Page 21 - Independent Schools Magazine
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  of getting even the most reluctant pupil engaged in vocab learning. These are all great ways to engage pupils, but we must not forget that they still need to listen, speak, read and write and that we are equipping our pupils to communicate with real people in real life situations.
Putting pen to paper
Fortunately, teaching and learning French in the digital age means both teacher and pupils have instant access to authentic materials and this certainly does make learning French more engaging. When studying Maupassant’s ‘Boule de Suif’ my A-Level pupils were able to drop pins in Google maps to plot the heroine’s journey from Rouen to Dieppe; Year 6 pupils learning about the weather can compare the weather at school to the actual weather in St Tropez in one click
and Year 8 pupils can, when revising their presentations
on ‘ma famille’, start to understand the Belgian musician, Stomae’s message about growing up without his father in his song ‘Papaoutai’.
The digital age is fascinating and something we must
all embrace, but despite
the fantastic resources
now available via apps and other technologies, we shouldn’t overlook the joy and authenticity of pen and paper. Writing letters to pen friends overseas are a great way to engage with others in the real world and will teach children the basic principles of communication, something that should never become obsolete.
*Rosemary Bennett. The Times August 25 2017
 Creative writing
Author Annie Muscutt led an imaginative creative writing workshop with Year 6 pupils from Winterfold House School, Worcestershire.
Annie Muscutt, who has been
a Reception class teacher at the school for the last 7 years,  rst started writing as a child but it wasn’t until she was a younger adult that Mrs Muscott began writing more seriously with the hope of later publication. She had her  rst novel ‘Eringuild’,
an exciting, magical, fantasy adventure for older children published in the summer of 2016. The author’s latest novel ‘The Devil Within’ is a thriller set in early 20th century Britain in the unnoticed countryside. The novel is available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.
Mrs Muscutt - pictured with pupils said “Writing is a creative passion of mine and I am delighted
that my second novel has been published”. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to share
my writing skills with Winterfold pupils. It was great to explain the creative process and how a book can begin from a few ideas. There was some impressive, creative thought in brainstorming sessions and we explored characters
and the importance of book descriptions in terms of hopefully capturing an audience. Both novels have served as a useful comparison to show different types of writing within genres and the possibilities for a writer to follow where their inspiration takes them”.
  New library opens
Wellingborough Preparatory School, Northamptonshire, has of cially opened a brand new library with the aim of encouraging pupils to enjoy reading.
The new space, inspired by
the popular computer game Minecraft, was renovated earlier in response to pupil feedback. Bright colours, soft-furnishing and an amphitheatre featuring block-style seating were all added to the new library to make a more immersive and engaging space for pupils to spend their time.
Additional improvements to the library also include new electronic equipment, digital screens and the installation of pupil artwork across the room. The new facility also contains a wide variety of pupils’ favourite books, as well as a collection of board games for pupils to play during break times.
The of cial opening saw Wellingborough School’s Board of Governors visit the library to celebrate the new facility. Year 4 pupils were also present at
the event to speak to governors about their favourite parts of the library and enjoy a board game with them.
The new facility also marks
the beginning of a period of development for the school, with the  exible learning and modern design having already been implemented in classrooms to improve pupils’ learning experience.
Sue Knox, Headmistress of Wellingborough Preparatory School, spoke of the importance of the new library, stating: “We have been so pleased with the reaction to the library from pupils, and feel the transformation has had an uplifting effect on the school. The library was designed after listening to feedback from our pupils, with emphasis on making it a space where they
can enjoy learning and reading. The of cial opening today has marked a positive change within the school, and we hope it will encourage pupils to embrace the library and its facilities”.
Pictured: Dr Jonathan Cox, chairman of governors, with pupils
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