St Benedict’s Book Week 2017: October 16th – 20th
Pupils throughout the school celebrated Book Week just before half term. A range of activities included author visits, times to ‘Drop Everything and Read’, lunchtime storytelling and competitions.
The lion, cheetah and giraffe on this year’s Book Week poster invited everyone to ‘Join in’. Book Week saw just that - everyone, children and staff alike, joining in reading, sharing stories, meeting authors and illustrators, creating and drawing characters and dressing up as book characters on the final day, including Tintin, Harry Potter and Hermione, Mr Stink, Thing One and Thing Two, Charlotte and even the Rainbow Fish.
Children met and attended workshops with four enthusiastic author-illustrators, all of whom shed light on the creative process and how books come about.
Chloe Inkpen entranced the youngest children with stories of ‘Zoe and Beans’ and ‘Fred’, and highlighted how different ways of drawing eyes change a character’s mood.
David Lucas, using his book 'Grendel' as guide, demonstrated how stories in picture books are structured and developed using a twelve-square grid. He showed them how, by combining words, they could stimulate their own imaginations to create new characters.
Knife and Packer, creators of ‘Badly Drawn Beth’, gave a spirited display of how sparking ideas off each other can help build a comic character. They then taught participants how to draw comic characters, how to layout a page of a comic strip and how to draw and begin telling the story with their characters.
Other activities throughout the week dwelt on the sheer pleasures of reading and of sharing books and the stories or information they contain. Teachers from the Senior School came to read favourite stories and poems to Junior School pupils. Older children read stories to younger classes.
There was drama too. Pupils brought book characters to life at Assembly. Ogden Nash’s ‘Isabel’ was performed with aplomb by the Drama Group and the Upper Sixth A level Drama students entertained Form 2 (Year 6) with their own take on Roald Dahl’s Snow White. It was a lively Book Week with lots of joining in!
Mrs C. Sweetman (Junior School Librarian)
Three inspiring authors visited St Benedict’s, to talk about their work and to run creative writing workshops.
Ruth Eastham talked about her book 'The Messenger Bird', in which a wartime riddle from Bletchley Park connects with a present day arrest for leaking top secret MoD information.
The theme of extreme adventure and endurance came next, with Matt Dickinson talking about his book series 'The Everest Files' and 'Lie, Kill, Walk Away'.
Candy Gourlay talked about her book 'Shine', an atmospheric tale of young girl’s muteness, and the isolation and superstition she experiences. In contrast, she also read from 'Tall Story', a quirky, humorous story about clashing cultures and sibling relationships.
The week concluded with a short story. Each lesson began with the teacher (or student volunteer) reading part of ‘The Man with the Yellow Face’ by Anthony Horowitz for 5 minutes, so that by the end of the day, everyone had heard the whole story.