Equipping for Life for a better future

Telling Tales from School
Anecdotes from our classrooms, both enlightening and entertaining.
1. This must never happen again
A little boy in one of the schools on the Shankill, who comes every week to the reading class, is also involved in two or three other activities in the school. Because of these other activities he missed the reading class three weeks in a row. So he decided to do something about it. He went along to the Head Teacher and explained what had happened.........then he told the Head that 'under no circumstances must this ever happen again'.
2. You're very welcome
David Jardine was part of a group of Volunteer Tutors being shown around one of the schools where we take children for reading. They went into a class of children about 6 or 7 years old. The children were looking up at all these big people walking around. As David walked towards a little girl a smile came to her face and she said, 'You're all very welcome in this class.'
Money couldn't buy an experience like that.
3. The Prayer
The Volunteer Tutors have received permission from parents to say a short prayer with the child before we begin reading. On one occasion a Volunteer forgot to say the prayer. The little girl leaned forward and in a low voice said, ' the prayer '.
4. Pen pals
One of our Volunteers has a grandson in Scotland who is 7 years of age, the same age as the little boy she is taking for reading. She asked her grandson to write a letter to the boy on the Shankill. The boy received it well, wrote back, and now the two have become pen pals.
5. The Upside Down Giraffe
Seven of us in George's team volunteer in Springfield Primary (Northern Ireland's Top Primary) where they are pushed for space so we are in nooks and passages throughout the school. Consequently all school life goes on around us.
Sitting by the entrance with my P4 reader, we were surrounded by the little P1s on a 'safari' hunt. All the cutout animals were on the walls, on the furniture and hidden places. Armed with lists and pencils they were in a high state of excitement as they dashed around looking for animals. It was impossible not to get involved! There was an upside down giraffe on the wall above my head which they were missing and my little boy reader raised his eyebrows and pointed a finger upwards. One little bright spark caught on and quickly marked it on her sheet. A big knowing smile lit up her face and gradually it went round the group that a giraffe hanging upside down was above our heads. Although they were excited, we were struck by the wonderful behaviour of these very young children who are a credit to the school and their teachers. Makes it all worthwhile. Well done, Springfield Primary and Brother David.



Joan and John Hayes
6. It's Just the Best Feeling
I am a volunteer tutor (VT) at Glenwood Primary School, Upper Riga Street, just off the Shankill Road. The school, a listed building, was built in 1920 and there are plans for its refurbishment, but in the meantime Wesley Wright, the principal, and his staff work wonders to ensure the school is bright, cheery and always welcoming.

There are nine VTs in Glenwood PS. Our room on the first floor is spacious, but when nine adults and nine or ten pupils gather together it can be a bit crowded. Nevertheless, a great vibe resonates.

The children burst into our quiet room full of life, bubbling over with excitement and expectancy, lifting our spirits and kick-starting us into gear. It’s just the best feeling of anticipation and reward. The children have no idea how much we appreciate seeing them, welcoming them and working with them. They make my week! I’m missing them so much and looking forward to seeing them asap!


Heather Boyd, Volunteer Tutor


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Telling Tales | Equipping for Life