Mrs Crocombe, Head of English, writes: It has been a busy month in the English Department. As well as all the wonderful work that goes on day-by-day in reading and writing, we have also enjoyed some special events:
Once again, pupils across the School enjoyed celebrating the joy of books on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 March. Pupils and staff in Pre-Prep dressed as their favourite book characters and shared their favourite stories with their classmates – what a wide range of costumes there were! Pupils wrote and read stories to each other, along with other book-related activities.
Prep pupils and staff dressed in 'Anything Shakespeare' (commemorating the 450th year since Shakespeare's birth), their favourite book character or their pyjamas. They also had the pleasure of listening to Cat Weatherill, who spoke to each Year group from Years 3 - 6 and started each session with magical music that she played on her dulcimer. She captivated the children with all the twists and turns in her stories, using her voice and her acting skills to draw the children in. Each session seemed too short and the children were left wanting more. 'I think that Cat's books are really interesting and I can't wait for her next book to come out!',
Priya S; '1. She was really nice 2. She was funny 3. She was amazing, terrific and cool' Hamish R; 'I loved the sound of her books and she was also amazing at storytelling' Mattie R; 'She had very imaginative stories' Rowan B.
The Catering team at The Croft need a special mention as they provided a 5-star All Day Breakfast!
We hope that these events have encouraged the children to want to read more and to enter the magical world of their own imaginations.
This event runs from 27 January to 28 March and is open to pupils in Year 3 to Year 8. So far, Croft pupils have read 135 books from the website and our aim is to reach at least 250. It is free to join – all pupils need to do is to register and to join the School's reading group (722307).
Pupils are encouraged to read as many and as wide a range of books as they can in the two months of the competition. This website includes a library of over 100 online books to choose from and all participants can access these freely and at any time during the competition. Books to suit the full range of reading abilities are available.
All pupils who read eight or more books will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an individual prize and there is also an opportunity for the School to win books for the Library.
At least 100,000 books will be donated to Book Aid International's life-changing programme, School Library in a Box. Through this programme, high quality, new books will be distributed to schools in Tanzania. An optional new feature of Read for My School in 2014 invites pupils to write a letter to the children in Tanzania who will receive the books. Isn't it amazing to think of a Tanzanian schoolchild reading a letter from a Croft pupil?
Each pupil from Year 1 to Year 6 will have received their 'Passport to Shakespeare', which gives a series of fun challenges, ranging from designing a postcard to inventing new words to learning some of Shakespeare's lines off by heart. The passport also contains a number of money saving vouchers for Shakespeare-related activities. Once all the challenges have been met, the passports can be given to Mrs Crocombe, who will send them to The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - a personal letter of congratulations from 'William Shakespeare' has been promised in return! This venture (over 2000 schools are taking part) has been launched because of the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, but there are plans for it to become an annual event. Living so close to Shakespeare's home gives our pupils a unique opportunity to get involved.