Thursday, 30 March 2017

Gilmorton Primary School Visit

I was invited to read Hollie and Figgs Magical Adventures to Gilmorton Primary School children in Year 3 ages 7-8. Mrs. Vicki Otway`s class.
I actually went to primary school with the head teacher :) and we have stayed friends throughout our schooling and into adulthood, so it was lovely to meet up and see her in her professional role.
I am getting over my anxieties with the more schools I visit, although I still get concerned about making mistakes with my work. 
This time I asked if I could spend an hour with the children as half an hour has proved to be limiting with what I can fit in.
The school has been more than accommodating. I planned a new activity whereby I read the beginning of a story that I wrote the day before the visit and then get the children to write the next part to the story. I plan to take it to another school so that it`s children can add on their part to the story. I hope you get the idea! It`s an experiment and all a bit of fun really. The idea being that I will continue to take the story into schools until it is complete. I envisage sharing the final results (the completed story) with all the schools who have taken part. I may even get it published or do a reading on my YouTube channel. How exciting! :)
When I arrived at the school I had plenty of time to set up the Hollie and Figgs scene with the magic carpet and plush toys. 
When the children arrived, I introduced myself and asked them what books they liked. I was particularly interested in what boys like to read as I thought that our book may not appeal to them as the main character is a girl. That was my preconception, but not the reality as the boys were interested and joined in just as much as the girls did. 
I read some of the Hollie and Figgs Magical Adventure story so they got to know our characters well. During this time I handed out some cotton candy balls (relates to the story) that I had made and the Hollie and Figgs plush toys. The children loved this interaction, although afterwards, Mrs. Otway (Vicki) said that it was a bit of a distraction for some. I may need to change the timing as to when I hand them out :) 
Now to my new activity :) Getting the children to story-write. I read the beginning of the story that I wrote the day before and asked the children to use their imaginations to write the next part. Some of the children struggled to do this and needed a little help and a few suggestions, but most were very keen to get their ideas down. I was amazed at some of the children`s ideas: - Molly thought that the characters could land in a dark jungle and Figgs got his paw stuck in rainbow wool.Rosa imagined that Hollie and Annie were dressed in shimmery ballgowns.Madison wrote that Annie saw a rabbit stuck at the top of a lemon drizzle tree. Lots of children loved the idea of a Candyland. Alec thought that the king could steal the magic carpet. All these are ideas to develop the plot. They may not make much sense now, but as I  take the children's ideas forward and develop them hopefully they will.
The children were great, engaging and very interested in the story and actively involved with the story writing.The story of Hollie and Figgs has meaning and a moral. I would have liked more time to have explored this, but an hour isn't long enough to do everything!
Mrs. Otway said that she would be carrying on with the theme of the Hollie and Figgs story for the afternoon lesson so that the children can continue with their writing and also do some artwork. I felt privileged to have been invited, and for the teacher to continue with the activities in my absence is just amazing. The school staff said that they would send the children's work onto me. 
That's where I am at now. I have received their work. I sat up in bed last night reading through the children's ideas/plots and was very impressed.There were themes that ran through like having the characters fall off the magic carpet, Candyland and chocolate rainbows. I have just completed their story-line in preparation for the next school. Exciting! 
 I will be visiting Ullesthorpe Primary School next week so I can`t wait to share Hollie and Figgs Magical Adventures and our new `story in the making.`
Here are some of the children's artwork. How amazing are they!?
I love how colourful they are and how the children have interpreted the story.
A big thank you to Gilmorton Primary School staff including Mrs. Otway year 3 class for inviting me and for all their hard work. I had a fun time and I can't wait to share the final story with them.
Can you spot my mistake? Here`s a clue, it`s a duplication :) If you do find it, let me know in the comments below :) 


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