Character parade and author visit highlight Book Week at St Andrews International School


The St Andrews International School Book Week Committee, made up of Carole Parker, Jude Payne, Cailin Terhaar, Shane Gielty, Dave Hyde, Michelle Taylor & Damon Parker, put together the following book report for St Andrews International School’s annual Book Week.

Character Dress Parade

For Book Week, St Andrews had their annual character parade which was better than ever! It was really great to see so many students, teachers and parents getting into the spirit by creating and wearing such an amazing array of imaginative costumes.

Book cover competition winners.Book cover competition winners.

The assembly started with a classic story, “The three little pigs” which was ambushed by some very shady characters making a series of unjustifiable demands of our narrator, all in good humour of course!

Visiting Author Ian Billings

Book week got off to a fantastic start with everyone roaring with laughter at the jokes and antics of our visiting author Ian Billings. Ian worked with all the year groups from Nursery up to Year 7 providing our students with a great insight into how to build characters and stories.

With the younger children he created a visual representation of a character by having students describe facial features one at a time until a clear and comical face had been created. The children really enjoyed choosing large eyes, small noses, curly hair and bushy eyebrows to build their character.

With the older children Ian encouraged them to play the part of a new character. The volunteers chose from a range of props Ian drew on the board and under Ian’s guidance and direction the other students asked the volunteer questions about their character to find out, among other things, the character’s distinguishing feature and their desire or goal. Ian explained that all main characters have something which makes them memorable or stand out and a wish or desire, something they have to achieve in the story.

The children get involved and draw their own book charactersThe children get involved and draw their own book characters

Other children got to act out a story by representing features of a setting during the beginning, middle or end of a story. Some were trees, rocks or grass, while others were creaky doors, dirty ovens or safe houses. Other children were then put into this setting as characters in the story, walking from the beginning, through the middle and, to the end while Ian told the story. This gave students a very good visual idea of how a story flows and moves.

At the end of the day Ian performed a 1 hour show to the whole of primary, telling jokes, stories and poetry from his upcoming and recent books.

Design a book cover competition

This year for book week we had an all-primary competition to design a new book cover for a fiction book. The students choose their favourite fiction book and created a new cover for it based on their own creativity and ideas about the book.

We had a lot of students participating throughout the year levels and it was very difficult for our teacher judges to choose a winner! The winners for each year were – Year 1: Adam, Year 2: Cael, Year 3: Kim, Year 4: Peter, and Year 6: Jennifer. The winning students each got to choose a book to take home as a prize. Thank you to all of the students who participated in this fun book week activity!

Classroom activities

The classrooms were buzzing with activity during book week. Everyone appeared to be entranced by books. Children in Year 4 were writing book reports, the Year 1s were busy creating their own settings and in Year 2 they all appeared to be obsessed by a large monster with sharp claws, a poisonous wart on its nose and purple scales on its back. Even in music class the children made books about musical symbols.

As for the Secondary children they seemed to find it difficult to find their own classrooms. They were often to be found in lots of different primary classrooms reading with the children, sharing books and reading their own books to small groups of students. When they did manage to find their way they were busy with book reports, Literary quizzes and the Reading Marathon!

Seb from Kindergarten loved getting involved in character making with author Ian Billings.Seb from Kindergarten loved getting involved in character making with author Ian Billings.

Laughing and joking with the early years children.Laughing and joking with the early years children.

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears make an entrance.Goldilocks and the 3 Bears make an entrance.