Pop Up Festival: Visual Literacy

A new creative literature programme from Pop Up Projects

We are developing a unique programme which will harness the power of visual literature and storytelling.

The programme will engage children’s authors, university tutors, students and researchers to deliver a rich and immersive three-year programme which will aim to transform schools’ literacy and English offers. As part of this programme, we will undertake an ambitious research project which aims to evidence improved literacy standards. This evidence – as well as best practice and pupils’ achievements – will be platformed and celebrated at an end-of-project national conference in 2022.

We are seeking Expressions of Interest from primary, secondary and SEN schools and PRUs in Birmingham and surrounds to participate in a three-year children’s literature programme  which will take a radical, visual literacy approach to the teaching and learning of reading and writing across whole year groups.

The package for schools will include:

  • New books (picture books, comics and graphic novels) matched to every class, every year, 15 provided per class
  • Half-day children’s illustrator workshops in every class, every year, supported by illustration students
  • Connected educational experiences for teachers and pupils in local galleries
  • An annual one-day INSET for every teacher delivered by children’s authors
  • An annual three-day ‘visual storytelling’ course at BCU for up to 30 teachers per year
  • Access to Pop Up Hub, an online platform where teachers make and share resources and pupils publish stories
  • Free Pop Up Magazine for every pupil and home, every year, with 80 pages of new content by the authors and illustrators of books in the programme
  • Opportunities for every pupil to create work and be featured in an annual illustration exhibition
  • BA illustration student mentoring experiences for pupils to develop their illustration skills

Which Schools Should Apply?

Primary, secondary and special schools and PRUs in or near Birmingham with two or more of the following characteristics:

  • Challenges around literacy acquisition, progression, attainment
  • High EAL populations
  • Significant numbers of children with SEN
  • Significant numbers of children with behavioural issues
  • Significant numbers of under-achieving boys
  • Low teacher morale and retention


The unit cost per year per class is av £800 (£26.66 per pupil) – however, schools will contribute £250 per class per year (£8.33 per pupil).

For more information, or to submit an Expression of Interest please contact Tim Stanton (Education Manager) at education@pop-up.org.uk

The project is part of Pop Up Festival, a national schools literature festival, which places contemporary books and their authors at the heart of classroom learning.
Find out more about Pop Up Festival