The Library Blog

Just another Whitchurch School Blogs Sites site

November 30, 2017
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Yr 6 Writer Visit – Testbourne Community School

Today a group of year 6 children visited Testbourne School to meet writer Colleen Jones. She talked about all of the things that inspired her to be a writer. She explained all about the writing process and how you start with draft zero which is all about getting your ideas on to paper and not worrying about getting everything perfect. Colleen read from an early draft and a later draft of her story so we could see the difference.

 

Colleen is originally from Canada and she showed us how the Vancouver Library was her inspiration for her setting of her story about a little girl and dragons. She uses mood boards to develop her ideas which she shared with us.  She then explained the editing part of the process and all the different stages all the way up to looking for a publisher for your finished book.

 

 

The children then got to ask questions and she was asked about her favourite book, her favourite genre and how long a book should be. Thank you to Mrs Harvey at Testbourne for inviting us to this really interesting visit.

November 24, 2017
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National Non-Fiction November – Chatterbooks Yr 5/6

National Non-Fiction November is an annual celebration of information books. We love non-fiction books at school and we have a great selection in the library and in each classroom to support current topics.

 

This week our yr 5/6 Chatterbooks group celebrated National Non-Fiction November with a special ‘The World Around Us’ Activity Pack which we received from DK Books via the Reading Agency Website. The children had to match up animals to their habitats, create their own map and design their own animals. They were really inventive and created the most interesting and amazing animals. We used a selection of animal information books and atlases to help with our tasks. Then we completed a nature word search about the world around us.

 

  

 

We then went on a fact finding mission using some fab non-fiction books to find the most fascinating facts that we could discover about animals. Did you know?

A giraffe’s tongue is as long as an humans arm?

A wombat’s poo is square?

That in Africa goat’s climb trees?

More than 90% of all the organisms that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct.

 

Some brilliant facts found by a children, another really enjoyable Chatterbooks session!

November 17, 2017
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National Non-Fiction November – Chatterbooks

National Non-Fiction November is an annual celebration of information books. We love non-fiction books at school and we have a great selection in the library and in each classroom to support current topics.

  

 

This week our yr 3/4 Chatterbooks group celebrated National Non-Fiction November with a special ‘The World Around Us’ Activity Pack which we received from DK Books via the Reading Agency Website. The children had to match up animals to their habitats, create their own map and design their own animals. They were really inventive and created the most interesting and amazing animals. We used a selection of animal information books and atlases to help with our tasks. Then we completed a nature word search about the world around us. Another really enjoyable Chatterbooks session!

  

 

 

Thanks to DK Books and the Reading Agency for this brilliant Chatterbooks Actvity pack.

November 2, 2017
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Maz Evans Author Visit – Year 4, 5 and 6

 

 

Today we were very lucky to have an author visit from the fabulous Maz Evans, author of ‘Who Let the Gods Out’ and ‘Simply the Quest.’ Maz told the children all about her very long journey to becoming an author. Explaining to them that she had received hundreds of rejections but she never gave up. She encouraged them to keep trying if they had a dream, encouraging them to never give up because they only needed on YES to make it true.

 

‘Who Let the Gods Out’ features Olympic Gods who have fallen to earth causing chaos everywhere for the hero of the novel Elliot and Maz let us into a secret that because they’re immortal they’re still alive, so in reality they’re probably living amongst us. In fact funnily enough their favourite disguise was usually as teachers and she vowed to discover who amongst us was an actual real life God. I went into a battle of the brains to discover who was the true ‘Athene’, goddess of knowledge with Mrs Driver and was sadly beaten as the topic was the KS2 curriculum, which is not my speciality!

 

 

Mrs Spencer and Mrs Brown undertook a battle of creativity to decide who was the true, ‘Hephaestus’ god of creativity, in a balloon modelling competition to design something to save the world from impending attack. Mrs Brown won with her reimagining of a Diplodocus.

    

It was then a head to head war to decide who would be crowned Queen of the Gods in a ‘Wackaday’ style (children who didn’t grow up in the 1980s might need to google this). After a tense few rounds, Mrs Brown was the overall winner. Thanks to our lovely teaching staff for being such great sports I know the children really enjoyed it.

Finally we finished off with a Q & A session where Maz was asked the most unusual and entertaining questions by our children. My favourite being, ‘do you like the books you write?’ to which she replied, ‘it depends what day of the week it is, because if I’m struggling with edits the answer will be no, but if I’m talking about a finished book then it’s probably yes!’

It really was a fantastic day, thanks to all our parents for their continued support. I have to say to Maz a huge thank you to Maz for giving up her time to come and visit the school today we all had the most amazing time!

Mrs Clarke

October 18, 2017
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Year 3/4 Chatterbooks – Wordless Picture Books

Today in Chatterbooks we spent time looking at a selection of wordless picture books. To imspire the children we watched a video of somebody telling the story of ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs using  the pictures as clues.

 

We chose our favourite wordless picture book and created our own stories which we shared with the group.

  

 

  

 

 

The children have brought home ‘A Story Without Words, worksheet so they can tell their own story without words if they would like to. Hope you all have a great half-term, I’m looking forward to findimg out what you’ve been reading.

October 13, 2017
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Year 5/6 Chatterbooks

We have had 2 great Chatterbooks sessions with our year 5/6 children. This week we did activities based around the ‘Pugs of the Frozen North’ by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. The children learned how to draw a pug with a handy guide from Sarah McIntyre, if you want to try this at home just follow the link.

  

 

  

We turned our favourite books into frozen stories, who wouldn’t want to read a book called, ‘My Headteacher is a Vampire Yeti.’

  

  

The children then created and drew their own frozen magical creatures.

  

  

It was lovely to hear the children chatting about their favourite books they have been reading this half-term during our sessions.

October 13, 2017
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Year 3/4 Chatterbooks Group

We have had 2 great Chatterbooks sessions with our year 3/4 children. This week we did activities based around ‘Pugs of the Frozen North’ by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. The children learned how to draw a pug with a handy guide from Sarah McIntrye, if you want to try this at home just follow the link.

     

 

    

  

 

We turned our favourite books into frozen stories and created our own frozen magical creatures, who wouldn’t want to read a book called, ‘My Headteacher is a Vampire Yeti.’

 

 

It was lovely to hear the children chatting about their favourite books that they had been reading this half-term during our sessions.

January 20, 2017
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Year 5/6 Abi Elphinstone Competition

Win signed copies of Abi Elphinstone’s books

 

Children’s author, Abi Elphinstone, is visiting our year 5/6 children on the 14th March. She is challenging them in a competition. In The Night Spinner, the Tribe travel to the mountains of the northern wilderness and on their way, they meet giants, witches and goblins. They can choose ONE of the following tasks and three lucky winners will win signed copies of all of Abi’s books!

 

  • Write the opening chapter to a story set up in the mountains
  • Write a poem about goblins. Or giants. Or witches. Or all three
  • Create a piece of art (Painting? Drawing? Sculpture? Installation?) using any of the following as inspiration: mountains, goblins, giants, witches.

 

 

Hand in your entries to Mrs Clarke by Monday 27th February.

The winners will be announced on 14th March.

January 18, 2017
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BBC 500 Words Competition

On Monday 16th January this year’s BBC 500 words competition was launched. This competition gives all children between 5 years and 13 years the opportunity to submit an original story of no more than 500 words to win some amazing prizes. I am delighted to be one of the judges this year and am looking forward to reading some fantastic stories. We would love children at school to enter the competition as we are very aware we have some very talented storytellers in school.

If your child is wondering where to start and is looking for inspiration they can watch the Live Lesson on the official website.Hosted by Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood and BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty, the lesson features acclaimed authors Malorie Blackman and Frank Cottrell Boyce. We’ll also be joined by some very special guests including Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Revolting Rhymes) and Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games, who make games such as LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers.

This literacy Live Lesson explores setting, character and plot. Resources are tailored to different levels, but some of the higher-level content would be more appropriate for ages 7 and up. Click  on the live lesson link to find out more.

If you have any questions or to submit an entry please visit the BBC 500 words website for more information. This year’s final takes place at the Tower of London and all 50 shortlisted children will be invited to attend. Good Luck to everyone who enters!

December 5, 2016
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TES Class Reviews – Winter Term

This term our reviewers at school have been very busy reviewing four books for the TES Class Review feature. You can read reviews of all the books they have reviewed on their website.

Dotty Detective – Clara Vulliamy

Our year 2/3 Chatterbooks group reviewed two books. The first group Grace, Leon, Emily and Evie reviewed  ‘Dotty Detective’ by Clara Vulliamy – who visited our school earlier this year.

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I like this book because Dotty just got to her new house and started school. On her table there was Amy Trotter, Frankie Logan, Dot, Beans and Laura Drew, a grumpy one. What I really like about this story is there wasn’t one mystery but three mysteries and they did not put any old chapter heading – they had Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Grace, age 7

I like this book because it has great illustrations and it is displayed like a diary. It has lots of different fonts and some of the words are slanted. I like the fact that it is related to some other books and films, such as The Wizard of Oz.

Leon, age 7

This book is about a girl called Dorothy Constance Mae Louise, who has a dog called McClusky – top dog detective. I would recommend the book because it’s fun and there are lots of cliffhangers. The illustrations are quite detailed and I liked the ones of McClusky.

Emily, age 7

Dotty Detective is about a girl called Dot and a dog called McClusky. I like that Dot is adventurous like me and is really good at solving problems and McClusky is really good at sniffing out clues. I would recommend this book to children who love mysteries, dogs and detectives.

Evie, age 7

The Secret Pirate – Elli Woollard & Laura Ellen Anderson

 

Our second year 2/3 Chatterbooks group Owen, Millie, Archie and Maisie reviewed ‘The Secret Pirate’ by Elli Woollard and Laura Ellen Anderson.

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A book about a secret squashbuckling pirate called Lil and her parrot called Carrot. The reader joins Lil on her adventures, stopping Stinkbeard, a mean and smelly pirate with a grubby beard. This books is perfect for ages six to eight, both boys and girls who enjoy adventures. I would recommend this book of rhyming tales because of the funny situations Lil gets into.

Owen, age 7

Swashbuckle Lil was amazing because it rhymed and was great to use expression. My favourite words were “Arr” and “Ahoy, me hearties”. The extremely funny illustrations were great – especially Stinkbeard, because he looked like a pile of mud shaped like a human with bugs in it. What a lovely book!

Millie, age 7

I liked the book because it rhymes and it makes you want to keep on reading. Also I liked the characters, especially Carrot the parrot, because he is a brave character. If you like pirates you will enjoy this book, and it’s also really funny. I would give it 4½ stars out of 5.

Archie, age 7

My first impression was that Lil is adventurous and is going to save people. I enjoyed how the parrot was called Carrot. Also I enjoyed how Lil was courageous and the book is exciting. Lil was very amazing at beating pirates that were bad. I liked the bit at the sports day where Lil scared Stinkbeard in the mud. I would like to read other Elli Woollard books.

Maisie, age 7

The Cat and the King – Nick Sharratt

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Charlie, Hana, Grace, Owen and Dylan in Year 3 reviewed ‘The Cat and the King’ by Nick Sharratt.

The Cat and the King is a really funny but sometimes very silly story. My favourite character was the king, while he learns to do everyday things. It was a really good adventure as they got to learn about life in the city, and their neighbours had to learn how to deal with a dragon. I would give it five out of five.

Charlie, age 7

This book is awesome because the cat is really clever and the king is very strict (like most kings) but he is also very kind. If you get to read this book, make sure you read to the back of the book. I think this book is great

Hana, age 8

I enjoyed the book very much, particularly the part when the king sent a message to his new neighbours to invite them over for tea. They thought they would have to eat some really disgusting things, but it was actually cakes that the cat had made that were made to look like the things Mr Cromwell had said kings eat. It was well illustrated and kept me interested with lots of detail.

Grace, age 7

I liked the book, because it was funny. I also liked it when Mr and Mrs Cromwell threw Coca-Cola at the dragon. Also, I very much liked the pictures.

Owen, age 7

I really liked The Cat and the King because it is really funny and made me laugh. It has awesome illustrations all the way through the book.
My favourite character was the cat and I really enjoyed the bit when the king went on a motorbike.
I think people should read it because it is really good, really funny and really exciting.

Dylan, age 7

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond – Sam Hearn

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Archie, Katie, Edie and Izzy reviewed ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond’ by Sam Hearn an exciting new mystery series which will test the skills of aspiring young detectives.

I would give this book five stars! I enjoyed it because it was a mystery and also the fact it was written as a diary. My favourite character was Daz because he’s always losing things. The best part of the book is when they’re in a museum and the lights go out followed by the burglary of the Alpine Star diamond. There is nothing not to like about this book – it is ace!

Archie, age 10

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond is a great page-turner! I love Sherlock Holmes’ mysterious character, who is always one step ahead of everyone else. The pictures are amazing, especially the shiny front cover. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a gripping mystery.

Katie, age 10

I really enjoyed reading this book because of all the interesting ways that the author has used different styles of writing, which for me made it easy to read. The author managed to build suspense throughout the story, and you only discover what has happened to the Alpine Star diamond right at the very end. The illustrations are particularly helpful to help you understand what is going and what it is actually like in the museum. My favourite part of the book was when the three main characters (but not the dog) went rummaging in Martha’s attic to find things for their Victorian topic at school, because they found lots of interesting and peculiar antiques that belonged to the Victorian time, as the house was Victorian.I would recommend this book to both boys and girl aged 10 and over.

Edie, age 10

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond was a great book. I liked it because of the layout and the illustrations, which made it easier and more interesting to read – it is a bit like a comic. The book builds up excellent suspense so you never know what is going to happen. My favourite character was Sherlock Holmes because he gives clues along the way. As a reader that makes me feel a bit like I’m going to solve the mystery, too!

Izzy, age 10

We are so proud of all our children for their fantastic work this term and we were delighted to be included in an article in the Tes Magazine of ‘2016’s best books for Children’ featuring reviews from Aidan, Alexander and Griff from Doves Class of a review they did earlier in the year of Tom McLaughlin’s ‘The Accidental Secret Agent.’ A huge thank you to all the parents for the support they have given to the children to completing the reviews.

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