Book Fair success at St Patrick’s Academy

On Friday October 23 St Patrick’s Academy’s English Faculty hosted their annual Year 8 Coffee Morning and Book Fair.

The event is a great opportunity for parents to come along and meet staff, discuss their child’s reading habits and to avail of the English teachers’ literacy expertise when purchasing reading materials for their child. The event was organised by Mr Part, the school librarian, who every year plays an instrumental role in supporting the English Faculty with their literacy initiatives. All profits from the book fair good straight into the school library meaning the school can offer students a wider range of books.

The event was very well attended with parents commenting on the relaxed and informal atmosphere. This also provided a second opportunity for parents to meet with staff following the Year 8 Parents Information meeting on September 17.

Many commented on how well their children how settled and adapted to their new school. Events like this coffee morning are central to fostering meaningful relationships between the parents and school to maximise pupil success.

This year St Patrick’s was also joined by staff and pupils from Laurelhill, this is part of both schools desire to develop meaningful Shared Education links.

Throughout the morning pupils regaled their parents with their personal accounts of their first eight weeks at the school and entertained the audience with their gruesome Grim Tales. The winners of the Year 8 Grim Tales writing competition were announced, with Gabrielle Quinn in third place, Mia Neill coming second and Ben Thompson in first place. Their tales were terrifyingly good… The book fair coincides nicely with the build up to the annual Book Review Competition which gets underway in mid-November. All Key Stage 3 students must independently review a work of fiction in detail, with exciting prizes to be won.

These are just some of the ongoing initiatives running throughout the year to help develop the pupils’ literacy skills. Other events scheduled include a writing workshop with local artist and Ulster University lecturer, Bruce Ingman, will be working with our students in developing an illustrated picture book from now until Christmas. This project is designed to use various approaches to re-ignite a spark for reading among teenagers who may be beginning to lose interest in books. There will also be cinema visits to view and then review: “The Scorch Trials” the second novel in the hugely successful “Maze Runner” trilogy, “Pan” a prequel to “Peter Pan” and a screening of “Bill” based on Shakespeare’s life.

Mrs McCann, Head of English, commented: “Developing the pupils’ literacy skills is key to them accessing all aspects of the curriculum. Within the school we are constantly striving to raise their literacy levels in enjoyable, engaging and empowering ways. This event is the first of many scheduled for the year and we are delighted that it was such a pleasure for the pupils and their parents.”