Sufiya Ahmed - visiting author!
Classes 7 and 9 were lucky to work with the author Sufiya Ahmed today, in a Creative Writing workshop. Sufiya has written many books and was able to give everyone some great hints and tips! The workshops were arranged as part of the annual Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition, organised by our Schools Library Service. The theme this year is: A Brighter Future? For full details please check out their website:
Tower Hamlets Book Award 2022
Salma’s Year 6 Literacy Group attended the annual Tower Hamlets Book Award finale, organised by the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service (THSLS) at the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf. Twelve members of the group put on a performance based on 'Danny Chung does not do Maths' by Maisie Chan, one of the seven shortlisted books. The presentations were judged by four of the shortlisted authors who were present at the event – Sita Brahmachari, Jo Nadin, Gemma Fowler and Sabine Adeyinka .
Although Maisie was not able to attend the event in person, she did send a video message, and gave a shout-out to Blue Gate Fields Juniors, thanking us for bringing her book to life!
Students throughout the borough of Tower Hamlets voted for their favourite book choice. The winner was 'Mayhem Mission' by Burhana Islam, which was also our favourite read!
Entries to the Art Competition were on display at the Finale. Yusra and Amiya won a prize for their diorama-in-a-shoebox on ‘Jummy at the River School’ by Sabine Adeyinka. Artworks by Fiza, and Aruba were also on display.
Later, the presentation group held an assembly at school and showed off their acting skills again!
Class 7 were privileged to attend the first show celebrating The Children's Bookshow's 20th Birthday. The wonderful poet, Valerie Bloom, performed some of her poems for a packed theatre with children from ten different schools in the audience.
Valerie was born in Jamaica and came to England in 1979. She writes poetry in English and Jamaican patois for all ages, and has performed her work throughout the world, with many television and radio appearances.
We had fun joining in with the poetry, calling out lines, doing the actions, singing along, and stamping our feet!
Every child was given a FREE copy of Valerie's book, Stars With Flaming Tails. Check out the BGFJ Poetry blog page to read 'Welcome', one of the poems which Valerie performed.
The 2022 Klaus Flugge Prize
Joseph Namara Hollis has won the prestigious Klaus Flugge 2022 prize, for the most exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration, with his book 'Pierre’s New Hair'.
Pierre’s New Hair is about a bear obsessed with looking good but also desperate to show the world his roller-skating flair.
Look out for it in the Picture Book section of the library!
Our prizewinners attended the prize-giving yesterday, at the Clifford Chance building in Canary Wharf. The guest judges (authors Helen Dennis and Adam Baron) awarded prizes and certificates. The winning poems and short stories will be published in a book called ‘In this, our city’, and will be fresh from the printers for the autumn term. So, our winners will be published authors!
About the judges:
Helen Dennis is the author of the ‘River of Ink‘ and ‘Secret Breakers‘ series of books. She is a writer of adventure stories set in the real world and which link back to myths and mysteries of the past. Helen led a number of workshops for Tower Hamlets schools during the competition and was the judge for the years 1 – 4 categories and the year 5 and 6 poetry.
Adam Baron is the author of five successful novels including ‘Boy Underwater‘ and ‘You Won’t Believe This‘ and has, in his time, been an actor, comedian, journalist and press officer at Channel 4 television. He now runs the widely respected MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University London. Adam was judge for the Year 5 and 6 Stories and the secondary school stories and poems. He also came to BGFJ to lead two writing workshops with Year 5.
Louise's and Alice's Year 4 literacy groups were so lucky to attend FREE events at The Genesis Theatre, as part of the Barnes Literature Festival.
The first event was with Serena Patel, the author of the 'Anisha, Accidental Detective' series which won the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award for Fiction. Her own family have been the inspiration for lots of the crazy things that happen to Anisha. Serena says that her favourite character to write is Granny Jas, because she's mischievous and ends up getting into all sorts of trouble. She also confessed that the 'evil twins' in the books are based on her own twin brother and sister!
Serena believes all children deserve to feel seen in the stories they read, and that "We need lots of different voices telling stories". She told us to hold on to our Big Dreams, as her childhood ambition was to be a children's author!
Alice's group enjoyed an entertaining afternoon with the poet, Joshua Seigal. He performed some of his poems, and took lots of questions from the audience. The BGFJ question was, "What would you have been if you hadn't been a poet?" The unexpected answer was, "An elephant!", followed by a brilliant elephant impression! (Really, he'd like to be a food critic, so he could eat lots of lovely food).
Josh told us about his pets and recited an unpublished poem about his cat, Bluebell, which is all about the annoying things his cat gets up to. He got us all joining in with the poems, and making a lot of noise!
Josh's advice was to "Write about the things you care about."
Storytelling Week at BGFJ
We kicked off our storytelling week with an assembly looking at a book created by Class 5. They told us their story, 'Dragons Over London, or Ayisha and Rihan, Dragon Tamers'. The art work led to the story, which has been entered into the Reading Zone Picture Book Competition. Good luck, Class 5!
During the week, classes retold and created oral stories with Sue in the library.
As the finale, we had a morning of brilliant storytelling from our old friend Dr Pat Ryan. Stories from all times, and around the world, to make us jump, make us laugh and make us think!
The winners of the Book Display went for afternoon tea with Sue in the library and wrote thank you cards
Today we had our first ever meeting for the Young Quills for Historical Fiction Award.
The competition has now been running for over ten years and one of the reasons it is becoming a key event for Children’s literature authors is because of the involvement of young people themselves.
We will be reading books that are set across a wide range of different periods in history and will send our reviews to the Historical Association, who will use our opinions to create a short list for the award.
At Blue Gate Fields Junior School we are so proud of our winners in the Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition 2021!
A Year 4 student won joint First Prize for her poem, which she wrote whilst still in Year 3! A former Year 6 student took Second Place for her Short Story. They both attended the ceremony to collect their prizes, and receive their certificates.
It was really exciting as the results were announced at the Awards Ceremony hosted by the organisers, Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service. No one knows beforehand what they have won, or how successful they have been. Just that they have won something! The judges were the author Polly Ho-Yen and author-illustrator Ken Wilson-Max. They really enjoyed reading over 200 entries to this annual competition, and commended the entrants for their creativity, and bravery in putting their work forward for judging. Ken said that the children’s lives came through in their work, and he encouraged them all to keep on writing!
His Top Tips were:
1: Don’t give up! (Remember it won’t be perfect the first time)
2: Ask someone you trust for their honest and constructive opinion of your work.
3: Keep entering competitions!
All prize-winners receive a copy of the book containing their work, titled ‘I am not alone’ – the theme of this year’s competition. Some extracts were read aloud at the event, including the introduction to the Short Story from our Year 6 (2020-2021) winner. The book is also available in the library, so you can read the winning entries too.
Maybe you will be inspired to enter the competition next year!