As another school project reaches its final phases of publication, I consider the journey that I went through in order to construct it.
Harry Bishop and the Time Traveller was the result of the school instruction that they wanted to do something based on the history topics that each of the 147 children at the school had been learning.
“Ok” I thought to myself, “this should be fairly straight forward.”
But it wasn’t. There was just one issue. The classes were each learning about different eras in history and there was relatively little in common between the eras (Tudor, Victorian and WWII) in which to weave a story.
On the 1st day workshops with the children, it quickly became apparent to me that this could become a major stumbling block and I was concerned that the linkages would be too weak to weave the story.
On the 2nd day workshop with the ‘focus group’, the children and I batted around ideas, brainstormed, acted out and asked why would Harry do that, what would he say, how would he feel and then suddenly everything fell into place.
I will never underestimate how children are able to make linkages between seemingly unconnected events (how do you link Victorian Era with WWII in one sentence???) and by bouncing ideas around with them we inevitably come up with new thinking, new ways and new reasons.
I am incredibly proud of and grateful for the children of Bishops Itchington Primary School for their enthusiasm, their friendliness and the huge smiles that I get whenever I walk into the school.
This project was another big one, but my goodness the results are stunning.
Harry Bishop and the Time Traveller will be available in early December 2016.