This week has been “International Book Week” at school. It has been a VERY busy week! In fact, I’ve been a little worried about it as I’m so tired already and I have an even busier week coming up next week (with 2 Parents’ Evenings, an RE co-ordinator meeting and a D4LC meeting). I think I’ll need to get very early nights!
It’s been a fun week, though. We’ve had so many different activities!
1) We took the books that the children had written down to our feeder infant school. The children went in groups of 10 so that the whole school was read to by Year 5s. It was fantastic! Our children really enjoyed it, and so did the Year R-2s that they read to! I was then able to photograph and upload photos of all the books to our blog, which, despite taking up all 2 hours of my PPA pretty much, was well worth it! I’ve had some fantastic feedback from both parents and kids. It’s really nice for them to be able to share their work with their parents through the year, rather than only at parents’ evening, open evening or when the books come home at the end of the year.
2) All the teachers and teaching assistants read a book aloud for half an hour and children could choose which book they wanted to hear. I read “Love That Dog” by Sharon Creech (which went down really well, especially the “Apple” poem – if you’ve read the book you’ll know why!). I did nearly start crying near the end as it always makes me choke up but I did manage to hold it together! What was even better was that the children came back really buzzing about the books they’d heard, and when we went to the library afterwards one boy was delighted to find “Holes” there and is now reading the whole book himself!
3) A performance poet came to visit us on Wednesday. He was very good! He was great at keeping the kids engaged (for an hour!) and had a mixture of funny poems and ones to make them think. In one poem called “Shoot the Poet” he actually tipped his chair sideways and fell onto the floor at the end! He encouraged everyone to use personification and the children went on to write some really great poems afterwards. eg “I am tree. My branches are swords.”
4) We had a visit from the Norfolk Writers Centre – a writer and a refugee from the Refugee Council came to our school together and did workshops with 5 different classes. We found out all about his difficulties in his home country and how and why he came to live in the UK. It was great for the children to be able to hear this firsthand story. They also did an excellent activity – the children had to write down 5 things they would take with them if they had to flee – but it was a magic suitcase so they could be astract things like the view from a window, or pets or family members. The drawback was that when they got to the next country, they had to swap the first thing on their list for food and water! Cue lots of howls of “I have to give up my hamster!” or “I have to give them my whole house!” but the children soon realised that what was a fun exercise on paper for them was a reality for millions of people. They are coming back to visit us again in November – I’m really looking forward to it!
5) We did a class reading swap where half the children in my class swapped with half the children in a Y3 class and read to each other. It was lovely!
6) We had a scriptwriting workshop. The children really got into it and wrote some fun scripts about imaginary cafes such as “Dracula’s Deadly Diner” or “Insect Sushi Bar”. I saw some previously hidden drama talents, particularly in one girl who had to swap between a normal character and a nasty dinner lady as she had to have two roles in their drama – the difference between the two personas was striking!
7) Another year 5 class put on a fantastic class assembly based on “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” – except that this was the low budget version so it was “The Cat, The White Goblin and the Bedside Cabinet”. It was hilarious!
All in all, it was a very fun and valuable week but I am now left with rather a lot of science, Creative Curriculum and literacy to fit into the last 2 weeks of term! It’s going to be all go I think!