A meshfree method for thin shells with finite strains and arbitrary evolving cracks is described. The C1 displacement continuity requirement is met by the approximation, so no special treatments for fulfilling the Kirchhoff condition are necessary. Membrane locking is eliminated by the use of a cubic or quartic polynomial basis. The shell is tested for several elastic and elasto-plastic examples and shows good results. The shell is subsequently extended to modelling cracks. Since no discretization of the director field is needed, the incorporation of discontinuities is easy to implement and straightforward. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.