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Please sir, can I draw you? New pupils caricature their teachers

PUBLISHED: 14:43 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 July 2018

Portraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High School

Portraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High School

Archant

It's the teachers but not as you know them. New pupils at a Norfolk school have got to know their soon-to-be teachers by painting their portraits — with some unusual results.

Harleston's Archbishop Sancroft High School headteacher Richard Cranmer.
Picture: Nick ButcherHarleston's Archbishop Sancroft High School headteacher Richard Cranmer. Picture: Nick Butcher

Youngsters who will be moving up to Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston in September were set the artistic challenge.

Now the results, a weird and wonderful mixture of portraits and caricatures, have gone up on display in the school’s staff room leading to much hilarity about the varying degrees of likeness.

The unique new school exercise was the brainchild of the school’s Head of Art Lisa Molenaar.

She said: “I saw the Year 6 students nervously looking at teachers and thought we needed to follow their lead and watch the new teachers. I dashed round before the staff meeting that happens every Monday morning taking photographs of my colleagues.

Portraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High SchoolPortraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High School

“I made sure the camera was slightly too close so you got a slightly caricatured expression.

“All photos were printed out and using one felt pen and miniature pieces of cartridge paper I wanted them to surprise themselves with how well they can draw portraits.

“‘Miss I cant do art’ is a common thing I hear in Year 6/7 and I wanted them to leave the lesson with a show of ‘blimey I did that, can I use my mobile phone to take a pic please?’”.

Headteacher Richard Cranmer — who says he is happy with his own portrait — admits the pictures had led to much amusement amongst staff.

Portraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High SchoolPortraits of staff done by new pupils that have gone on display in the staff room. Picture: Archbishop Sancroft High School

He said: “They are up in the staff room for all to see and it has been the cause of some hilarity. It’s a great activity because it is fun and informative because the new pupils get to know names and faces.

“Clearly some are extremely gifted. Some of them are stunning and others take a bit more interpretation to recognise. But that is part of the fun of it.”

Ms Molenaar added: “One member of staff wanted to know if they could see the drawings when they were done. So it occurred to me that the drawings might give my colleagues an exciting connection to the new students as well as a boost at the end of the term.

“It turns out I underestimated how popular the portraits would be with staff and pupils!”

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