery class to Year 2, who also invited their parents to join in. Participants from different years would mix and draw freely in groups, exchanging ideas and conversation with each other and sharing experiences. One parent participant said:

“It’s a good thing for them to do on a Monday morning when they don’t won’t to be going back school”

It is felt by all involved that this two-term pilot is extremely beneficial to all involved but could be pushed and taken much further. This project proposal aims to do this, allowing for artist to integrate within the school and help the students to develop their skills in self-led creativity and peer-sharing.

A typical Everybody Draw session:

At 8:30 Emma Kay, the CUBITT artist who currently volunteers her time to coordinate Everybody Draw, and 2 parent helpers, arrive at Canonbury Primary School and begins to set up the session. Quite soon after arriving she is joined by children who are regular helpers, often with their parents. Gradually more and more students and parents arrive to help set up. Each of the two halls has either long rolls of plain paper stuck down on the floor, the length of the halls, or large sheets of paper dotted everwhere around, and various pens and drawing materials spread around them. Some paper is also set up in the nursery and reception room (some of the youngest students prefer to stay in here than mix with the older pupils). Just after 9am Everybody Draw officially starts, with all the year 1 and 2 pupils and the majority of the nursery and reception students moving into the halls, some of the nursery group stay in their class and work on Everybody Draw in there. The nature of the what happens is determined solely by the children, who often begin by drawing what has happened in their lives over the weekend, this leads to discussion between small groups and drawings mixing to create interesting layered narratives. Parents and teachers join in, sometimes there are as many as 25 adults involved.

After half an hour the students return to their classrooms for the start of their lessons. Some parents remain with Emma to help display the work. Each week’s work replaces the previous weeks. It is hung on specially built beams attached to a ceiling mounted pulley system and a series of display boards around the school halls. These have all been installed by the school since Everybody Draw began to allow for the display of the work. The students can then reflect on their work throughout the week. Often they talk about previous work and point it out on display during sessions.



Booking for this event has now closed.