Greatfield Park Primary School - Pupil Artwork

Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils...Greatfield Park Primary School

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Clare Siddons, Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils participant and teacher at Greatfield Park Primary School, tells us how she’s using #ReadingTeachers book, Shackleton’s Journey to inspire her class…

Engaging boys is a high priority in our School Development Plan; this book definitely did the job. I shared the book with my Year 4 class to provoke discussion; they were really focused and inspired by it, even asking to write diary entries. (Yes children asking to write – a teacher’s dream!) The children’s writing and language improved considerably with one child in Year 4 making my teaching assistant cry with her diary entry.

The Year 5 teacher has a particularly ‘lively’ class so I suggested she introduced Shackleton’s Journey to her children. The result was fantastic. The boys were captivated from the start; it had everything: adventure, peril and survival. The Year 5 teacher has used William Grill’s text alongside others about Shackleton, and the children were so inspired that it became their central focus in their English lessons for the whole half term. Lots of art work was produced to accompany the writing.

It was great to find a text that ignited the boys’ interest but that also had enough for the girls. They interestingly focused on different things to the boys; they were especially interested in the dogs. This book is now in my class library and is always one of the first books chosen during quiet reading.

This book lends itself to so many cross-curricular activities, and to integrating it into other subjects. One of the highlights of the term was when Year 5 spent all afternoon making their own Shackleton shelters from scrap items from our play pod. The conversation and planning that went into them was fantastic and all children were on task.

Clare Siddons
Greatfield Park Primary School

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