Building a Book at Noadswood
On 13 March I spent a delightful day at dynamic Noadswood School (Hants) http://www.noadswood.hants.sch.uk/ running their Build a Book programme for Year 5 & 6 pupils from their feeder primaries: Hythe Primary, Orchard Junior, Wildground Federation, and Marchwood Junior. It works like this. Each primary sends about 10 children whom we mix together and seat at tables in the library. Together we plan an adventure story – this year it involved a cottage in the New Forest (nearby), spies and refugees from Manchester. Once planned, the tale is divided into as many chapters as there are tables, and each table writes a chapter in pairs or individually. (Chapters can be sub-divided.) At the end of the day, the children read a chapter from each table. I then collect all the writing and somehow (blood, toil, sweat and tears) edit it into a book, add illustrations, get it printed, and send it back to the schools for distribution among the contributors and their schools. Prizes are offered at various stages – eg for the best title (decided by popular vote). All have a good day, meet new friends, learn (we hope) about how stories work, and end up with a work they can keep for the rest of their lives. Well done, Noadswood! Pioneering and inspiring.