Monday, 6 March 2017

Visit to Uplands Junior School on World Book Day 2017


My invite
I was invited to read Hollie and Figgs Magical Adventures to children in year three which would be age 7/8 to celebrate World Book Day.
I have read to children in my local library and at Christmas fairs, but a class full of children would be a first for me.
I didn't realise that I would be asked to read to children in four classes! This raised my pulse rate a little. Apart from wondering how the story would be received I was also concerned how my voice would hold up. I am quietly spoken and a morning of stretching my vocal chords made me a little anxious. On the other hand, I felt privileged to be invited and excited at the thought of reaching out to readers the book has been written for.
I was due to have four half hour classes and so I made some vague plans about how to organise the time as half an hour per class would go very quickly.
I wanted to introduce myself, the story, read a part of the story and ask the children to get active by drawing the characters from the book or characters of their own. I wanted to engage with them throughout the whole process and find out what their thoughts about the story are.
Working as a psychiatric nurse for thirty years has helped my confidence talking in groups. I have just realised how I felt as a child. I was terrified of standing up in front of the class and reading was always a cause for anxiety. 
Here I am now, at my age reading in front of a class :) 
My aim is to use our story and my experience to help inspire confidence in young children and to be creative.
The day
The school staff was so accommodating and I was surprised by the security on entry. They even had a screen to take my photo for a name badge.
I was briefly shown around and guided to the first classroom where I set up my large pull-up poster.
I hardly had time to prepare when the children arrived. The teachers introduced me and I immediately began to engage with the children. It wasn't hard to do as many were dressed up in some amazing dressing up outfits celebrating World Book Day. There was lots of princess`s, the Queen of Hearts, spiderman, batman, Harry Potter of course,witches,The Incredible Hulk, and much more. 
I was very impressed with the efforts the parents had made and how the children and school embraced the event.
The children were all very well behaved and showed a lot of interest in our story and the plush characters.
Many of the children had pets of their own and so could identify with our characters, but the fact that Figgs the cat can talk was the most exciting part of the story for them.
I was even invited to say something in the school assembly which made me feel very privileged and important.

Here are some of the children's creative drawings
I would love to show them all, but I don't have enough space on this blog.
I apologise if I have missed any out.
As you can see our characters were great models for the children and they loved getting creative.
You can see lots of Hollie, the rainbow sky, the palace and of course our main character Figgs. 
We also had some fun with Hollie and Figgs plushes and balls of raspberry marshmallow stuff (nonedible) I made. (This relates to the story.)
In all, it was a positive experience and a fun morning for myself and the children I hope.
I plan to return to read the whole story if the school will have me as it was a shame that the children only had time to hear part of the story.
I want to say a big thank you to Uplands Junior L.E.A.D. Academy for allowing me to share my story book with your amazing children.













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10 comments

  1. Glad you had such an enjoyable day at Uplands. The children's drawings are fantastic. Well done Annette.

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    1. Thank you. I did have an enjoyable day and very impressed with the children's drawings and enthusiasm.

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  2. Well done Annette. Your enthusiasm for the story is addictive and children and parents love it. I can't wait for the next stories in the series of Hollie and Figgs 😊

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    1. Thank you Steve for your support and encouragement.

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  3. This is lovely! Thank you for sharing your story. :-)

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    1. I am glad you like it.I hope to be sharing many more stories :) x

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  4. Annette, well done! I like your large pull up poster :) and all those lovely versions of Hollie drawn by the kids. Glad you enjoyed despite your nerves and lack of time. Hope you get to read the whole story soon.

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    1. Thank you Corine, It means a lot to get the children`s involvement and also to get feedback like yours.I hope that i will not be as nervous next time. The pull up poster is brilliant, very visual and easy to transport :) x

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you I am glad you like the post :)

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