Ciaran Murtagh, a famous children’s author and writer of popular TV shows, such as Mr. Bean and Shaun the Sheep, spent two days with us this week. He enthralled the children and imparted his knowledge of story writing with them. He simplified the structure and methods used to develop a story from beginning to end. Special workshops were tailored for particular year groups so they could access his material and then hopefully use it in some of their own writing.
I enjoyed being part of the Year 6 extended writing workshop where 12 selected children learnt how to develop characters and how important it was for the author to engage the reader and for them to like the character. He discussed how part of the success of Harry Potter was that the readers got to know Harry in the normal world as a normal boy before he went off to Hogwarts and a magical land. If Harry had transferred straight to Hogwart’s without getting to know and care for the character, the reader may have been less interested in the rest of the stories. We looked and developed a character by thinking about 10 questions, including what colour toothbrush they may have. The main point to remember was that a character is often more interesting if they have a secret or fear and how we can include that in our writing. These children now have a framework to develop characters and make them interesting to the reader or the audience if they are story telling.
Opportunities for guest speakers and internationally experienced and renowned figures is an aspect of attending an international school that benefits the children in so many ways. It also supports staff as they gain new creative ways in which to deliver lessons and ideas to help the children learn. Being internationally minded is important to us and so experiences like these with other international guests can only support the children’s respect and understanding of others.
It has been an amazing week in Primary and I am sure your children have shared many stories with you, including the visitor from Juilliard in New York whom Mr. Sayer has written about in his article. Have a great weekend.
Mr Nicholas West – Head of Primary