A Book Creator book with a Hollywood twist

James WilliamsHigh School / Secondary, Middle School, Social Studies, Special Education

A story of one Welsh legend narrating on behalf of another!

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn is a special school based in Swansea, Wales, for pupils aged 3-19 years with a wide range of special needs. At Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn I work as the Enterprise Co-Ordinator and set up and run projects throughout the year for the different age groups, to gain the pupils a qualification and teach them new skills.

The Enterprise projects are designed to showcase and celebrate our pupils work throughout our community and the wider world. Book Creator is used throughout our school – both to document our pupils work on their Agored Cymru qualifications, and also to create the interactive books made during their Enterprise projects.

Pupils at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn

Our latest project

At Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn we try to make school interesting and dynamic for our classes, the Enterprise projects are a culmination of this and allow for our pupils take part in rich tasks which cover lots of different parts of the curriculum.

Our latest project is an interactive book that includes the group’s illustrations, mosaic tile designs, music and sound effects – all about the Legend of King Arthur. Students used Book Creator throughout to assemble the finished book, adding their illustrations, sound effects and music to bring it to life.

King Arthur book as seen in Read to me mode in Book Creator

Special book launch

Michael Sheen speaking at the book launchThree of our Enterprise groups (Keystage 3, 4, and Sixth Form) took part in the project, culminating in a special book launch at the National Waterfront Museum (which also tied into an exhibition at the museum showing how our pupils created the project).

The book was launched in both interactive and printed form.

King Arthur & Other Tales is available from the iBooks Store.

Besides the interactive book, the exhibition also featured original mosaic artwork made by the pupils, and traces the story of their research.

The pupils visited museums and specific sites like Arthur’s Stone in Gower to find out about the legend surrounding King Arthur in Wales, as well as making a Sword in the Stone for the exhibition and designing maps of the fabled Camelot.

A celebrity twist

To add a little something special to this project, we turned to Hollywood actor (and Welsh legend!) Michael Sheen.

A few of our pupils met up with Michael and he recorded narration for three short stories for the project including ‘The Sword In The Stone’, ‘The Lady Of The Lake’ and ‘The Story Of Gelert’.

Michael also helped out by attending the book launch.

Michael Sheen with pupils at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn

This isn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with celebrities for our school projects. We’ve worked with Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed, who narrated our Christmas films. We also interviewed actors from the TV programme ‘Doctor Who’ for a special magazine, created by our students.

A growing library of work

This latest book is our 11th book (each created using Book Creator) now available on iTunes, which has become a growing library of work, each unique and showcasing different themes.

Previous books include Jack & The Beanstalk, Welsh Rugby, Alice In Wonderland, Dinosaurs, and many more.

Ysgol-Pen-y-Bryn iBooks library screenshot

We currently have our groups hard at work putting together their latest book ‘The Gingerbread Man’, which will feature work by our primary Enterprise who are linking with Danygraig nursery. The book will be our primary group’s first book project, and also our school’s first collaboration on an enterprise project, and will be launched at the end of the summer term.

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