Stocksbridge High School secured funding from The Bridge Community Shop, on Button Row, in order to purchase a copy of ‘The 1,000 Year Old Boy’ by Ross Welford for every Year 6 pupil who will be joining them in September.
It is hoped that having the same book will give the new cohort something to do collectively at home at a time when they can’t be together due to the coronavirus restrictions - and will be a great conversation starter once they are able to do so.
The book follows the story of 1,000-year-old Alfie Monk and was chosen as it is suitable for children aged between nine and 12.
Assistant headteacher, Sam Tipson, said: “When we went into the lockdown period we reached out to a few local charities in the community and The Bridge gave us that grant to fund the books for our new Year 7 intake.
“We then started getting the books in and were able to post them out to all of our new students.
“Along with this, we’ve also sent out other bits to engage parents and students such as the transition page on our website, where there is also a video tour of the school.”
With the permission of the author, the school staff have also recorded themselves each reading a chapter of the book for the Stocksbridge High website so the students can read along with their new teachers at home.
Mr Welford has also recorded a video introduction to the book for the new pupils.
“One of the English teachers mentioned organising something so the children with lower literacy levels could follow the book with their new teachers,” Mr Tipson added. “I thought that was a lovely idea because it will help all the children access the book no matter their reading level.
“Also it allows them to see the staff and hear what they sound like. That's great in terms of reducing anxiety around coming to school as they’ll already be able to recognise some teachers.”