I celebrated Red Nose Day with the pupils of Ellison Boulters in Lincolnshire yesterday. It was my third visit to the school and super, as usual. Ellison Boulters is one of those schools; where the teachers are keen and the kids even keener, making taking a day off from my writing a pleasure. The first session with Y3/4, based on The Worst Ghost of All, was great fun. After listening to the story and the story behind the story, we improvised some new scenes. I became a BBC News reporter, on location in Lincolnshire’s most haunted village, following Mr Spit, an estate agent, as he tried to sell the properties. I went from haunted house to haunted house. Great fun!
I kicked off the next session, Mrs Howard’s Y4/5s, with a reading (The Snooks by Harcourt Williams – it is fast becoming a favourite of mine) and then we discussed books that might go down well as class readers. There were some excellent suggestions, ranging from Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant to Andy Cope’s Spy Dog. Obviously they changed their minds after seeing my Girls FC presentation and now want to start with Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras? That’s right, isn’t it, you guys?
My final session was with the big ‘uns. We had to push back the folding classroom petition for this one to get all the Y5 and Year 6s in. I began with the first scene from Esgob Morgan’s special play, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read is about a boy who-er-won’t read. The boy, Bradley, thinks reading’s for geeks and his mother, in desperation, takes him to see the doctor for a ‘cure.’ The scene was performed with great panache by the class teacher Miss Mumby, taking the part of Bradley’s mum, and Y6 Kaie Turner as the doctor. It goes without saying that I was magnificent as Bradley. The pupils then split in to groups of four, with one being Bradley and the others trying to persuade Bradley that reading was anything but geeky. Again, this was great fun. I think including drama or art in sessions is a brilliant way to engage and involve the entire audience.
The day ended with a book signing. During assembly at the beginning I promised I’d donate 50p of every book sold to Comic Relief so I now owe Ellison Boulters £25.00. Wahoo!
Thank you all for a mega day, especially Miss Wells, for all the organising bits.