Upper School Reading Week

World Book Day

The World Book Day dress up parade, on Thursday 1st of March, was a very exciting event. This year, students in all year groups had the opportunity to come into school as their favourite character and all students, and teachers too, made an incredibly imaginative effort to dress up.

It was wonderful to see all of Lower School dressed up for the day and, despite the snowy conditions during the parade, lots of fun was had. Thank you to all the parents who put such effort into the costumes. The children looked colourful and it was entertaining to guess who everyone was.

Winners of World Book Day Dressing up Competition

Year 6 1st: Tom Anderson- Skullduggery Pleasant
2nd: Toulla Harris- The Queen of Hearts
3rd: Diana Piskunova- The Grandmother from Red Riding Hood
Year 7 1st: Sammy Matthews- [The Lion, The Witch and] The Wardrobe
2nd: Helena Costa- Katniss Everdeen
3rd: Madeleine Scott- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Year 8 1st: Nastassja Nikitina- Forte- IT
2nd: Zack Coffer- Goldilocks
3rd: Isaac Barashi- Robin Hood
Staff Winner Mrs Schaller- Violet Beauregarde

Year 6: Victorian Day

On the snowiest Thursday of Book Week, the industrious Year 6 piled into school with mysterious boxes of all shapes and sizes, and the odd rag or wig emerging from the top. You may have spotted the odd Victorian orphan lugging a blackboard to recreate a traditional workhouse schoolroom, or another pinning an image of Queen Victoria to the wall of the Proctor. From a Victorian dress up photo booth to traditional games the students created a fun and exciting fair in response to their study of ‘Street Child’. Well done Year 6 for a fabulous event! Mrs Schaller

For the Victorian Fair, we recreated a day in a Victorian school. Students had to complete a lesson in the style of Victorian times. We’ve learnt that lots of children got whipped and to embarrass them, teachers would put a hat on called the ‘dunce hat’. They did reading, writing and arithmetic -the 3 Rs. For our stall, we did a spelling test and a lesson on Queen Victoria and Kin Albert. We also had word searches. If students got the answers wrong, they got ‘whipped’ with our cane made of reeds. We managed to get a real Victorian whipping cane from Mrs Smith, the history teacher. Obviously, we didn’t really whip them or we’d be in trouble. We also got some chalk and black board slates for our ‘students’ to write on. We had great fun pretending to be horrible, strict Victorian teachers. We are also so happy that our teachers here at Belmont are nothing like that! Maya Denton (6NP)

The Victorian Fair was awesome! We got to play lots of Victorian games based on the book that we have been reading, ‘Street Child.’ I shot Grimy Nick, the malicious owner of Jim, with a nerf gun. I played hook the coal and won lots of prizes. Our idea for our stall was more based on imagination. We found a few key scenes from the novel that were really dramatic and exciting. Students could act out these scenes using the props that we created. Jake was even dressed as ringmaster just like Mr Juglini in the novel so he round up actors for the scenes. We really enjoyed the Victorian fair and we hope to do something similar again. Jake Simon (6RA) and Milan Segal (6RA)

On the Thursday of Reading Week, the Year 6s were honoured to host a Victorian fair, inspired greatly by ‘Street Child’, our topic at the time. Stands varied from classic games in the Victorian era, to difficult quizzes to rack our brains. Everyone had an amazing time going round from table to table, tasting cakes, attempting quizzes, posing for photos and talking to friends. Each stand was more amazing than the last!

The Victorian fair was an unforgettable experience! Sasha Braude (6RA)

Year 7: Mollie Hughes Visit

Pupils were inspired to ‘new heights’ with a talk from inspirational mountaineer Mollie Hughes. Mollie is the first English woman (and youngest woman in the world) to summit Everest from both sides. She achieved this feat aged just 26.

Students in year 6 and 7 were amazed by her tales of sub-zero temperatures, giant crevasses and mental fortitude. Perfect inspiration for the current year 7 topic of mountaineering!

Mr Unwin

Year 7: Reading to Grimsdell Students

As a treat for our most regular readers, forty Year 7 students were chosen to visit Grimsdell and listen to the younger children read. Some were quite excited to see their old teachers and to show the Belmont teachers the classrooms they had used in the past. The younger children at Grimsdell really enjoyed sharing their reading experiences and our Belmont children suddenly appeared older and more confident – I could almost have been with a group of fellow teachers.  It was really nice to see the Year 7s take on a leadership role and for them to realise how far they have come on their own journey as readers.

Mr McBurnie

Reading to the children in Grimsdell was a fun experience and it was good to see how they are doing in school. Firstly, we saw how they could write and punctuate on their whiteboards, which was interesting to see how they were learning and what they knew. Then, we listened to them reading and also read aloud to them. I read to three pairs of people, two boys and four girls. They had some lovely, adventurous and funny books, which they read fantastically. It was great to get the chance to go there and I was very impressed with their reading! Benjamin Waller (7AW)

Year 8: The Globe Trip

On Tuesday, the whole of Year 8 went to The Globe Theatre in Southwark for a tour and a workshop with its professional actors. As a celebration of their study of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Autumn Term, the trip was an opportunity to engage with, and enjoy, Shakespeare’s language in performance, as well as experiencing the stage where his words came to life. Miss Bufton

When we walked into The Globe the atmosphere was exciting and busy, with actors preparing for the play, which was to performed later that afternoon. I really enjoyed this part, as they seemed very laid back and it looked like they were having a lot of fun. On the walls were paintings that emphasised the similarities to the first Globe built and we learned about how the seating was important, with the rich taking centre stage to show off their wealth. Everything was made out of wood and the roof was made of hay; this made it feel like I was back in 1576, if it hadn’t been for a canon that had been fired into the thatched roof and burned the theatre down. I really liked The Globe, especially walking in for the first time and seeing how magical it looked.

My favourite part of the tour was the look of the theatre and how it was almost 360, because they don’t often have that layout in modern theatres and that makes it special. Lina Mengrani (8PN)

In groups, we did an acting workshop to widen our knowledge about acting on stage and how Shakespeare’s language should be performed. Everyone got involved and we had a lot of fun doing the drama activities, both learning about how to space ourselves on stage and how to speak Shakespeare’s words. The professional actors running the workshop taught us that acting wasn’t just about skill, and he showed us a lot of new, and funny, ways to entertain an audience. Everyone really enjoyed it and it was fun to see everyone try a new side to acting.

The workshop gave me a new insight into acting and it was interesting to see how the Elizabethan language was similar and different to now.

In groups, we did an acting workshop to widen our knowledge about acting on stage and how Shakespeare’s language should be performed. Everyone got involved and we had a lot of fun doing the drama activities, both learning about how to space ourselves on stage and how to speak Shakespeare’s words. The professional actors running the workshop taught us that acting wasn’t just about skill, and he showed us a lot of new, and funny, ways to entertain an audience. Everyone really enjoyed it and it was fun to see everyone try a new side to acting.

The workshop gave me a new insight into acting and it was interesting to see how the Elizabethan language was similar and different to now. Olivia Forrest (8CM)

The Book Factor

Back by popular demand, on Thursday Mrs Hunt and Miss Bufton ran a ‘Book Factor’ in the library for Upper School. The auditionees stood in front of an audience and talked about a book they had enjoyed, why it was so good, and why we should all read it too!

The children showed outstanding engagement with a variety of books, and also some very impressive presentation skills. We were astounded by the effort that children had put into preparing for their presentations and we are very impressed that they gave up their lunchtime to help encourage others to read a book they enjoyed.

After much discussion, the judges awarded 3rd place to Isobel for her thoughtful comments about her book’s setting, and clear explanation of why the book is so enjoyable. 2nd place went to Christalla for the detail in her commentary and personal reflection. 1st place was awarded to Praniv, who was very well-prepared (even printing out visual aids) and gave a clear, well-structured talk with a good explanation of his novel’s themes.

Well done to everyone who took part – thank you for making the event such fun!

Mrs Hunt

Book Factor Winners and Auditonees

1st Place

Praniv Ahluwahlia – Wonder by R. J. Palacio, a multi-viewpoint story about bullying, kindness and how people treat those with disfigurements.

2nd Place

Christalla Marcou – Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. Classic novel about a farmer’s daughter, her pig named Wilbur, and a very clever spider called Charlotte.

3rd Place

Isobel Murphy – Mistletoe & Murder by Robin Stevens. 5th in the historical mystery series featuring schoolgirl detectives Dairy Wells and Hazel Wong. This title is set in Cambridge during the Christmas holidays.

Highly Commended

Mia Lloyd – Magical Myths – author unknown. A book about unicorns that draws the reader into a mythical universe.

Nicki Panah – My Sister Jodie by Jacqueline Wilson. A story about family, growing up and fitting in. When their parents take jobs at a posh boarding school, shy Pearl starts to make friends, but things aren’t going so well for brash Jodie.

Kiera Virk – Hidden: True Stories of Children Who Survived WWII by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis. A collection of true tales about Jewish children who went into hiding in the Netherlands during WWII.

Anna Davies – Varjak Paw by S. F. Said. Thrilling adventure illustrated by Dave McKean with a dark, gothic quality. Follows the adventures of a house cat who is forced onto the streets when sinister forces take over his home.

Amelie Starr – Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans. Longlisted for the prestigious Carnegie medal, this dark and humorous book follows older sister Fidge, who is sucked into a picture-book world with her wimpy cousin Graham – how will she fix the Wimbley Woos and get back to her own world?

During Reading Week, I did an extravagant and exciting talk on one of my most loved books ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. I presented a motivating talk on how I got attached to the characters, in particular Auggie and Jack. I didn’t want the book to end and when it did, I was devastated. I was touched by the message of the book which was that when life throws negative things at you, you should throw it right back. It also taught me to accept myself for who I am and never try to be anyone else. I give it a 5 out of 5 star rating because it is a very capturing book and I couldn’t put it down the whole time I was reading it. Mrs Hunt and Miss Bufton were the judges and there was a supportive audience of my peers who cheered me on. The other contestants were outstanding and I was inspired to read their books too, but in my opinion ‘Wonder’ is the best book. You need to read it! Praniv Ahluwalia (6NP)

I chose to talk about ‘Mistletoe and Murder’ at the Book Factor, because it was the first book that I was truly in by. ‘Mistletoe and Murder’ is about two girls called Hazel and Daisy, who go to Cambridge for Christmas, hoping for a happy holiday. However, two tragedies happen and Hazel and Daisy have to come to the rescue, saving lives and solving the murders. Plus, there is also a bit of romance. I highly recommend this book with 5 stars! Happy reading! Isobel Murphy (6MT)

Praniv Ahluwahlia- 1st Place

Christalla Marcou – 2nd Place

Isobel Murphy – 3rd  Place

Lunchtime Activities

Monday: Creative Writing

In creative writing club, the children have been inventing their own detective stories, drawing on inspiration from Sherlock Holmes. In reading week, we also looked at the theme of characters who possess special or secret powers. The children talked about the kinds of superpower they would like to have including: flying, mind-reading, super-strength, time-travel and the power of persuasion. They then started to write some amazing stories. Below are a few story opening samples I am sure you will enjoy.

Mr McBurnie

Controlling Life

My name is Annabel. I live in a normal house in a normal street in a normal town. Well, that’s what I thought. For a while, I have been the kid that nobody notices, a figment of their imagination, someone you see every day but you know nothing about them. That was me. Well, that was me before…

 Walking along the dull, endless, tedious sidewalk to my miserable school I caught sight of another girl laughing at me. It wasn’t a normal laugh, when people find things funny, this was a cruel laugh coming from the heart of a bully. I wasn’t surprised to hear it. I drearily tugged myself to the rusty school gates. Having no friends was painful, so I casually slumped on the desk at the back of the gloomy classroom. Talia Ismail (7AM)


My heart pounded. Sweat dripped from my face. Tears cascaded from my eyes, flowing like a waterfall. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

 Dead. Dead as silence he was. My own Jerry lying there motionless, not a breath coming from his little mouth. I was feeling emotions that I had never felt before, ones that I didn’t even know existed.

 The next day, I woke up and I thought it as a dream. I was still in shock. I still could not quite believe it that my very own son, that I brought to this earth, was no longer with me. He was no longer by my side when I woke up in the morning, no longer laughing with me on the way back from school. Madeleine Scott (7AM)


Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. BONG!

 The clock struck one. Sherlock stood at the window, gazing- gazing out into the streets, and the rolling hills of the landscape. He muttered. “Nothing’s happened for days, weeks, months! Has the world sorted itself out? What will happen to me?” He buried his face in his hands… Creak. He turned, as quick as a bolt of lightning.

 “Hello, sir. Anything yet?” It was Debby. Debby Jones. Sherlock turned away, and glared at the wall.

 “No,” he said sternly. “Nothing.” It appeared to Debby that something was wrong. Something was very wrong indeed. Georgia North (7OM)


Wednesday: Sherlock Holmes

Wednesday of Reading Week, Belmont detectives gathered to the Chapman building and reported for duty to their inspector – Miss Ali. Their task… to solve the Belmont murder mystery! Mr Spink was brutally murdered and his beloved pet spider was callously poisoned! Who was the murderer? What weapon was used? What was the motive? Belmont’s trusty detectives industriously scoured the school for hidden clues and solved the riddles to guide them on their way. Students raced against the clock to report back to their inspector with their evidence, to expose the fearful assassin.  The outcome shocked students and staff alike. The killer was the trusted Inspector herself… Miss Ali!

It was really exciting following all the clues to see who murdered Mr Spink but quite alarming to find out it was Miss Ali! The last clue stumped our group but finally we figured out who it was. Eleanor Crampton (6MT)

Miss Ali