Philip Bell, local Island author and publisher at Beachy Books, has just published a book in collaboration with Year 5 children at Newchurch Primary School called Your Journey Starts Here. The book colourfully illustrates and describes to new children some of the exciting things to expect when they begin school at Newchurch. The book will be given to every new child starting Reception at Newchurch School this autumn.
Mr Bell said, “I pitched the idea of creating a book with the children and the school were very keen to get involved. Year 5 teacher, Mrs K Hulmes, suggested the idea of a book for Reception. She asked interested children from her class to write mini-CVs and ‘apply’ to be part of the production team.”
Philip has been working with the school during winter and some of the spring term while helping the children to write, illustrate, photograph and design the unique book. Mr Bell explained how the project was a great learning experience: “I had never published a book in collaboration in a school setting before. I learned as much as the children. They were very capable, helpful and keen to learn all the aspects of book writing and production. I could see how proud they were of all their hard work when they read the final published glossy book.”
The children first had to interview the reception teacher and assistants to ask what the requirements would be for the book and during the production process they learned many skills including planning, teamwork, writing, editing, proofreading and design. The school were particularly keen on the book project as it involved an enterprising aspect as Mr Bell explained: “When the children learned they had to raise funds to pay for the print run they were so excited and proactive. They sold cakes, ran stalls and wrote letters to local businesses for sponsorship.”
The headteacher of Newchurch Primary School, Miss Kirsty Howarth, said: ”I have really liked the enterprise element of the work in that the children have funded the majority of the publishing costs through fundraising and sponsorship, this has been valuable ‘life-long’ learning!”
Copies of Your Journey Starts Here were given to children and their parents at the new intake evening at Newchurch School held in June 2012.
Thanks to local sponsor donations that helped to pay for the print run: Pabulum, The Garlic Farm and Amazon World.
Photo courtesy Isle of Wight County Press – Copyright 2012