29th April 2022
Sarah McIntyre 'Patron of Reading' Visit
On Wednesday, author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre spent the day at the school in the first of her visits as our new Patron of Reading. Sarah brought her friend and co-author Philip Reeve along for the ride and together they gave us a very special day.
In the morning Sarah and Philip ran a special assembly for all of Key Stage Two - they told us all about how they work together and how their books get made, they performed the start of their newest book for us, they taught us how to draw Kevin - the roly-poly flying pony - and together we made and played a brilliant 'Great Race' board game. The hall was full of engagement, interest and bookish fun.
For Key Stage One Sarah ran another assembly where she focussed on the character of 'Grumpycorn' - she taught the children how to draw the character and and helped them to make him their own by tweaking him to their own interests - there were some great, great pictures and we had so much fun.
Sarah visited the Foundation Unit and read the children her book 'Dinosaur Firefighters' which went down a storm then the children helped Sarah to do some amazing drawings of the dinosaur characters from the book - they gave her suggestions of funny things to add to the pictures and it was lovely to see their ideas coming to life on the paper. The children were fascinated and lots of them wanted to spend the rest of the day drawing and talking about the visit.
Sarah and Philip visited every class and were happy to spend time chatting to every child and signing books and bits of paper everywhere they went.
Huge thanks to Sarah and Philip for their time and energy and to Chagword for funding this project.
A group of our keenest readers got together with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve to interview them for the newsletter. This is what they said...
Chagford Primary Reporters: How did you start making books with Philip Reeve?
Sarah McIntyre: We met at a book festival in Scotland and we made friends. I told him I was trying to put a new drawing on my website every day, as a challenge to myself, and he decided to start doing the same. I was very impressed by his landscape drawings of Dartmoor and the way he drew its interesting twisty trees. After many months of comparing our drawings, he invited my husband and me to see these twisty trees in real life and we stayed with him. After awhile, we decided that it would be fun to do a book together and came up with Oliver and the Seawigs.
Chagford Primary Reporters: When you were writing your books how did you get your ideas?
Sarah McIntyre: When I did Grumpycorn I couldn’t think of an idea for a book so I did a story about a unicorn who couldn’t think of a story! That was easy.
An editor asked me to do a story that had dinosaurs and police in it as her child really liked Dinosaurs and the police, so I did a book called Dinosaur Police!
Chagford Primary Reporters: When you create a series like the Kevin books, how do you come up with lots of different characters for the different books?
Sarah McIntyre: We based Kevin on a painting that Philip had painted years ago. We knew he needed a human friend so we invented Max and Daisy. Then we wanted to make it a little bit spooky so we introduced some characters that were a little bit spooky and interesting based on lots of different characters we’d met in different books and people we know.
Chagford Primary Reporters: Did you make a story map and plan stories before you start writing them?
Sarah McIntyre: For the stories we do together, Philip makes up the stories mostly by just starting to write and finding out what happens.
Philip Reeve: I don’t really plan it much – I start writing and make it up as I go along. Sometimes you have to go back and change things to make it look like you knew what was going on on from the start!
Chagford Primary Reporters: What characters are fun to write? What bits of books do you like doing?
Sarah McIntyre: I really enjoy writing all the fun little characters - I like doing Beyonce and Neville, the guinea pig characters in the Kevin books. I really enjoy making the big spreads with no words on them, like the end papers in the Grumpycorn books. I love collecting fabrics and I based those spreads on that.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
We are beyond excited and delighted that preparation for our whole school production o A Midsummer Night's Dream are now firmly underway under the watchful eye of our director Lydia Frater. The children have been having an absolute ball and it has been a pleasure to see it happening. The parts for the main characters will be cast next week and rehearsals will get underway in earnest. We are just SO EXCITED to share this with you all. Huge thanks to Crispin and to Ben who have been the moving force behind this project.
‘Music for a Midsummer’s Dream’ Concert
We are thrilled to announce a very special concert, ‘Music for a Midsummer’s Dream’, taking place in the church on Saturday 21stMay at 7.30pm. Two highly acclaimed musicians, the professional pianist Rupert Egerton-Smith and local cellist Amye Farrell (see below for more information) will treat us to an evening of music guaranteed to enchant, playing Rachmaninov Sonata in G Minor for cello and piano, Beethoven Sonata in A Major for cello, Chopin Ballade No. 3 in A flat Major and Scarlatti Sonatas for piano k96 and k27.
All proceeds will go towards funding Chagford CE Primary School’s ambitious summer production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play has been specially adapted and re-written for our school by acclaimed playwright Crispin Whittell and is being directed by experienced director Lydia Frater. It is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our children, every one of whom will have the chance to take part. Anything remaining will go to the School’s Art Fund which supports and encourages a variety of artistic and musical opportunities for the children.
Tickets are £10 to include a glass of wine and are available to buy in Sally’s Newsagent or reply to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase online.
Celebration of the Earth – Beltane May 12th
On 12th May, we are holding our monthly event following on from COP26. This month’s theme is Beltane, or the Welcoming in of Spring. We are having a couple of people dressed up as an Obby Oss and Jack In The Green, and there will be music and singing and some dancing at O’er Hill (where we had the Wassailing event) from 17:30 that afternoon. We hope to get families and their children involved in this and to have a wonderful time together celebrating our wonderful world and the fun we can have together in it.
Unite and unite, and let us all unite
For summer is a-comin today.
And whither we are going we all will unite,
In the merry morning of may!
Celebration of the Earth – Bees (June)
This celebration is all about bees, the beautiful mystery of their lives and communication and the wonderful work they do for us all by pollinating so many of the plants we rely on for our food, our fabrics, our oxygen and the beauty of our world. We are thinking of creating some sort of hive right here at school that the children go go into to feel bee-ish. What fun! If you are a bee afficionado, why not get in touch and see if we could get you involved.
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