Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell’s take on school trips

Date Posted: 24/06/2015

STO editor Sarah Holt interviewed the new Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, about the importance of school trips on creativity. Read the illustrated interview here...

At the start of June 2015, illustrator Chris Riddell was named as the new Children’s Laureate for the UK. Chris has worked with Quentin Blake and Neil Gaimen in the past and illustrated Russell Brand’s first children’s book. He intends to use his two years as Laureate promoting creativity and a renewed love of reading and drawing in children. We spoke to him about how learning outside the classroom can contribute to that goal.  

1. I have heard that as the new Children’s Laureate you want to focus on creativity – do you think getting away from the classroom is important in developing children’s creativity?

Going On Adventures Image by Chris Riddell

2. As a child – either in South Africa or Bristol or the Scottish borders – were there any places you used to visit that really inspired your own creativity?

Table Mountain illustration by Chris Riddell

3. I have heard about your concept of creating a drawing every day. Do you find inspiration for this in the world around you? If so, as an adult, where do you find you are most inspired?

The Flower Meadow by Chris Riddell

4. Do you remember the first school trip you went on? What was it like?

My First School Trip by Chris Riddell

5. I read in the TES that you played truant to visit the Tate gallery when you were at school – what did you take from your visits there and do you think it’s important for children to visit galleries when they are young?

I Should Be PLaying Tennis by Chris Riddell

6. As part of your five point plan as Laureate, you want to promote the Joy of Sketchbooks – can you recommend any places for teachers to take their pupils to sketch?

Brighton Beach by Chris Riddell

7. It's well-known that boys are less likely to enjoy reading than girls. How important a role do you think that getting boys out of the classroom plays in trying to encourage them to pick up a book?

Guide Books, Maps and Travel Stories by Chris Riddell

8. I have heard you want to encourage every school to do more for readers – do you see a role for school trips in this?

School Trips Broaden Horizeons by Chris Riddell

9. Have you visited any venues with your own children which have particularly inspired them to read or draw?

The Booth Bird Museum by Chris Riddell

10. I remember work on school trips often consisting of little more than sketching what we saw (whether that was an art gallery or a museum); do you think that school trips now have a tendency to overcomplicate?

Look by Chris Riddell


School Travel Organiser's Guide