fb-pixel Upper School Book Week - Mill Hill Schools


Upper School Book Week

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” Albert Einstein

…and this was certainly true for students last week during Reading Week!

Before you begin to fear that your child is turning into a grouchy teenager, who is only interested in playing Fortnite on an eye-numbing screen, never fear! This year, Upper School fully embraced Reading Week with a similar enthusiasm and magic to Lower School. It was a week of colour, vibrancy and imagination, with so many students fully welcoming the joy of literature into their hearts (and wardrobes!).

Throughout the week, there were specific activities for each year group in both Lower and Upper School to engage them in the magical world of books. Also, thanks to Hermione (Miss Bufton’s) time-turner, we just about had time for several more extra-curricular activities: most notably Buddy Reads, the Book Factor and some Year 7 students’ trip to Grimsdell.

On Thursday, for the World Book Day dress up parade, we had a record number of Upper School students taking part in becoming their favourite characters. The Wicked Witch of the West cast a blustery breeze over Quad 1, but this could not deter the likes of Willy Wonka, Alex Rider, The Midnight Gang or Winnie the Pooh (to name a few!). Results for the ‘Best Dressed’ are as follows:

World Book Day dress up LS winners

Year 3

  1. Poppy 3MS Fantastic Mr Fox
  2. Adam 3NH Mr Twit
  3. Sebastian 3EP Mr Bean the Farmer (Fantastic Mr Fox)

Year 4

  1. Charlie 4AD Chronicles of Narnia
  2. Yasmin  4AD Wish from Wizards of Once
  3. Tamsin 4RA Alec from The Black Stallion

Year 5

  1. Xenia 5SP The Grinch that Stole Christmas
  2. Ruby  5SP The Queen of Hearts
  3. Lucy 5TB Cleopatra

Highly commended:

Francesco 3MS, Sofia 3JD, Minnie 3NH, Iris 4AD, Mirella 4AD, Dante 4NC

World Book Day dress up US winners

US World Book Day dress up

Year 6

  1. Jessica 6RB- Gangster Granny
  2. Ruby 6JN – The White Rabbit
  3. Daniel 6RA- Haymitch from ‘The Hunger Games’

HC- Fin 6PF – Gandalf

Maisie 6RA- The White Rabbit

Jake 6RB and Jamie 6RA- Aliens in Underpants from ‘Aliens Love Underpants’

Year 7

  1. Amelie 7JF- Carrie from ‘Carrie’s War’
  2. Jacob 7AW- The Fat Conductor from ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’
  3. Cameron 7AW – Paddington Bear

HC- Norah 7AW- Alice in Wonderland

Emilie 7JF – Lisa from ‘The Spindlers’

Aryan 7MT- ‘Ratburger’

Year 8

  1. Maddy 8RG – Mrs Root from ‘Demon Dentist’
  2. Lara 8RG– Pirate from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow’ series
  3. Charlie 8JI- Poirot

HC- Ella 8RG- Firestar from Marvel comics

Sophie 8VR- Newt Scamander from ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Thank you to all those involved in making Reading Week such a magical experience.

Miss Bufton (Head of English), Mrs Hunt (Librarian), Mrs Pendred (LS English Co-ordinator)

“Overall, I think this year’s Reading Week was really fun and interesting. It focuses on the importance of reading and gives you a further appreciation for it. The teachers managed to make it thoughtful, while keeping it enjoyable.”

Reading Week- a freestyle rap

Reading Week at Belmont School

Helps you use your ABC

Reading is power

And helps you show

Everything you know

  • Year 6 rap extraordinaire


This week is Reading Week

Time to make your hair on fleek

Dress yourself up and bring in a book

Time to feel like a wicked crook

Or Cat in the Hat or Gangster Grannie too

Even birds that go ‘cookoo’

Reading is stunning and sad at the same time

And it lets you learn words that rhyme

  • Katya, Year 6


It’s Reading Week, what a fun time

Read a poem book and hope it rhymes

Some books are good, some books are bad

Some books are happy or very, very sad

World Book Day and the Victorian Fair

This week was so great, I nearly fell off my chair!

  • Ruby K, Year 6


Year 6 Victorian Fair

On Wednesday, many would have thought that the wonderful ability to time-travel through reading had actually become a reality, as Year 6 students transformed the Jubilee Hall into Victorian London. Students have recently been studying ‘Street Child’: a story of a poor orphan who is passed through the dirty streets of London, encountering many cruel and unpleasant characters on the way. In groups, students designed their very own Victorian Fair stall to attract passing customers, in the hope of a shilling or two. Staff were astounded by the imagination and creativity that was displayed by the students through their stalls- from games to drawings to fortune telling to suffragette raps- and the enormous effort that was shown by all students to make their activity well-resourced and engaging. Luckily, after all their hard work selling, Dr Barnardo (aka Marlene and her catering team) provided well-earned refreshments of Victorian scones, cream and jam to feed the poor urchins.

Miss Bufton

On Wednesday, 6th March, the whole of Year 6 had a tremendously enjoyable Victorian fair in the Jubilee hall. There were loads of prizes and delicious scones which everyone loved! There were so many creatively made stalls about all kinds of Victorian activities and games. It was impossible to get bored! Our personal favourites were the apple bobbing, which everyone got soaked in (well when I say everyone I mean just the people who messed around and dunked their heads underwater for 10 seconds)! By Shayan, Jamie and Sarin.

The Victorian Fair was very entertaining, except that we did not have a lot of time to go around all of the stalls and win prizes. We thought that it helped us understand the Victorian era better, but it would have been even more exciting if we had even more time. Everyone’s ideas were very creative because they all tried to replicate the Victorian era enthusiastically. The children really enjoyed themselves as we could tell by their happy, beaming faces. By Lena.G, Erica.W and Yuri.N

The Victorian fair was an entertaining experience although we didn’t have lots of time. There were many stalls to visit and many prizes to win! Some of these stalls included: Fortune telling, a chimney sweeping experience, ‘Snipe is starving’, our stall, and apple bobbing.

The Victorian Fair was in a phrase: bundles of delight. Even though we only had about 20 minutes to go enjoy the stalls which was kind of annoying, but even so it was very exciting, I didn’t want it to end because it was very rip-roaring. There were a lot of memorable stalls to appreciate, as well as getting to dress up in some fun Victorian costumes (If you wanted to) which was incredible. Some of the best costumes included: Maids, Fortune Tellers and even Street children! Some of the best stalls were Chimney Sweep Simulator, Coal Shovelling and Feed Snipe if you dare! We are so grateful that the teachers let us take part in such a thrilling event.

 The Victorian fair took place on Wednesday the 6th of March 2019. The fair was absolutely spectacular it included a variety of different activities such as board games and challenges. Every pupil contributed in groups to make a stall which was related to the Victorian, era each one had its own unique twist. There were many prizes to be won from these homemade stalls. Overall the Victorian fair was an unforgettable experience.

Year 7 David Hill and Mr Hayward

The week began with a talk on Monday from David Hill, a Paralympic swimmer and triathlete, who inspired Year 7 students with his experience of athletic challenges and being competitive with yourself to be the best you can be (a core Belmont value!). This was in preparation for their new non-fiction unit in English, where they will have to imagine they are a mountaineer facing the adversity of climbing Mount Everest. David wowed them with his stories of the Olympics and began their thinking about exactly what the body can do, should you be brave enough to test it to its limits. This was followed on Thursday by an informative and thorough introduction to mountaineering by our very own Mr Hayward, who talked about his experiences of climbing the highest mountains in Europe and Africa (to name a few!). The children were fascinated by seeing all his equipment in the flesh (with a new-found appreciation of the importance of down) and listening to his stories about how climbing mountains can affect your body (including the delicious images of snoticles!).

Miss Bufton

I learnt that it is important to not let anything stop you from reaching the goal that you have set for yourself. That you should never stop trying and embrace the challenge. David inspired me because he did not see his disability to be a disadvantage, but spoke of it as an advantage. Isobel 7AW

What inspired me the most during David’s presentation was that he taught us that no matter what obstacles you face, you can always achieve your goal if you never give up. Sasha 7GT

David told us a story about accidentally falling in the pool before the gun had gone in competitions when he was young. This story taught me that if you perceive and believe in the fact that you will succeed, and keep trying no matter how much you fail, you will be able to overcome difficulties. Oliver 7GT

I learnt a lot from Mr Hayward’s speech about mountaineering. The stories that interested me the most were that you can’t forget any of your equipment, otherwise you might die and that you haven’t climbed a mountain unless you get down safe. I liked the idea that you are never on your own and that you have to stay tied to your team. Daniel 7AW

The thing that inspired me the most about Mr Hayward’s speech was the idea of the pride and satisfaction he said he felt once he reached the top of the mountains. I like the idea of achieving your goals. Dila 7LN

I find it amazing how people have managed to climb to extreme and incredible altitudes, and not die. It sounded very difficult to do this- particularly Mount Everest. Dele 7AW

 Year 8 The Globe trip

On Tuesday, all Year 8 students embarked on a trip across London to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to see where his flowery language and emotive themes came to life. Students enjoyed a tour of the theatre itself, understanding the challenging environment in which actors had to perform the plays- whatever the weather!- and engaging with the history of the space. After this, they participated in a workshop with professional actors, who further developed their understanding of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ through a variety of drama activities.

Miss Bufton

Reading Week was great. I am in Year 8, so on Tuesday we went to visit the Globe Theatre. We had a tour and then we did a drama workshop. We learnt that where you sat around the theatre reflected on your wealth and ranking within the community. For example, all the poor people would stand in the area in front of the stage. They were called the Groundlings. If you were really rich you could sit on the Juliet’s balcony on the stage. Although you couldn’t see very well, it was considered for people of a higher class, because you could be seen by everyone else. Emily 8VR

I found the tour of The Globe Theatre really interesting. I never knew that it had been rebuilt three times. I learnt that you paid different amounts for different sections of the seating: the peasants stood on the floor for a penny; for two pennies you could sit on a bench and for three pennies you could sit in a special box. I learnt that the best place to sit, if you were rich, was to the side of the stage so that you could be seen. Grace 8VR

I enjoyed the drama workshop as it was interesting when the actors got us to think about all the different ways that a character might say a particular line. I also enjoyed the activity we did where we had to pretend we were in a battle- the Montagues vs the Capulets- and step forwards, backwards or sideways with each line we said. This made me think further about what the lines meant and how the characters moved around one another on stage. Dara 8AM

The most interesting thing I learnt from the workshop at The Globe was how important body language is. For example, if someone is standing up straight and another person is bent down, then this is a clear indicator of how important they are. It also helps that characters to express their lines. Nikhil 8AM

My favourite part of the trip to The Globe was when we did the method acting. We were given a script from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and we were told to think about how we would move and act for each line. I had never thought about it so visually before and the fact that you always have to be acting as someone is looking at you all the time. Grace 8JI

Year 5 and 8 Shakespeare workshop

A highlight for Year 5 students was a workshop from Year 8 to introduce to them to the wonderful, lyrical language of Shakespeare. Following their recent trip to The Globe Theatre, Year 8 imparted their pearls of performing wisdom and became travelling acting troops- working with small groups of Year 5 students to act out key lines, scene or themes from ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This all being done in fancy dress further added to the drama and humour of the workshop, with a particularly potent battle between Harry Potter (Tybalt) and The Grinch (Romeo)!

Miss Bufton

I worked with Hayden and Ori from Year 5. We printed off a part of the scene from Act 3, Scene 1 to use as this is very dramatic. We did the same task with them as we did at The Globe where we had to move forwards, backwards or sideways when your character read a line. They enjoyed this as it helped them to think about how the families hated one another and how they would move around each other. Charlie 8JI

We showed them that body movement/body language determines what personality the character has. Being Tybalt, he is an aggressive character who is a provoker, giving the scene tension. We taught them to use facial expressions to make his character more believable. I supported the Year 5 students by helping them with their positions and helping them practise how to say their lines. Lastly, I made the meaning clear by simplifying the lines for them, or helping them to improvise sections, so that it helped them to understand Shakespeare’s language better. Beth 8VR

I enjoyed working with the Year 5 students and making sure that they weren’t worried about reading Shakespeare. We showed them how the scene worked where Tybalt and Mercutio both die. We taught them to improvise how you would react if you were very angry and hated someone for wronging your family. I think they enjoyed the fake sword battle! Christopher 8VR

I learnt that two of the characters were called Tybalt and Romeo. Romeo married Tybalt’s cousin, but Tybalt did not like Romeo. My part was to take the sword from Romeo to try to be peaceful. I liked learning some of Shakespeare’s language and how it sounded. Lucille 5SB

It was so fun to learn with the Year 8s, they knew so much about Shakespeare and the workshop was so informative. Allison 5SP

Buddy Reads

This year, we organised for all students to have some time after Chapel to read with their buddies. This was an excellent opportunity for the students to be able to read aloud, but also to make further bonds with their buddies by discussing the books that they have enjoyed- both currently and in the past. Older students really enjoyed revisiting their younger years by listening to Lower School reading their magical and funny tales. Whereas they were also able to inspire their younger buddies with some of the more challenging texts that they were reading: giving them good aspirations and ambition for the future.

The real question is though… which house has managed to read the most? Stayed tuned in next week’s bulletin for the results of the House Readathon.

Miss Bufton

On Tuesday, I read to my buddies in Year 5. I sat in a group with my friends and their buddies and we went around and described our books. We then took turns reading a couple of passages from our books to each other. It was really nice as I got to spend time with my buddies, who I don’t see much as they are in Year 5. Emily 8VR

Year 3

Leah- ‘It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed spending time with my Buddy .’

Zoe- ‘I didn’t like the book that I was reading before but my buddy helped me to understand what the book was about and I really like the book now.’

Minnie- ‘It was nice to share a book with my buddy.’

Sofia- ‘I really liked how my buddy reads with expression, makes the book interesting and brings it to life!’

‘I enjoyed Year 6 reading to me because they read with lots of expression’.

‘I loved my experience with my buddy reading aloud to me’.

Year 6

‘I felt it was inspiring for the year 3’s, but seeing my buddy touched my heart as i got to know him better,’ Alex 6JN.

‘I loved hearing them expression when my buddy read to me,’ Charlotte 6JN.

‘It was interesting seeing what types of books my buddy liked reading, Ruby 6JN.

Year 8

“Such a lovely way of bonding with my buddy and seeing what books she is interested in.” Sasha 8JC

Year 7 readers to Grimsdell

As a treat for our most regular readers, two groups of 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.

Miss Bufton

On Wednesday, a group of Year 7 students and I went over to Grimsdell to read to younger children. I was with a group of four reception children and we read some books, including ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. The experience was very enjoyable for me and I’m sure for them too. I loved reading with them, because it was a really nice for us to spend time together, have fun together and also to learn together as well.

The reception children were very interested in books and kept on asking me to read another book every time we finished one. They were really nice and welcoming to me, which made me feel like we were one big family. They gave me little cuddles and high-fives that reminded me of when I was younger and I used to read to my younger sister.

Even though it was a very short amount of time, we still have an amazing and fun experience. I really hope we will be able to read together again in the near future. Kana 7AW

I enjoyed seeing the Year 1s and that brought me back to when I was in year 1. The special thing about it was that it doesn’t usually happen, so I was quite surprised and happy with myself when I was picked to go. Thank you to Miss Bufton and to everyone who made this happen. Noah 7MT

It was a very fun, enjoyable and memorable experience. I was trying to remember I used to use those tiny chairs! The children were all very nice and I still remember when a little boy named Dylan referred to salt as ‘the thing that makes things yucky’. I conclude by saying that I had loads of fun and I will never forget it. Tomas 7MT