When Cramlington school decided to hold a Fantasy Fiction week to encourage pupils to read for pleasure there were events every day, all day, and learning resources manager Eileen Armstrong had to chuck pupils out of the library when it was finally time to go home. Activities included writing workshops, sessions on the graphic novel, drama and a University Challenge-type contest. Visitors also included Whitbread children's prize and Carnegie Medal winning author David Almond (Skellig) who lives just down the road from the 1,500-pupil school in the new town of Cramlington, 12 miles outside Newcastle. As well as speaking to pupils, in a brainstorming session he got a class of 30 to write 300 stories in 10 minutes. Continuing the dramatic theme, the following week about 25 sixth-formers took part in a production of Grease. But it's not all arts, for the school has good cricket and football teams and a sports centre is being built to be shared by the community.
SNAPS BY MEDIA TECHNICIAN DOUG HESLOP
* Author and former teacher David Almond talks to pupils
* Pupils interview science teacher Chris Davies
* Class of 99: Chris Tennet with his Year 11 tutor group
* Saturday night fever rehearsing 'Grease'
* Year 11 records of achievement presentation evening
* The under-16 national Goodyear trophy winning football team
* Michelle Robinson issues books in the library