The School Magazine is a literary magazine for children that has been running since 1916. Funded by the NSW Department of Education, it contains stories, articles, poems, comics, plays, illustrations and more. It’s distributed to predominantly state primary schools in NSW and is much loved by not only children, but also the teachers.
Each edition comes with an accompanying Teachers Guide, containing lesson plans, teaching ideas, worksheets and teaching insights. Since 2014 I have been writing the monthly Teachers Guide for Orbit, the issue delivered to year five students.
I don’t have a primary education background. But in a former iteration I was an English Language and Literature Teacher in Sydney and London, to people from a variety of ages and backgrounds. I wrote teaching materials, for myself and my colleagues, and eventually became a professional IELTS examiner.
The key with writing for The School Magazine is to unpack the literary features of the text, conceive engaging and inventive ways of introducing these to young people, and then get all that down in a form most useful for teachers.
I really enjoy my association with The School Magazine, and the opportunity to be part of increasing children’s literacy and love of literature. In 2014 I also facilitated a communications planning session for the full-time School Magazine Team, who were interested in new ways of engaging with their audiences.