Book Week emboldens students

This year’s Book Week took on a bold theme at Sydenham High as it coincided with the latest Flourish and Fly Week at Junior School which focused on celebrating the GDST value ‘Be Bold’.

The week’s activities had a literary focus but were designed to encourage students to take positive risks, stretch their ability and overcome setbacks by doing things in a new way.

From Reception to Year 6, girls made bold reading choices and pushed themselves to try reading in a different way, exploring different genres and even having a go at creating their own books.

Special activities included not one but two author workshops.  The first was from children’s author Lisa Rajan, creator of the Tara Binns book series, who talked about the inspiration behind her STEM-career themed books and what it is like to be a female writer. The second was delivered by local illustrator and author Sheena Dempsey who brought the writing process to life for Years 3 and 5.

Students also experienced circle time discussions and a lunch time Speakers Corner in the playground, as well as a Book Fair and a week-long Read-a-thon competition where every book read earned house points.

The Ladderless Window Painting Company became Artists in Residence for the week, working to facilitate a large scale bold-themed mural in the Junior School playground as a vibrant new backdrop to the netball court.

Meanwhile at Senior School students took part in Sydenham High’s version of World Book Day’s Writes of Passage, generating a display of book recommendations based on novels they felt had changed their lives.  Money raised in donations went towards buying books and school equipment for the school that Sydenham High is helping to build in Nepal.

The finale of Book Week at both Junior School and Senior School was the traditional Dress As Your Favourite Book character event with some outstanding, bold costumes.  Prizes were awarded at Senior School for Upper School and Middle School groups and individuals.  This year’s entrants were particularly inventive, ranging from Brothers Grimm ghouls to Scott Fitzgerald flappers and even Smurfs!  The winners were:-

Upper School group – Les Miserables: Kate Cobain, Natalia Cordeshi and Jessica Whight

Upper School individual – Lavender from Matilda: Vanessa Mabelle

Middle School group – Lord of the Flies: Mia Wilmshurst and Lily Bartosch

Middle School individual joint winners: Isabelle Van Veen as Pippi Long-Stocking, Lilla Benn as The White Witch of Narnia