NaNoWriMo Young Writers Programme

This year, nanowrimoin my school, we plan to take part in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.  There is a Young Writer’s Programme for the under-18’s.  So I have created my Virtual Classroom, added in the participating students and their teacher, and await November 1st to see how it all pans out.  Has anyone else taken part in this with their students?  How did it go for you?  Leave a comment!

Here’s the website if you want to join in too: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

6 word story competition a great success!

6 word storyboard

I love this 6 word story competition noticeboard, and the idea behind it! Gloria Clarke from Gillotts School sent me this photo from a competition she ran in the library on Open Evening.  There were over 100 entries from parents and prospective students viewing the school!  The English teachers saw it, loved it, and got the pupils involved as well, so that over the 3 days the competition ran there were 130 entries.  The English Staff judged the winning entries, which were:

Year 7 (1st place): Beneath the ground, her father moved.

Year 9 : Without my Sensai, I am lost.

and a honourable mention to a Year 11 entrant: Burnt the haystack, found the needle!

What a fantastic way to promote the Library to parents and prospective students – and what a great competition to run.

Author Dan Freedman scores with QEGS!

Val Dewhurst, the librarian at QEGS, sent me this article:

Snip20150709_66“The senior school library recently received a wonderful gesture and gift from author Dan Freedman which included a copy of his prequel to the Jamie Johnson series, Born to Play to use as a prize for the most promising football player in Year 7, and to celebrate the end of the school year and football season. This was swiftly forwarded on to our PE Department where Mr Hindle took control and was quick to announce that Tom McCann 7NJP was the student who deserved this award.  The author Dan Freedman is eager to know of our student choice and has promised to include this news on his own website www.danfreedman.co.uk
 
Dan commented “over the last few weeks to celebrate the end of the school year we have been sending copies of Born to Play to some of the schools around the country, that I know well (QEGS being one of those schools) and have asked that they be presented to their most talented footballer in Year 7.  I’m sure it’s been a very difficult choice for them but I am very much looking forward to hearing their news.”
 
Dan Freedman who came to visit QEGS 2 years ago, has himself a strong passion for reading, writing and for football and loves nothing more than to encourage reading through sport and sport through reading… particularly football.”

Are you up for a summer reading challenge?

Kathryn Houghton, librarian at Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green, created this wonderful summer reading challenge to get her Prep pupils through the long summer holidays.  This would also work perfectly as a transition project between Year 6 and Year 7.  The challenges are innovative and fun, and she has given me permission to reproduce her booklet here so that you can be inspired as well.  The original was in a Publisher booklet, so converting to pdf has muddled up the order of the pages – so please ignore that and just enjoy the challenge!

summer reading challenge

One Million Minutes – are you taking part?

 

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Can our primary school children really read for One Million Minutes in just two weeks?

 Leading education charity Achievement for All teams up with Peters Books & Furniture to launch the One Million Minutes reading challenge in Bristol, Bath and Somerset.Leading education charity Achievement for All and Peters Books & Furniture are asking primary school children across the area to join together to read for a collective total of one million minutes in just two weeks.

It’s hoped the challenge will help promote a love of literacy and put reading right at the heart of each and every school day. With a powerful competitive element, and the opportunity to win a great prize for your school, the brains behind the One Million Minutes challenge are hoping children across the area will want to be involved.

Children can register with the help of their teacher at https://millionminutes.afaeducation.org

They are then asked to contribute the number of minutes they read for each day to the Readometer, which will keep track of running totals and show which individuals are contributing the most via the leader board.

If all that wasn’t reason enough to take part – there’s also a great prize to be won for the winning child’s school! Peters Books & Furniture are donating a brand new fully equipped reading corner complete with a range of fabulous new books worth over a thousand pounds!

 CEO of Achievement for All Professor Sonia Blandford said:

 “Just ten minutes of reading a day can make such a difference to a child, that’s really the minimum we as parents should be striving for. But we hope this challenge is going to see children doing far more than that. We hope all primary schools will sign their children up to the challenge, and celebrate literacy and a love of reading by makingOne Million Minutes part of the school day.”

Achievement for All is one of a coalition of charities leading the Read On. Get On.campaign that aims to see every child reading well by the age of 11 by 2025, and hopes the One Million Minutes challenge will encourage more children to read, and for longer, both at home and at school.

 The challenge will begin on 23rd February 2015 and finish on 9th March. 

  • New research by Read On. Get On shows the UK has the strongest link among developed nations between poor literacy and unemployment.
  • Last year a quarter of all children left primary education without reading well, that figure rises to two in four poorer children.
  • New analysis for the Read On. Get On. Campaign demonstrates how only one other country in Europe, Romaina, has more unequal reading attainment among ten-year-olds.
  • The gap between the best and the worst ten-year-old readers in England is broadly equivalent to seven years.

 

 

2014 Winner of the Stan Lee Excelsior Award announced!

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DC’s Parallel World Superhero Story Scoops First Place!

3172 Ratings Forms were returned and analysed this year and the teenagers of Great Britain have chosen their winner – Earth 2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott (published by DC Comics)  To find out which books finished 2nd and 3rd click here and visit the website.  Earth 2 also won the JABBICA (Judge a Book By Its Cover Award) , becoming the first graphic novel to win this award AND finish in the top three.  This stunning and intricate cover was created by Ivan Reis.

Sheffield’s Silverdale School won the True Believers Award for the second year running.  This award goes to the school which returns the most rating forms.   Congratulations to them too!

 

 

 

 

 

Right Write – Hampshire SLS writing competition

Right, Write front cover

Isabelle Pearce from Hampshire SLS sent me the details of this amazing competition.  I think the schools there are very fortunate to have such a supportive SLS, when so many of us have lost ours. 

Last year in Hampshire SLS we decided to support our secondary schools with creative writing as well as the reading activities we do. We designed a short story competition to complement the new English curriculum requirement of “developing [pupils’] knowledge of and skills in writing, refining their drafting skills and developing resilience to write at length”.

The word count was 500-1000 words, and pupils chose one of three themes. Submissions were made via our Moodle VLE, so we enrolled hundreds of pupils and dozens of teachers and librarians to mark the stories. The mark scheme was out of 40 points, 10 each for Plot, Characterisation, Impact and SPAG. Judy Waite, children’s author and university lecturer, acted as the final arbiter and gave feedback to the shortlisted authors.

The top ten stories were then published in an ebook and made available to the participating schools to upload to their LMS or publish within school. The overall winner’s school will receive a writing workshop from Tarzan author Andy Briggs, and the overall winner (a year 7 pupil) £25 worth of vouchers.

Mercifully the take-up for this first run was not overwhelming, as it was tricky to organise on the VLE, but we hope that teachers will find it a useful tool in the classroom come September.

National Libraries Day – Parallel Universes

Saturday 09 February 2013 is National Libraries Day, a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK.

We are planning a school libraries event to join in with this, called “PARALLEL UNIVERSES” (aka a simultaneous story writing workshop). We are also hoping to make this an attempt at a Guinness World Record …

Matt Haig, award-winning author and writer-in-residence for Booktrust, has agreed to write the start of a story for us. We then want as many students as possible to carry on writing a middle and an ending … minimum 250 words although it can be more.

This will take place on Wednesday 6 February at 12 noon for 1 hour. We are targeting years 5 – 9 although are happy for anyone to join in.

If you are interested, please email Barbara on barbara567band@hotmail.com and I can send you the start of the story plus keep you updated regarding any news from GWR.

This is another great opportunity to promote school libraries and to support National Libraries Day so we hope you will be able to take part; even if you can only organize one class to do this, the numbers will soon add up!

For more info on National Libraries Day: http://www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk/