Last Thursday was World Book Day and we were delighted to be able to hold our many events throughout the day online, using Microsoft Teams.

Scroll down to read all about the marvelous experiences our children had in their virtual masterclasses with our guest authors (and illustrator!) below, and see some of the costumes our younger children put together to represent their favourite book, character or author.

Guest illustrator:  Emma McKendrick
Guest author:  Elizabeth Newton

Our children in Years 1 and 2 were lucky to have a ‘visit’ from illustrator, Emma McKendrick and her mother Elizabeth Newton, who actually wrote the book her daughter illustrated.  The children were delighted to meet a ‘real life’ author and illustrator and asked lots of interesting questions, which our visitors were very impressed with.  Emma and Elizabeth were incredibly kind and patient with the children and we really appreciated the time they spent with us.
Everyone also shared their favourite books with their classmates, explaining about the plot and characters of the story and why they had enjoyed their chosen book. This rounded off a fabulous week of poetry reading and recital.

Guest author:  Helen Rutter

Our younger children in the Prep School were delighted to ‘meet’ local author and actress Helen Rutter, who has just published her first book, ‘The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh’, which is about a boy who has a stammer and is based on her own son.

Guest author:  Tim Clare

Author, poet and musician, Tim Clare, proved to be wonderful fun and full of innovative ideas and inspiration for our Years 6, 7 and 8 children.  Tim delivered a presentation and stimulated story writing that ensured our pupils unlocked the wonderful stories that lay within them.  He also made the children aware that the more bizarre and challenging the story, the more fun and engaging it can be!
Tim talked about the structural techniques that are employed by writers and highlighted the importance of careful choice of language.  Pupils crafted some great narratives and descriptive short pieces, and Tim was full of praise.  He even admitted he might be using some of their ideas in his next novel but sadly, he couldn’t promise any royalties!
We are very grateful to him and Sophie Lloyd-Catchpole from Arvon who helped co-ordinate the masterclass.

Guest author:  Patrice Lawrence

Our College students were privileged to meet Patrice Lawrence, an award-winning author of fiction for young adults, whose most famous books are ‘Orangeboy’, ‘Eight Pieces of Silva’ and ‘Indigo Donut’.  Patrice gave an intricate insight into her own family background, explaining how it inspired her writing.  She encouraged our College students to look carefully at the characters around them, the places they have lived and the experiences they have had.  She challenged them to use these experiences and characters as a fuel for their own stories and gave them time to create the beginnings of their own fictional sketches.
Throughout the session, Patrice emphasised the need to be confident in projecting our own personal voice on paper.  She also talked about the importance of novels in our cultural landscape and how we must seek to write stories, if only as a way to extend our cultural identities.  She also suggested that we should read stories to extend our cultural boundaries, develop our empathy and reach out into new and different communities.  Quite simply, reading and writing is necessary for a full life that celebrates the richness and diversity of humanity!
Patrice really was an inspiration and pitched her workshop perfectly to engage our students and prompt them to think deeply and creatively.

Across the school – at home or some in the classroom – our younger children and even many of our teachers and a number of parents – dressed to reflect their favourite book, character or author.