Spark Book Clubs
Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, Barnes Primary took part in brand new competition involving almost every primary school in Richmond and Kingston. It was called the Spark! Book Award. The aim of the competition was to promote reading throughout the two boroughs by celebrating current fiction.
The award was split into three age-related categories: 4-7; 7-9; and 9-11. This meant that all children throughout the primary phase could get involved.
The award was a great success. It helped so many children to foster an even greater love for reading and for some, helped them to become true lovers of literature for the first time. As a result of the way children at Barnes grasped this competition and the way they contributed their thoughts on the many books involved, we were awarded with the title of Spark! School of the Year. Below are a few images of the award ceremony where Mr Griffin accepted the award on behalf of the children.
Spark update - March 2021
Have you been reading about a lonely avocado recently? Maybe you have been following the adventures of a young girl in ancient Japan who wants to be a samurai warrior? Do you agree that Freddie Yates’ journey is ‘super miraculous’? If so, then that means you’ve been reading some of the books on the Spark! Book Award shortlist.
The organisers of the competition have recently published an online magazine called The Buzz. Here is a link: https://sparkbookaward.co.uk/media
In this magazine, you will find out lots more about the books on the shortlist. But more importantly, there are competitions for you to get involved in.
What do you have to do?
All Spark! want is your response to one or more of the books in your favourite category. There will be two sections for each age category:
You could write;
- a review of the book, telling us what you enjoyed
- the opening chapter of a sequel
- a description of one incident from a different character’s point of view
- an advert to tell more pupils in the school to read your favourite book
- a story or poem inspired by the book
- or another idea of your own in response to one of the books
- make a short film advertising the book or even acting out your favourite scene
- create your own blog or website
- design a poster that the authors might use to sell the book
- draw or paint an alternative front cover or artwork inspired by the book
- produce a storyboard or picture of your favourite part or the story
- draw your favourite character or even a portrait of what you imagine the author might look like.
- or another idea of your own in response to each book – get creative!
Another way to get involved is by using Twitter. Every week the organisers will be giving a prize for the best Tweet from a reader in one of our Spark! schools. A child in Y1 has already one this.
All you have to do is tell us about the Spark! shortlisted book you are reading (with a photo if you wish). Your teacher can post your Tweet or a parent/carer can send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do the rest.
The best ones will be Tweeted each week into the Twittersphere and go on to the Spark! Facebook page with your name and school – our favourite will receive a prize via your school so make sure we have all your details – and your parents’ permission, of course.
Thank you for showing such enthusiasm for the Spark! award so far. Remember, it’s you and all the other children in Richmond and Kingston who will be voting for the eventual winner so what’s stopping you? Get involved and get reading! Here’s a link to the website for more information: https://sparkbookaward.co.uk/
Spark update - January 2022
I’m delighted to announce that the Spark! Book Award will be returning this year and it will better than ever. The aim of the competition remains the same as last year: to promote reading throughout Richmond and Kingston, as well as in schools in neighbouring boroughs, in order to develop a lifelong love of literature.
The award will consist of three similar age-related categories from last year: 3-5 picture fiction; 7-9 fiction; and 9-11 fiction. However, it will also include a new category: 6-11 picture fiction. This means that all children throughout the primary phase can get involved.
I will once again be involved. In fact, it’s a privilege to have been asked to chair the 7-9 age category, and yesterday, the team behind the award met for the first time. It was lovely to finally meet everyone in person.
Like last year, over the next six weeks, the judging panel for each category will be reading lots of books sent in from publishers around the country. They will then decide on a list of twelve books – The Twelve Books of Christmas as it is known – and this will be shared with you on the Spark! website at the beginning of December. After that, the list of twelve books will be whittled down to four in each category and these will be the final shortlisted books. An eventual winner in each category will be announced in June. Here is an idea of the volume of books sent in by publishers so far:
3-5 picture fiction
6-11 picture fiction
Due to the enthusiasm generated for the award and reading in general, our school were awarded the title of Spark! School of Year, something we should feel immensely proud of. It confirmed to me what I already knew: children at Barnes enjoy reading and want to share their passion for reading with others. I hope we can generate even greater enthusiasm for the award this year.
I will write to you again once the initial list of twelve books has been decided. In the meantime, if you spot any books in the images above that you’re child is read recently or is reading currently, I’d love to know what your child felt about the book. You may need to enlarge the images to do so.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you any questions about the return of this exciting initiative. My email address is email@example.com.
With kindest regards
Y6 Teacher, UKS2 Phase Leader and English Lead
The Inaugural Spark! Book Award by Mr Griffin (Y4)
I am writing to keep you informed about the Spark! Book Awards.
As you will know, in mid-January, the original longlist of 12 books was whittled down to a shortlist of 4 in each category. Once again, here are the shortlisted books along with a link to the Spark! website where you can find more information about the award.
Thank you all for your enthusiasm for this wonderful competition so far. For those of you who have ordered a book through the school, the Regency Bookshop – who we purchased the books from – will be making deliveries to BPS over half term. This means your books will be ready for collection in the first week back. We will contact you with further details once they have arrived.
I realise that the children are chomping at the bit to get the books in their hands but I should explain that the organisers and Regency Bookshop have been taken by surprise by the demand. They have had to process nearly four and a half thousand books which is an incredible reflection of enthusiasm in our boroughs but also explains why it is taking longer than we anticipated.
The Spark! JustGiving fund has also been a huge success and has raised an incredible £1,150 so far. The organisers would like to thank you for all the contributions from across the different communities. They can still provide further books to local disadvantaged pupils so please continue to make your nominations via this form. Please note that further nominations and those already received but made after the initial deadline will be delivered at a later date.
After half term, we will be distributing a copy of Buzz magazine, a publication designed to promote the award. There will also be videos from each of the shortlisted authors and a prize for the school with the highest amount of collective school entries to the competition. More information on this will follow next term but thank you to all the children who have already sent me or their teacher their opinions on the books on this list.
With kindest regards
Y4 Teacher, LKS2 Phase Leader and English Lead
Book review videos