CHILDREN at a school in South Tyneside are bidding to be the youngest literary critics in the country.
Pupils at East Boldon Junior School are blogging and tweeting about their favourite books, after starting a book club six months ago.
The East Boldon Bookworms page has had more than 1,250 visits in the past month, with hits coming from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA and Canada.
It’s just one of the ways in which the school, in North Road, East Boldon, is harnessing the educational power of the internet.
Literacy co-ordinator and Year 6 teacher David Hall, who has a background in IT, launched a blog for his class in September last year.
He said: “Blogging has been around for a while and is just starting to catch on in schools.
“I have been writing my own blog for a number of years and I use Twitter quite a lot, so I thought it would work in an educational setting.
“We opened the Bookworms blog with up to 30 children across the school and it went mental.
“They were on it every single night doing book reviews, competitions, quizzes, author profiles and it was all driven by them.
“They can upload anything they like and respond to each other all the time – and they’re building links with schools across the world.
“Children love to be recognised and given praise, but in school they’re always writing to be responded to by their teacher.
“If they’re getting feedback from a child in Australia, for example, they are going to be on top of the world.”
The school is taking part in the Read For My School competition, run by The Pearson Foundation and Booktrust, to promote reading for pleasure. To mark World Book Day tomorrow, pupils came into school dressed as their favourite characters.
They also enjoyed a theatre company production of The Happy Prince.
HERE’S what the East Boldon Bookworms have to say about some of their favourite books:
The Witches, by Roald Dahl
The Witches is one of my favourite books ever. I read it all the time and it is written by my favorite author. I love it because of the deception of all the characters, especially the witches.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil, by Derek Landy
If there was a prize for the most amount of action in the Skulduggery Pleasant books this one would win because every single chapter is always full of fights or amazing running scenes to keep you glued to the book and I was certainly glued to this book!
The World of Norm, by Jonathan Meres
I love The World of Norm books. They’re really funny and they make me laugh. Just looking at him makes me laugh!