The whole school dives in to National Book Week

This year the Junior School and Senior School came together to provide an enriching and wide-ranging whole school celebration of World Book Week at the beginning of March.

Pupils from pre-school all the way up to Year 13 were able to take part in exciting literary events with authors from all over the country – remote learning does have some benefits! Pupils had the opportunity to undertake creative writing and illustration challenges; interact in the Live Webinars with writers such as Alex Wheatle, Sally Gardner, Robin Stevens, Andy Briggs and Chris Connaughton; vote for their favourite books and dress-up as their favourite characters! One of the highlights has to be Connaughton’s one-man dramatization of Macbeth and The Highwayman, both of which enthralled both pupils and staff.

“Our aim this year was to bring the whole school community together with a wonderful celebration of all things literary. Reading, creative writing and performance was the flavour of the week and it was remarkable to see pupils engage with the online events in such an enthusiastic way. It was a timely reminder about the importance and joy that can be created by the simple act of story-telling,” said Ms Hart, JS-SS Co-ordinator and Senior English Teacher.

Prior to World Book Week, Year 7 had spent several weeks creating their own stories in their English lessons, featuring an amazing hero and villain. There was so much creativity and imagination on display, teachers were very impressed. Even more impressed with the stories was author Andy Briggs who judged a sample of stories, producing a highly entertaining and insightful video for Year 7 to watch during Book Week.

Andy also ran a script-writing workshop with a small number of Year 12. He explained about the nature of the genre, the industry and then pupils were invited to write their own short scripts and share them. Andy gave constructive criticism to each pupil (as well as praise!) and gave tips on how to improve their writing.

Year 9 and GCSE pupils also had an opportunity to do a bit of sneaky revision for Macbeth via the lively and dynamic workshop run by author, director and actor Chris Connaughton. He brought the play to life in a reduced one-man version of the play where he was able to teach pupils about the staging and directing the play in light of its Jacobean context.

Book Week in the Pre-School and Infants was colourful! The children immersed themselves in rainbows inspired by the story How Do You Make A Rainbow? The Pre-School children made rainbow cookies and enjoyed sensory place with rainbow salt, spaghetti, sand, handprints and rice. Children in Reception were lucky enough to join the author of How Do You Make A Rainbow?, Caroline Crowe, online and she shared her experiences of writing challenging the children to explore and answer the question posed by the book! Year One became young illustrators, inspired by illustrator Nick Sharratt’s short video on how to draw parrot, a colourful menagerie soon filled the classrooms!

Year Four donned their ruffs and some fancy facial hair and were joined by the wonderful Jo from AS Creatives for an amazing virtual workshop, learning all about William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The week was rounded off by the children (and teachers) dressing up as their favourite book characters… how many can you spot?