Get baking for Cakespeare!

We proudly announce the Summer 2016 Challenge…Cakespeare!


A Cleopatra cupcake?                                                     A Romeo Rocky Road?

A Tempest Tea cake?                                                     A Juliet Jammy Dodger?

A Macbeth Muffin?                                                        A Caesar Cheesecake?

Following in the success of last year’s Supertato challenge, and to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (and his 452nd birthday), we invite you to design a cake based on the Bard (that’s William Shakespeare, to you and me). You can bake or buy a ready-made cake and decorate it, or draw the cake you would bake if you could give it to the great man himself.

Use your imagination and knowledge of Shakespeare to come up with some fantastic ideas! You could base your design on a Shakespearean character, a play, Shakespeare himself or the time in which he wrote.

There will be prizes for Reception, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and adults – staff, parents, guardians and other family members included!

All entries must be brought in on Thursday 14 July. There will be a special event in the School Hall at the end of the day, with an independent judge, who will announce the winners. After the judging, we would like to cut up the cakes and sell slices for a small amount to raise money for The Refugee Council, which has a specialist section to help unaccompanied children who come to the UK seeking asylum.

So get baking or making and get ready to eat cake for an excellent cause!


Dave’s Cave

Today, Year 1 REALLY enjoyed Frann Preston-Gannon’s caveman story Dave’s Cave.


The story is about a caveman called Dave (no surprises there!) who, like many of us, thinks that the grass may be greener on the other side (literally). He also thinks there might be a better cave and bigger rocks, so sets out in search of perfection with his two friends, squirrel and bird.

I read this aloud to the children and got them joining in too. At first they were shocked that the book didn’t use proper sentences (‘This Dave’s cave’) – no verbs?! Missing possessives on some pages? This was outrageous! But also funny – the giggles were plentiful at the idea of breaking the rules. Just one girl remained very annoyed at the improper grammar and corrected every sentence I announced despite my pleas ‘to just go with it’. At least that’s a great sign that she knows, and insists on, good grammar!

We all had a go at talking in caveman speak, which caused a lot of hilarity. On Friday, Year 1s are going to make some cavemen and cavewomen, so watch this space…

This book comes highly recommended by all the children (even the one who corrected the grammar):

‘I liked it because it’s cheeky.’

‘It’s very funny!’

‘I like Dave.’

‘Dave speaks funny.’






An exciting morning of maps and imagination

Today we were very fortunate to have Kiran Millwood Hargrave in to talk about her new book The Girl of Ink and Stars.


A bit about the blurb

The story is about Isabella, whose biggest dream is to travel to faraway lands, but who is destined to remain on the island where she was born… Until her closest friend disappears and volunteers are needed to help in the search.

Isabella becomes the guide and ventures into the island’s Forgotten Territories. She is the natural choice – her father was a cartographer and she has the maps she needs, and a strong knowledge of the stars, to find her way in the strangest of places.

However, maps and stars won’t save her from lands filled with monsters, mountains and a fire demon. Will Isabella find her friend? Will she keep herself safe and alive as well?

You can read an extract here: http://www.chickenhousebooks.com/books/girl-of-ink-and-stars/

The session

We had a lovely time listening to Kiran talk about the inspiration for her book – mainly her own love of maps and a trip to the Spanish island of La Gomera, part of the Canary Islands. The children were blown away by the scenery and the fact that one of the photos showed a carpark right next to the beach (they were meant to spot the black, volcanic sand but for them this was pretty amazing!).

We also looked at maps of both real places and of the worlds dreamt up by other authors, including Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Suzanne Collins’s Pan-Am (from the Hunger Games), and of course the wizarding world of Harry Potter.  Then the children drew their own maps for stories, and thought about what the place smelled like, the people who lived there, and what the theme of their story would be.

In just ten minutes we had some amazing ideas – including a world where a man has all the time in the world… and is sent back to be with dinosaurs, another island with a Forest of Lost Souls!

A great talk about books

Kiran also hosted an interesting discussion about books, and how some people like some books while others don’t … and that we’re entitled to like or hate books! Interestingly there were huge gasps when a couple of children admitted they didn’t like Roald Dahl or Michael Morpurgo (‘his books are too glum’), and palpable shock when someone admitted that they really didn’t like Harry Potter either. A useful discussion as, so often, we feel pressurised to like a book or an author because everyone else does.

So everyone in St Michael’s would like to give Kiran a huge thank you for such an interesting and fun morning! Especially since the start went a little wrong (sorry!).