Message from Mr Hymer: 26 February 2021
We have all been buoyed by the news that schools can return from 8th March. I am sure that boys, staff and parents are very much looking forward to the first step in life returning to normal.
Judging from the emails received from boys, it was great to see just how many took up Miss Mellor's challenge to enjoy a screen detox over half term by doing something creative. Some boys and families took the challenge to heart completing all 20 tasks. The challenges included creating land art to producing board games or storytelling using shadows.
I read an article this week in the Daily Telegraph written by David Walliams describing his journey to becoming a writer and the stepping stones along the way. He described how his creative play sessions as a child helped practise the art of storytelling. He cited Steven Spielberg's observation that every child is like a movie director, moving the toys around, making the characters fight one another and going on adventures.
David Walliams described the lasting benefit and memory of his father reading to him and the impact that reading classic stories such as Stig of the Dump and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had on him.
David Walliams offered various tips to aspiring writers. He encouraged them to make sure their writing was fun. He recommended that they write the kind of stories they enjoy reading themselves. If they found the characters, situations and storylines entertaining, there was a good chance their audiences would too.
He recognised the difficulty of starting a story. Rather than staring at a blank piece of paper, he liked to think of a character, a monster for example. He would then ask a series of questions: Where does he live? What does he say? Does he eat children? By creating answers to questions, the germ of a story begins to develop.
He recommended making sure that each chapter ends with an unanswered question, enticing the reader to want to discover more and search for answers.
David Walliams finished by recognising the importance of practising the chosen skill be it writing, music or art. He encouraged aspiring writers to not be too self-critical. Great writers, musicians or television presenters become great because they have accumulated thousands of hours of practice. As Miss Mellor encouraged in her half term challenge, putting away electronic devices might be the first step to becoming more creative. By freeing the imagination, the movie director, author, chef or painter in the child suddenly has a space to flourish. I very much hope the boys continue to find opportunities to let their minds wander and let their imaginations run free.