Posted on October 23, 2016

Curtis Jobling, renowned worldwide for his creations that are now part of the global popular culture, graced Doha College with his presence this week. He delivered a number of talks and workshops - and performed interactive illustration sessions - to hundreds of VERY impressed students.

Known for bringing to life timeless character Bob the Builder, Curtis also created ‘Frankenstein’s Cat’, ‘Raa Raa the Noisy Lion’, the hilarious ‘Curios Cow’ shown on Nickelodeon, as well as working on ‘Wallace & Gromit’ and ‘Mars Attacks!’. Curtis is also the author of numerous award-winning novels for middle graders and young adults, which are published around the world in many languages. His debut novel, "Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf", was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize.

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Here is Curtis’s impression of his visit: "It was an immense pleasure for me to visit the staff and students of Doha College, and get to shout about the importance of creativity in education. The school clearly shares that ethos, ensuring every pupil is as fully rounded and well developed as possible, and it's my firm belief that this is where the arts and culture are important. The message of ensuring every child keeps their hobby wasn't lost on the DC students - it was my own hobby of reading for pleasure that ultimately led me towards a career as a novelist, so who knows where one's pastime might take you? To all those children (and adults) who were left with the BOB THE BUILDER and RAA RAA THE NOISY LION theme tunes in their heads upon my departure, I can only apologise! I'll try and remedy it when I return, hopefully in the near future," Curtis said.

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Clare Fairly, Head of English at Doha College, stated that “having the opportunity to learn from such a talented illustrator and author has been a fantastic experience for many of our students. Curtis’ whole year group talks were both entertaining and inspirational, whilst his workshops really got students engaged with the nuts and bolts of creating a successful narrative. His emphasis on following a career path you enjoy was also a welcome message for many of our students in Years 9 and 11, who will be faced with choosing option subjects later this year.”

In the words of Year 9 student Mustafa Al-Janabi, “Curtis’s workshops revealed the recipe for most stories, but he explained that it's not all about following that recipe – it's about the ingredients you use. He differentiated between ‘pantsers’ (people who write with little to no planning) and ‘plotters’ (people who plan out a piece before they begin to write it), aiming to turn all students into plotters.” Mustafa then summarised the experience perfectly: “Curtis shook the school with his earthquake of enthusiasm that he created using the true power of his literary and creative skills. Above all, he embodies the fact that learning can be great fun.”