As part of Reading Week the vast majority of girls were treated to an author talk at the Bath Children's Literature Festival.
Reception had a fabulous time listening to the authors of Supertato.
Paul Linnet gave a funny recount of two of his stories then performed a song which the girls all joined in with. There were lots of laughs and I think we will all be looking at vegetables in a different way when we next go to the supermarket!
Have you ever heard funny noises coming from inside a library? Have you ever seen characters escaping from books on the shelves? Well, what an exciting treat we were in for. The Year 1 and 2 girls were lucky enough to hear Joseph Coelho, author of Luna Loves Library Dayspeak. Joseph tells the story of Luna and her Daddy who love exploring the bookshelves in the library to find new and exciting stories.
Joseph was an interesting and engaging speaker and brought his story to life using voices, sound effects and interactive storytelling. What a fantastic way to launch reading week for us! The girls are now inspired to go and explore our library further to see what surprises they might find…
Year 3 saw Christopher Lloyd talk about his book called Absolutely Everything. It is a book about the history of Earth, dinosaurs, rulers, robots and other things too numerous to mention. Christopher Lloyd had many fun things to tell us about his book. He was very funny and made us laugh. He had a special jacket with fifteen pockets; in each one was an object which told us something different about his book. At the end of the festival lots of us bought his book, which was signed at the front. We all found him inspiring.
Year 4 also had a wonderful time last week, finding out all about the book The School of Music. They listened carefully and learned about a wide range of musical instruments, including some more unusual ones like a sitar and a koto. They found out how music is linked with maths and Kitty even got to go on the stage and conduct in 7/4 time (which is very tricky, but she managed it well!). The girls joined in with singing and learnt some Italian terms which are used in music such as lento (a slow tempo) and andante (at a walking pace). They really enjoyed watching Harry the drummer (who kept falling asleep on his drum kit!) and seeing Lydia play all her instruments.
Afterwards the girls got to meet the author and have their books signed. The authors took a real interest in the girls’ own musical experience which was lovely to see.
Year 5 and 6 enjoyed going to the Senior School to hear Jessie Burton talk. She is a successful adult author and her first novel The Miniaturist was published in 2015 and made into a BBC TV drama in December 2017. Jessie has just written her first book for children called The Restless Girls. The book is based on the fairy tale ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ by the Brothers Grimm. Jessie admits this was always a childhood favourite; she loved the idea of twelve sisters, a secret door to an underground world full of shining forests and a dancefloor.
However, when Jessie re-read the fairy tale as an adult she was cross that the twelve princesses did not have names, characters or personalities. Therefore she set about giving each of the twelve sisters a name, hobbies and character traits. She shared these with us and some girls and boys got to go on stage to bring the characters to life. Jessie said breathing new life into the Twelve Princesses was incredible fun and made the writing process really enjoyable.
She then asked for help from the audience to create imaginative lands, modes of transport and pets. Some of the ideas generated by the audience were certainly interesting! Jessie wanted to encourage the girls to let their imaginations run wild and said re-writing fairy tales was always a great was to start writing.
The Restless Girls is beautifully illustrated and Year 5 and 6 were certainly looking forward to reading it after our talk.
Year 6 were also fortunate enough to attend a session led by two of the authors of a short story collection. Make More Noise is an incredible collection of brand new short stories, from ten of the UK's very best storytellers, celebrating inspirational girls and women; it is being published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the UK.
Catherine Johnson and Katherine Woodfine read extracts from their respective stories and answered questions from the girls about where they found their inspiration. United by a common theme, each story is truly unique, providing an excellent opportunity for the reader to experience a range of different styles of writing. One pound from the sale of every book will be donated to Camfed, an international charity which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting women's education in the developing world.
The Royal High School-sponsored session was beautifully introduced by two of our own Year 6 girls, Flora S and Megan. The girls eloquently invited the two authors to take the stage. It was a great opportunity for the girls to meet two contemporary writers and to ask questions about the creative writing process; they further enjoyed having their own copies of the book signed by both authors.