Pirate invasion at Sheffield school

Gem, from Cbeebies show Swashbuckle gives a performance to key stage one pupils at Arbourthorne Community Primary School. Picture: Andrew Roe
Gem, from Cbeebies show Swashbuckle gives a performance to key stage one pupils at Arbourthorne Community Primary School. Picture: Andrew Roe

A colourful visitor livened up a morning assembly for pupils at Arbourthorne Community Primary School.

Pirate Gem (Gemma Hunt) from the CBBC programme and magazine Swashbuckle, met with a hearty welcome as she stormed in to school to meet pupils and staff as part of a prize won for his classmates by one proud pupil.

Kai Rhys-Campbell beat hundreds of entries from across the country to be the winner of a competition that challenged Early Years and Key Stage One pupils to complete a series of literary activities. These were based on the pirate-themed magazine and television show.

Along with the visit from Swashbuckle character Gem, the school won a year’s subscription to five CBeebies magazines of their choice.

Kai himself walked away with eReader, £50 in book tokens and a one year subscription to the show’s magazine.

As the assembly was a celebration, there were songs and fun activities, all based on a pirate theme.

Gemma Niebieszczanski, the National Literacy Trust’s Network and Competitions Manager, said: “We were delighted with the response to the Pirate Reading Adventure competition. The Swashbuckle characters are hugely popular and we know that tapping into children’s interests is a great way of engaging them in learning.

“Encouraging young children to develop a love of reading from an early age can have a huge impact on their future, boosting their literacy skills and supporting them to reach their full potential.”

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that aims to transform children’s and adults’ lives through literacy.

Workers help to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in communities that are likely to benefit from support and intervention. Campaigning work is also undertaken by the Trust, to highlight the improtance of making literacy a priority among both parents and politicians. They provide resources to schools to help further work and transform their methods of teaching.

For details of the National Literacy Trust’s support for schools, including free competitions, log on to: www.literacytrust.org.uk/schools_teaching