The children arrived ready to work out the mystery. They witnessed a journalist interviewing a dog walker, a policewoman gave a statement and a bat expert told them about the rare bats that live there. Later, they interviewed three night fishermen and a pair of "dodgy" caretakers. Various clues had been hidden, including a lantern and a white sheet. The journalist provided extra clues in the form of a draft news page with adverts for "Frightnight parties" and an article on UFO and big cat sightings.
Now the children are putting together a portfolio of evidence - information, letters, diaries, maps, story snippets, descriptions - as well as role-play, improvisation and hot-seating. Great literacy, great engagement, great fun. Make learning memorable should be our motto.
Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant.