Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley is a large exciting 3-form-entry primary school with 730 pupils. It is close to the fabulous Wembley Football Stadium, home of the English national team. The curriculum Oakington Manor offers is based on the agreed aims of the school and the provision of a good education with the emphasis on high standards of work, achievement and conduct.
The school's motto is “Inspiring children, impacting the future”. It is with this powerful motto in mind that we set up writing and publishing workshops with the pupils of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. The workshops were requested by Ruby Vernalls, English Coordinator, who supported us throughout our time at the school.
- to demystify the publishing process and support pupils to become confident with their writing
- to enable the older children to make books for the Year 1 children
We did a What’s In A Book? assembly with the entire school. This is an illustrated workshop which demonstrates how an author gets an idea for a book and ends with showing the actual finished product, the picture book. The children were able to share the work of an author, editor and illustrator.
We used my most recent book, Abdi’s day for this workshop. A power point presentation showed the entire process from idea to the finished product. The children saw my bare manuscript without illustrations, then my changes with all my crossings out as the story developed. Then it showed the work of the editor, Simona, as she prepared the manuscript for the illustrator to begin drawing her pictures for the book. This was followed by the illustrator’s roughs and then her final colour work.
We then showed pictures of the large printing machines and brought the huge sheets of paper that picture books are printed on. We showed colour progressives - sheets showing the different inks that are used in 4 colour printing. There were gasps of wonder as the children were presented with each stage leading to the final product.
We worked with the teachers and gave them a set of 18 sequencing cards with simple line drawings that depict the day in the life of a child. These allowed every child to make their own sequence of events (i.e. what happens next – which is the theme of every story). The children could then be supported to write texts to go with their chosen pictures and also to colour the pictures. The books were presented to the Year 1 and Nursery children on World Book Day.
- this work encouraged empathy by making the older children consider the needs of the younger children. It helped forge a sense of the children’s own identity as they put together their personal sequence and justified their choices.
- the children gained a valuable insight into how books are made, demystifying the publishing process.