Brilliant Book Launch


Last Saturday was a big day for us at Minchinhampton Academy.  It was the launch of our school book A Portal Through Time and wasn’t it a day to remember.  The village became an art gallery, displaying art for every child in the school, the streets were taken over by stalls and games, with a BBQ and bar under the market house. We were all entertained by country dancing and singing as we eagerly awaited the big launch time of 3pm.

John Dougherty, our patron of reading arrived in style, clutching the first box of books followed by a pig on a motorbike!

A fantastic afternoon was had by all. A huge thank you to everyone that helped out on the day.

Song of Tom Long from Rob (& kids) Vids on Vimeo.

Book Launch 10th June 2017

📚📚📚Saturday 10 June 📚📚📚

The launch of the book the children have written with John Dougherty – A Portal Through Time.

There will be a street party in the town centre by the Market House (look out for signs re road closures) with food, drink, music, face painting, book stall, country dancing, bungee run, bouncy castle, history quiz and more…. Plus Nicky Price from Radio Gloucestershire will be there recording for her afternoon show.

The book, of course, will be on sale too!

The festivities start at 12:30pm, with the book launched at 3pm. It finishes at 4:30pm, but Henry’s has a late licence that evening so people can stay around.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Lorraine Smith


Four-leafed clover…the story’s nearly over!

Wow, so much has happened since our last post! Hard work, actual fake blood during the Saxon-Viking battle and tears of joy as we handed our chapters over, on a velvet cushion, to John in assembly, to a trumpet fanfare!  Cerys W says, “I found it really fun trumpeting in front of John.”

He worked hard, pulling together all the strands from our chapters into his final scene.  The last chapter hasn’t been presented to the school yet…it’s going to remain secret until the final day when the book is launched….Isabelle H says, “Even WE don’t know the ending yet!

John with the winners of the ‘Blurb’ competition

To help the pupils with character illustrations, Tom Percival (children’s illustrator and author) came to school and held a drawing workshop for us.  Isabelle H says, “He really inspired us to push ourselves to the limit on what we can do. He gets all the details, even on the eyebrows!”

The book, along with the illustrations, were delivered to the publishers (The History Press in Brimscombe) last week.  The publishers were very excited to receive the manuscript and they have praised us for the very high quality of the work.


An interview with our PR Officer, Lorraine Smith

Here is an interview with Lorraine who kindly came into our school to help us in our News Reporters’ Committee.  By Martha and Amelia.

Q: Lorraine,  why did you want to get involved in the book project?

“I asked Mrs Hodges if I could, because reading and writing is an important skill and I was excited about the project and wanted to share it with the community.”

Q: How do you spread the news?

“Stroud News and Journal have written an article on us this week.  And now BBC Radio Gloucestershire want to do a report on our book and the school.  The are going to feature us as ‘School of the Week’, and report on the school every afternoon for a week! The will also interview John about his role in the book.  In addition, we will have an article in Cotswold Life in September and are even hoping to have an interview on TV and certainly are going to invite them to the book launch on June 10th.”

Q: Why is it so important to get the word out there?

“To show how hard working you guys are, how fun it can be to write your own book and also how interesting local history can be.  Also, we want to sell lots of copies of the book and maybe do the project again!”

It was great to meet Lorraine and hear about her important role in the project.




So close to finishing our story!

….excitement flows through the building as the classes now one by one are completing and editing their chapters!  The children are asking so many questions about the other chapters…it’s sooo hard to keep it all a secret!

The process of creating artwork for the illustrations, and for the Art Exhibition next June, has begun, as evidenced by glue, paint, collage, ink, pastels, charcoal… name it, is spread all around the school!

This is such an exciting time for us all as we get it all ready to send to the publishers!  Well done everyone!

A Victorian Tea party in Teal!

Teal class have been learning all about the history of our school and how it was set up in the Victorian era (on the current site).  They learned about how the village had a tea party to celebrate its opening.  So Teal class, liking parties, decided to re-enact this and held a Victorian tea party all of their own.

Teal Class' Victorian Day
Teal Class’ Victorian Day


They then celebrated by having their class photograph taken, dressed as Victorian children with the Headmaster’s House in the background, just as the old Victorian class photographs were taken.


Teal Class
Teal Class

Viking Vandalism on the Common! (By Royal Class)

To help us with our writing, we re-enacted a Viking vs. Saxons battle on the common.  We brought and made our own weapons and shields, and learned about battle tactics.  The Saxons were more sophisticated by using a V-shape attack, backed up with archers.  But, the Vikings just moved forwards in a straight line.  Insults were hurled and we learned how to stage fight.  End result:  Saxons 1 – 0 Vikings

(Written by Royal Class members of the News Reporters Committee).

Saxons vs Vikings on the Common
Saxons vs Vikings on the Common

Marvellous Markets in Cobalt

Market House
                                    Market House

To inspire our writing about the old market traders at the Market House, we went on a visit and made observational sketches.  We learned it was built in 1698 and Di Wall taught us about the goods that would have been traded there.  We also found out about how Friday Street got it’s name. [Do you know??]

(Written by members of Cobalt Class in News Reporters Committee).



Turquoise’s Terrific Tudors

Our class have been writing our chapter, set in the Tudor period.  We went on a walk around Minch to find Tudor houses.  Fortunately, we were invited into one by the current resident! On the outside we saw how they had carved Tudor Roses, and we learnt about witches marks.  We also had local historian Di Wall, visit us to talk to us about how the Tudors lived.  We learned so much and it has inspired our writing.

A Tudor Rose
A Tudor Rose

(Written by members of Turquoise Class in News Reporters Committee).