School bound for big time in pupils’ book

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FOR many children their school is a dull and unimaginative place.

But a group of youngsters from Broughton Primary have used their school as the inspiration for their very own book.

The primary six and seven pupils have created, written and even published School Daze, which is a series of short stories centred on an old Victorian school building.

The children took part in a series of workshops held by author and editor Mary Thomson, ranging from character creation to marketing the final product.

They came up with the book’s four main characters, designed what they should look like, and created story ideas and plots for the 16 short stories which make up the book.

School Daze, which features a drawing of Broughton Primary on the front cover, is set in an old school separated by mysterious staircases.

The characters end up getting lost when they explore where the staircases lead, with every door they go through resulting in them learning a new lesson.

Ms Thomson said: “This was a ten-week project with a whole series of workshops.

“The children came up with the ideas themselves, and I essentially was a ghost-writer.

“They learned everything about each stage of publishing a book and now they are going to be marketing it.

“It’s a lot more than just about writing.

“My passion is instilling passion into children about physical books. In 100 years, books will still be here.”

School Daze, which has been published by White Water Publishing, is now on sale for £6.99 through the school and online, while it is hoped it will also go on the shelves of bookshops soon.

All profits made through sales will go back into the school to fund similar projects.

Headteacher Alan Devine said: “I think it was a tremendous experience for them because Curriculum for Excellence focuses on interdisciplinary learning, with literacy at the heart of that.

“They discussed, collaborated, wrote, drafted and edited and also learned about marketing and publishing.

“The book is great fun and it’s a page-turner.

“It’s a real published book that’s going to be on sale on places like Amazon.

“It’s a superb finished product and it’s also going to be profitable.”

Primary seven pupil Anna Kennedy, 11, said: “We did lots of different workshops with Mary and my favourite was creating the characters.

“It’s quite exciting to see the book because it’s got all our names on the front.

“It will definitely make a good Christmas present.”

Her classmate Haeyoung Choi, 11, said: “I liked creating the characters because you got to put most of your ideas into it and I also liked building up the climax.”

Fraser Allison, 11, added: “I enjoyed making up the story as we got to come up with lots of ideas. I came up with the idea of the killer worm so it’s quite cool to see it in the book.”

gfraser@edinburghnews.com