We had a very exciting day on Wednesday this week. Our new Prep Library was finally ready to be officially opened! Our day of celebration started with a presentation from our visiting author Ali Sparkes. Ali has written many children’s books, including the Blue Peter Book Award title Frozen in Time. Ali’s energy and enthusiasm as she shared her pathway to becoming a published author was truly inspiring. It really highlighted one of our own Blue Coat values, perseverance, as she faced many rejection letters before finally being published. 

A selected number of children were invited to come and witness Ali cutting the ribbon on our brand new library. The room looks incredibly fresh and vibrant holding many books for the children to enjoy for many years to come. 

Year 6 were then treated to an “X Factor” style workshop. Four books were put on show and the children had to decide which one they would read based purely on the look of the cover, the blurb and the first paragraph. Our pupils were then challenged to come up with their own book title, blurb and opening paragraph, votes were taken to see which story the children would like to read more of. Well done to our top two groups who began stories entitled “Hunted” and “Checkmate”. The children will be carrying on this project as we head towards the end of term and I hope that we will be able to display their efforts in the library very soon. Here is a taster of the two groups’ efforts. 


Blurb – ‘My name is Alex. I am being hunted. I don’t know why. I don’t know by whom. My parents are dead. Only time will tell the fate that lies ahead of me…’

Opening paragraph – ‘Weaving through the imposing trees, my heart pounded as a bullet whizzed passed my ear. I tried to scream but fear engulfed my words. Could I find help? Could I find safety? Or was death just around the corner…’


Blurb – ‘Casporal Jenkins, a famous chess player, suddenly disappears one stormy night. Sam Haywood, a young boy who idolises Casporal, moves into a new house and finds an ancient chess set. He is suddenly sucked into it. Now he has to control his chess pieces to defeat the mystery opponent…’

Opening paragraph – ‘Darkness fell threateningly, the angry thunder flashed continuously again and again. Sam was flustered. How could this happen? His favourite chess player, Casporal, had disappeared! What could have happened? To calm himself, he played a simple game of chess by himself. There was a flash of white light…’

A great day was had by all and we are grateful to Ali for giving of her time to celebrate our brand new reading area!

Mrs Jennings