We started off the day with an assembly, and four of the Big Bang Ambassadors read out their 100-word pieces on what inspired them about the Universe Story. The Ambassadors did a great job in expressing their passion for the story and modelling to the whole school what their job was for the day.
Next, Jo Prince, the Year 6 teacher who had organized the day, chose eight of her best writers to work with me on a freefall writing session. First, we used 'values cards' to explore and discuss different aspects and qualities of the Universe. In this exercise, we tried to imagine if we were the Universe, what qualities or values might we have.
The group were terrific in their listening, responding and enthusiasm for the topic. When it came to the freefall writing, they all wrote beautifully and passionately about the Universe Story, which we are discovering more and more that we are an inherent part of.
In the meantime, Silvia was helping the Big Bang Ambassador filmmakers to write a storyboard and record interviews for their film "Our Universe Story" which will take part in a children’s film festival. The Oxford Times has written about the festival in an article called "Pupils create their own film".
"How can we represent the big bang without using computer images or special effects?” asked Silvia. “We can film all the kids in the assembly jumping up into the air!” said Poppy. “Let's do it!” replied Silvia.
After their morning break, the group split into two and became the 'experts' who would help the other classes with their own freefall writing. They were great, supportive role models, and, together with each teacher’s leadership and guidance, all the classes produced brilliant, amazing work. Here are two examples of their writing:
"Peaceful. That was the only word I could use to describe it with. I was surrounded by a deep sea of nothingness. In my mind I could see mysterious objects swimming through my invisible sea. I could imagine people crawling through trenches, communicating with each other. I could see animals in trees, on the ground and under the earth. I could see disaster and worry, but also happiness and forgiveness.
And then throughout time, they came to be. Planets and stars, and you and me. The men fought for themselves, the women at home, beautiful and radiant: like my creation, the universe.”
Leila Townsend, Year 6
“BOOM! In the beginning there was no time or space. I felt lonely and bursting with creativity. Every night I would dream of life. I could see trees swaying in the crisp summer air. The glistening, life giving sun blazing in cyan sky. Foam tranquil waves splashing on soft golden sand. Birds soaring above the world. No longer should darkness roam these parts. I was starting my journey to life, my creative side had been released through the universe. I did it. Boom!”
Fernando Riazor Rodriguez, Year 5
The children, inspired by Jennifer Morgan's books, also recorded some voiceovers for incredible animations that will be included in their film. The children, inspired by Jennifer Morgan's books, also recorded some voiceovers for incredible animations that will be included in their film. \
What I found really encouraging and inspiring was that right across St John's, the children's writing and film has really captured many of the mysteries and wonders of the Universe that they are very much a part of. And hopefully they will take this wonder and excitement with them wherever they may go... for now and the future! And, of course, fingers crossed for the red carpet!