Portsmouth teacher turns author with children’s book

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A TEACHER is inspiring his pupils to becoming budding authors by writing his own book and reading it to them.

James Schillemore is a Year 4 teacher at Arundel Court Junior School in Portsmouth.

STORYTELLER James Schillemore. Picture: Sarah Standing (13718-632)

STORYTELLER James Schillemore. Picture: Sarah Standing (13718-632)

The book, called Off The Post, tells the story of Tom Linch, a 13-year-old keen footballer who becomes accused of being a bully after posting something on his school’s online forum.

Mr Schillemore said: ‘About a year ago I was looking at all these footballers and all the tweets they sent out. They are always getting in hot water with the FA.

‘I thought it would be quite interesting to take that idea and put it into a younger person making that same mistake by putting something online that he later regretted.

‘I wanted to write something that had a moral tale with a lesson to be learned. It’s been a brilliant experience.’

Mr Schillemore has read some parts of his book to his pupils.

They have now gone out and bought a copy and asked him to sign it.

‘The book is aimed at a slightly older age group than I teach,’ he added.

‘But there is still a lot of excitement.

‘It’s been really good. I was really lucky because the headteacher, Karen Stocks, embraced it. She’s given me a lot of support.’

And he added he hopes that it will inspire the children to follow in his footsteps.

‘It’s inspirational for the kids,’ he said.

‘It’s one thing having these authors come in but they might see them as being separate from their own community and their own school.

‘I have been here for four years and I feel like I’m quite well-known at the school.

‘For a lot of children it’s keeping that ambition and that dream alive for them.

‘Sometimes as they get older they can lose sight of that.

‘This age group are ambitious about what they want to achieve.’

Writing a book has now opened doors for Mr Schillemore and he has been asked to do readings at book festivals.