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Grantham schoolchildren pair up in pen pal scheme

Year one teacher Rebecca Collishaw with year three pupils, from left, Olivia, Ember, Brooke and Victoria.
Year one teacher Rebecca Collishaw with year three pupils, from left, Olivia, Ember, Brooke and Victoria.

Primary school pupils have been learning about what life is like for schoolchildren in Australia, as part of a pen pal scheme.

Pupils in Years 1, 2, 3 and 5 at Isaac Newton Primary School, Dysart Road, have been paired up with children of similar ages from down under.

Year one teacher Rebecca Collishaw, who initiated the pen pal scheme, said: “We wanted to give the children a real experience to develop their love for writing, so thought that having a pen pal might be a fun idea. Geography is also a big part of the curriculum and so we wanted to try and combine the two by finding pen pals from somewhere else in the world that we could learn about.”

Rebecca posted an ad on an online teaching resource site, appealing for pen friends on their australian forum.

She added: “We had lots of interest from schools across Australia and it was hard to pick just one, but eventually we managed to link with Melrose Park Public School in Sydney.”

Rebecca added: “It was wonderful to see just how enthusiastic the children were about writing their letters. They were really keen to get out lots of maps.”

The scheme proved so popular that it wasn’t long before the majority of year groups in both schools ended up writing to each other.

Pupils at Isaac Newton sent photos of themselves, their playground and classrooms, but it was another few weeks before the parcel arrived in Australia,

As the holidays fall at different times in both countries, pupils at Isaac Newton had to wait until after their summer break for their replies.

Rebecca added: “Their letters actually arrived on our first day back at school, so it was a great way to start the new school year.”

Seven-year-old Victoria was thrilled to receive a letter from her pen friend Sophie.

She said: “I really like that I have made a new friend and that we have the same hobbies including dancing.”

Olivia, also aged 7, said: “I really enjoyed reading my letter from my pen friend Xante. Getting a letter in the post was very exciting.”


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