Pupils from the Junior School had a particularly grand day out this half term with a little help from the 1851 Trust, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Shaun the Sheep!

Pupils were invited by the 1851 Trust to attend an event at BAFTA to celebrate the launch of the new Aardman film, Shaun The Sheep: The Farmers Llamas.  Representatives and children from charities supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were invited to the special event where they got to watch the film and take part in Shaun the Sheep themed model making workshops with the animator team from Aardman as well as having the opportunity to meet the royal guests.

Five pupils attended, having won a competition held for the whole of Year 5 to design a ‘friend’ for Shaun the Sheep.  The children all had a fantastic day finding working with the Claymation artists incredibly inspirational.  Aspiring animator Andrew Davis in Year 5, said “It is the best thing I have done so far and I got to make a really cool llama.”

The highlight for the Portsmouth pupils was being invited up on to the stage to take part in a demonstration of how stop-start animation works.  The pupils were asked to slowly walk along the stage and pretend to get into a large suitcase.  For Mei Mei Reilly a little stage fright took hold, which was spotted by the Duchess of Cambridge who offered to hold her hand and go up on stage with her.

“I enjoyed being at BAFTA, what made it better and really special is that I got to hold Princess Catherine’s hand and she helped me get over my fears of getting on stage in front of people,” said Mei Mei.

“It was great to take the children to London today and to see how engaged they were with all the activities,” said Alasdair Akass, CEO of the 1851 Trust.  “Offering opportunities to young people to become inspired by learning new skills is at the heart of the Trust’s mission and though clay animation isn’t quite our core activity it would be fantastic to have given encouragement today to the next Nick Park!”