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School latches on to idea of caravan

26 October 2009

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has destroyed them; MPs have famously holidayed in them and now pupils want to turn the much maligned caravan into a unique classroom.

St Michael’s First School, in Stone, is hoping to transform a second hand holiday home into a reading wagon, complete with colourful cushions and space for story sessions, drama work and other fun activities.

The caravan would be parked in the school grounds and could be kitted out with changing displays, which reflect different countries the children can pretend to visit on their learning travels.

St Michael’s has entered The Sentinel’s and Barclays’ Class Act competition for help in funding the project. If they win the £5,000 prize the money will then be used to go towards a used caravan.

Teacher Hazel Weddell a teacher at St Michaels delivers an intervention programme at school called Reading Recovery, which targets five and six year old who need extra support to improve their reading skills.

Unfortunately St Michael’s is so strapped for space, that these vital one to one reading sessions take place in between two noisy classrooms.

Mrs Weddell said: “the children need a quiet area, where they can concentrate on their reading and not to be distracted.

“Reading Recovery is all about faster reading and getting children to understand the context of what they’re reading. The sessions are intensive and already starting to have an impact.”

The caravan would be an ideal place for the reading work during the mornings. At lunchtime and in the afternoon, the wheeled classroom could be used for other activities.

Spokesperson for Towergate Bakers, Paul Havenhand says: “Education is such an important part of a child’s life; if caravans can help improve this and provide a haven for children it should be fully encouraged and you never know it might start a trend!”

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