Headlines hit new heights as stories go up, up and away
Friday 6th December 2013 @ 19:38 by Mark Phillip


Fifty St Damian’s pupils launched their own creative writings into the skies of Tameside last week, with each piece rolled up and tucked inside a helium balloon.

The balloon launch marked Literacy Awareness Week and the school was busy with many literacy themed activities throughout the week.

They had words of the day, spelling bees and visiting authors Mike Garry and Helen Daly came in to work with pupils.   Tim Keogh, a language teacher at the school, is also a published author and talked to classes about the publishing process.

It wasn’t just the English department that got involved either, Maths and Science also had literacy themes.

Nina Taylor, Literacy Co-ordinator for the school, said: “It might seem strange to incorporate literacy into a Maths lesson, but you do have to write some answers out.

“The new curriculum has a huge focus on literacy and it is a big thing in the new Ofsted inspectorate as well.”

On the day of the balloon launch staff members all came in dressed as a character from a book, which pupils thoroughly enjoyed.

Characters included Harry Potter and Bellatrix Lestrange from the Potter series, Miss Havisham in full wedding regalis from Charles’ Dickens Great Expectations, Morticia from The Addams Family, Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, a geisha from Memoirs of a Geisha and Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas!

The school hopes that all of the 50 balloons and writing inside will be found by the people of Tameside.

If you are fortunate to find one of the balloons, the school simply asks that you follow the instructions on the back of the piece which takes you to their website where you can log in your name, where you found it and which story you have.

Nina added: “We called the project, ‘Where Will Your Story Go?’

“And we are hoping that they will go all over Tameside.”