The Power of Pictures

CLPE has launched the Power of Pictures website, the outcome of an Arts Council funded project where ten talented picture book creators worked with primary school teachers to develop their understanding of the craft of picture book creation as a way of raising children’s achievement in literacy.

The impact of the Power of Pictures project on teachers' approach to picture books, as well as their pupils' attitudes and writing, is clear.
An independent two year evaluation of this three year project found that picture books offer powerful new learning for teachers and children. Using picture books at the heart of the literacy curriculum across the primary age range supports learning about structure in narratives, developing children’s independence and confidence as well as their understanding about the ways in which pictures and words link. (Project Evaluation by independent evaluators Dr Sue Horner and Janet White).

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “Reading and creating picture books is a complex process requiring intense reading and writing stamina. Visual literacy is not an obvious part of the National Curriculum yet it offers such rich learning in terms of extending children’s inference, deduction and knowledge of well-crafted narrative structure. The Power of Pictures gives teachers the tools to understand this process from the perspective of the professionals who create the texts.”

The project findings and website were launched at a major national conference which included a keynote presentation through drawing from Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and workshops led by award winning author/illustrators Ed Vere, Alexis Deacon, Viviane Schwarz and Benji Davies.

Author/illustrator and Power of Pictures Artistic Mentor, Ed Vere said: “This is a tremendously important project and it has been such a privilege to be involved in it. Every school in the country should hear about this because it transforms writing and attitudes to writing – for children and for picture book creators.”

Teachers can experience the Power of Pictures through the website which houses short films from illustrators including Ed Vere, Alexis Deacon, Viviane Schwarz, Benji Davies, Chris Haughton, David Lucas and Tom McLaughlin alongside a range of specially developed teaching materials and resources. It is free to use and encourages sharing of ideas, hosting visual examples of work from the Power of Pictures in real classrooms.

CLPE supports teachers to help children become fluent, capable writers who understand the power and purpose of writing. As a result of the Power of Pictures project we will ensure that schools and teachers understand that the creative process, combined with the time, space and opportunity to think and plan with words and pictures, has a tremendous impact on children’s writing outcomes.

For more information about the Power of Pictures project and to view the evaluation please visit

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