London schoolchildren get reading in Herriot Country
School children from London uncovered the real life scenery and inspirations behind the work of James Herriot when we teamed up with the Evening Standard’s Get London Reading campaign.
One of our favourite tourist attractions in North Yorkshire, The World of James Herriot in Thirsk joined the campaign to promote the value of reading to young people and to showcase literary inspirations in the North Yorkshire countryside. The children experienced the sights and sounds of the author’s work, bringing James Herriot’s literature to life, encouraging voluntary reading and making literature fun.
The school children, aged nine to 11 from St Mary's RC Primary School in Battersea, boarded a Grand Central train direct from King’s Cross to Thirsk and studied copies of All Creatures Great and Small during the journey, which were then brought to life at the museum. The team at Grand Central found out that one in four children in London leave primary school unable to read properly, so we wanted to inspire children and show how reading can be fun.
Nicola Byrne, associate headteacher at St Mary's RC Primary School Battersea, said: "This has been a great opportunity to take the children somewhere so different to their homes and it has really helped them to experience literature, bringing the inspirations to life. For many of our students English is a second language so learning to read can be a challenge. Visiting a place like World of James Herriot has helped them to expand and develop their vocabulary so we’re delighted that Grand Central asked us to be a part of this."
The World of James Herriot aims to bring the famous veterinarian’s literature to life and an initiative of this kind helps to teach youngsters about the world outside of London, for example, demonstrating that milk does not just come from the supermarket.
With thanks to Ian Ashton and Michael Fram from the World of James Herriot, James Herriot’s daughter, Rosie Page and the teachers and children from St Mary's RC Primary School in Battersea.