Children from a Birmingham school have teamed up with a dozen West Midlands companies to show they have the creative writing skills to match some of the world’s best authors.
Year 5 Pupils from Chad Vale Primary in Edgbaston started four modern tales involving Robin Hood as part of Business in the Community’s (BiTC) first ever Storybook Challenge.
They were then passed on to employees from local companies including Squire Sanders Hammonds, GF Tomlinson, WSP, Shoosmiths and Tulip to develop the stories before the children put the finishing touches by giving them magical endings.
Pupils are now in the process of completing drawings to be added to the fairy tales, which feature a ‘social media battle’, ‘Robin Hood doing BMX stunts at Birmingham’s Got Talent’ and ‘Will Scarlett on a bull down Broad Street’.
When these are completed, the quartet of stories will be bound and printed for other children and parents to read.
“We were really pleased that the Storybook Challenge proved so popular with the pupils and businesses alike and I think we’ve ended up with some really great stories,” explained Sarah Franklin, Partner at Squire Sanders Hammonds, who are a reading partner to Chad Vale School.
“More importantly, I believe it has encouraged children to use their imagination and should hopefully improve their reading skills at the same time.”
She continued: “I know the employees at the different companies really enjoyed the experience and I hope we’ll look at doing something similar next year.”
The BiTC Storybook Challenge involved 12 companies in total and these were AXA, DAC Beachcroft, GF Tomlinson, Legal & General, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths, Squire Sanders Hammonds, Tulip Ltd, University College Birmingham, Willmott Dixon and WSP.
It is an important event in the ‘Read to Succeed Programme’, which will also be launched in Coventry and Warwickshire in the New Year.
Robin Haselgrove, Headteacher at Chad Vale Primary, concluded: “Our Year 5s have really enjoyed the challenge, especially working with the businesses and then getting to add their own endings to the story. They’re now looking forward to seeing it in print!”
If you would like to get involved in future challenges, please contact Frances Kenwrick on 0121 451 2227.