Far-away schools hook up to French via Braidwood Central

Local author Jackie French delighted BCS students last week when she visited to discuss her much-loved book, ‘Diary of a Wombat’.

BCS hosted the day, which saw students ‘hooked up’ via video conference to far-away schools. Up to 12 schools joined each session, from Buninyong P.S. in regional Victoria, to The Pocket P.S. in far northern NSW.

From BCS Jackie was able to see and speak to all the children simultaneously. BCS kids had the advantage of having Jackie in the room with them.

The sessions were aimed at engaging students in reading and writing. The schools collectively wrote their own short story, based on the diary format, with Jackie’s guidance. A long Q&A component allowed students to ask many and varied questions, including how Jackie got into writing, why she writes about wombats, and what adventures are in store in her next book. 

Jackie discussed how she overcame dyslexia, and how it’s taken many years for her to learn how to spell. We heard many wonderful stories about her home and her furry wombat family. Jackie told students it takes up to 3 years to finish one of her books – providing inspiration to ‘keep at it’ even when it gets tough.

Jackie was generous with her time and stayed for a lovely lunch made by BCS’s talented Food Technology students under the guidance of Ms Kelly Baumann. Thanks also to Ms Williams for your contribution. 

Thanks go to Harper Collins and Electroboard for helping to make the day a great success. I’m sure all 1000+ students that Jackie spoke to throughout the day found it to be a really enriching experience. 

Jackie will be back at BCS at the end of November to run similar sessions with years 3-6. That day will be centred on another of her delightful books – ‘Queen Victoria’s Underpants’. 

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