We are thrilled to be able to offer schools An Illustrated Year 2017. The initiative has been dreamed up by the brilliant team at Storytellers Inc. – if you are ever in or nearby St-Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire, do pay them a visit.
An Illustrated Year 2017 is the perfect way to introduce a new book to your class each month. Here’s how it works:
If you would like to find out more, see a sample of the beautiful calendar or sign up, just contact us!
This week we were lucky enough to spend the whole day with newly published author, James Nicol. James’ book, The Apprentice Witch, is a perfect read for anyone who loves The Worst Witch:
Arianwyn is prepared to become a fully fledged witch, but the dull bronze disc of an apprentice attached to her lapel is a constant reminder that her assessment didn’t go quite to plan. So she’s sent to protect the remote, dreary town of Lull. Her new life is far from boring though. As Arianwyn struggles to control her spells, a mysterious darkness begins to haunt her…what’s really going on?
We can’t recommend this book highly enough. You need to read it!
Back to Wednesday! James visited Ingatestone and Fryerning in the morning, joined us for a bookshop picnic and then went on to Larchwood Primary for the afternoon. If you ever get the chance to meet James, please don’t pass it up. His energy and enthusiasm about books (not just his own, as James is also a librarian and former bookseller) is infectious. Beware though teachers, as you will not be passive audience members if James flies by your school!
Faustin came across as a quiet, almost shy man. However, once he was in front of an audience of children, Faustin’s natural gift for storytelling came pouring out. He explained to the children that he wasn’t go to read his book, but rather that he was going to tell it and he certainly did.
There were sound effects, exaggerated movements, voice changes and uproars of laughter from the enthralled audience. And once Faustin had told The Selfish Crocodile, he enabled the children to re-enact what they had just watched. It was a real joy to see.
Credit to the extremely well behaved children from Larchwood (some of whom have only been in school for a couple of weeks) and the incomparable skills of Faustin Charles.
We run a Summer School for Larchwood Primary School. The pupils come along for 2 days a week, to keep on top of their learning through the long summer break. As a teacher I recognise that 6 or 7 weeks can be far too long a hiatus for many, causing quite a ‘dip’. As a parent, I recognise that 6 or 7 weeks can be tricky in terms of keeping them busy and not becoming bankrupt!
We are keen that when the pupils come for Summer School they see it as a treat, as something to look forward to, rather than school during their holidays! So, we aim to do things a little differently, with highly interactive sessions, tailor made to suit the needs of a small group. We use Lego (of course) for maths projects, which encourages children to explore ideas on a more practical level.
Last week we ran a media day for the group. Newspapers were cut up and discussed at length – what makes a balanced report, how do newspapers sell, what makes an effective headline…and so on. We also looked at film reviews, before writing our own. It was a very busy day!
To follow up, we were visited by Piers Meyler from the Brentwood Gazette and Essex Chronicle. Piers bravely took on a lot of tricky questions from the group, including ‘Have you ever missed a deadline?’ and ‘Have you ever written something that you shouldn’t have?’
The group had a great afternoon with Piers, finding out how a newspaper works and what goes on behind the scenes. You never know, perhaps there’s a budding journalist or two from Larchwood?
It’s that time of year again, when we launch our creative writing competition. This will be the third year of the competition, which is great. Last year we had over 400 entries, so we’re hoping for even more this year.
The competition is open to all – we have contacted local schools today. You are very welcome to enter the competition independently from your school if you wish, so here are the details for you.
The ‘rules’ are very simple:
Each entrant needs to write a poem or story based upon the theme of ‘New beginnings’
Each entry must have the following details written clearly: Full name, year group and contact details
Each entry must be an original piece of writing
All entries must be with us by 17:30 on Friday 30th January 2015 – we can arrange collection if you choose to run the competition as a whole school/year group/class activity
The age categories are: EYFS, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4+
All winning entries (one per age category) will receive a beautiful book and certificate. They will also have their writing ‘published’ on our blog. Runners Up will also receive a certificate and be ‘published’. Prizes will be awarded at Chicken and Frog Bookshop on Saturday 21st February, at 14:00.
If you have any questions re the competition, pleased do not hesitate in contacting us. Happy writing!