Time travel tops the bill in Harrogate

One of the country’s largest children’s literacy sessions was put on at Harrogate’s Royal Hall with the help of children’s author Jason Beresford.

More than 500 pupils from 20 schools took part in The Big Write, organised by Pobble, a global literacy initiative for sharing primary students’ writing, and Harrogate International Festivals.

The 8 to 11-year-olds had to write short stories around the theme of time travel.

Beresford, author of The Fabulous Four Fish Fingers, Frozen Fish Fingers and Fish Fingers vs Nuggets about a gang of superhero kids, lent his expertise to help the children.

Anna Whiteley, a Pobble teacher, says it was the “most exciting” event by the group to date.

“Writing is crucial not just in terms of developing literacy but  also in allowing children to express themselves. It also boosts confidence.”

Pobble was launched globally by a group of teachers in Yorkshire last year with the aim of building children’s confidence in writing.

The four founders developed the programme to allow teachers to share and showcase pupil work on an “online classroom wall”.

Work from The Big Write will now be published and shared on Pobble.com.

Whiteley adds: “This is what Pobble is all about – engaging young minds and giving children a platform to share their fantastic writing.”

Gemma Rowland, operations manager at Harrogate International Festivals, says the event further cemented Harrogate on the “literacy map”.

“It’s important to us that we use our platform to engage and inspire young people in the district as part of our educational work.”

Jon Smith, Pobble chief executive, says it was “amazing” to be able to “energise” so many young people.

“Children are getting that awesome piece of work they’ve just carefully written published and shared with the world . . . which could not be more exciting. And for teachers, we’re building a global library of ideas, content and resource.”

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