An American children’s author paid a visit to a Holme Valley primary school.
But thanks to 21st century technology, the 35-minute classroom visit didn’t cost Netherthong Primary School a penny.
New England-based Rob Buyea, author of Because of Mr Terupt, was able to chat to Year 5 and answer children’s questions via Skype, a laptop and a projector.
Netherthong teacher Martin Clayton had chosen the book for the class to study and emailed the author to tell him how much the youngsters had enjoyed his book.
The former Boston schoolteacher was pleasantly surprised to hear from Rob and suggested setting up a video Skype question and answer session in the classroom.
With the help of school IT guru, Paul Girdlestone, the laptop camera was set up to capture all 32 nine and 10year-olds, and images from the Boston webcam were projected on to the SMART board at the front of the class.
It was the first time the school had used technology in this way and the event was an unqualified success.
Martin said: “As a class book, I could not have wished for anything better than Because of Mr Terupt and my problem is now finding something to follow it.
“The reaction from the children was remarkable and we got so much out of the book, especially the opportunities to discuss real life issues, which were so perfectly captured in the story.
“Rob was very excited to get the chance to chat with my class, so suggested a Skype session.
“It was something very new for us and it was brilliant.
“We chose the best 10 questions from the children and put them to Rob. With resources running low in schools, we would definitely doing something similar again.”
As a thank you, parents made a small voluntary donation to the author for his time.