Wigan teacher keeps story time going with videos from home

Nobody likes to miss the end of a good book - and a primary school teacher is making sure his pupils find out what happens in their latest story.
Mr Sharkey readsMr Sharkey reads
Mr Sharkey reads

Phil Sharkey was reading The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, with his year four class at St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Springfield before the coronavirus pandemic.

And rather than stop reading halfway through, he has decided to post videos on the school’s website each day of him reading a chapter from the book.

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He also talks about what the children have been doing at home, giving “shout outs” for their efforts, and encourages them to take part in a maths competition.

Mr Sharkey, who films the videos at his home in Winstanley with daughters Lucy, five, and Jessica, one, said: “We were up to chapter 27 and I thought it would be a shame to miss out because school was closing. I put a video on and the children were putting good comments on.

“My children have started taking part in videos as well. They have been saying hello and amusing the children with the antics that children do.

“It has been a way of talking to the children and praising them for the work they have been doing. I can set the children tasks and those that are engaging with that get little mentions in the videos.”

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Among those praised for their achievements outside school is nine-year-old Luke Campbell, who was doing tasks such as ironing to earn Cub badges.

His mother Angela Campbell praised Mr Sharkey for “going the extra mile” for her son and his classmates.

She said: “He thinks it’s brilliant. I think it’s lovely because the children can see each other’s work and I think it gives them a bit of competitiveness as well because there is a maths competition. It gives them a boost to go back on and keep up that momentum.

“I think it helps them because they feel like they are still part of the class and that group, rather than feeling isolated.”

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Mr Sharkey’s videos, as well as written blogs by fellow teachers at St Andrew’s, can be found on the school’s website wiganstandrews.net.

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