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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Great report on success of blogging at #IPACA

The below was published in the Dorset Echo on Tuesday 6th August, 2013 and a link to the online article can be found here: CLICK HERE. To visit the blog mentioned below, CLICK HERE. To view the tourism website also mentioned below, CLICK HERE.

AN INTERNET blog written by pupils on Portland has been making waves on the other side of the world.

Youngsters in Year 5 at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) wrote the blog as part of their work on a major wildlife disaster on the Dorset coast.

They detailed how seabirds covered in polyisobutene were washed up earlier this year and wrote about how experts cleaned the survivors using margarine and washing-up liquid.

 Class teacher Sharon Chapman said the blog proved an instant success, with almost 500 hits in the first few hours and people commenting from as far away as Australia.

 She said: “The project is part of the skills for life part of our curriculum, and it was really interesting for the children to learn about something so big that happened on our doorstep.

 “People were responding, saying that similar things had happened on their own coastlines, and asking questions, which we would find the answers to.”

 The children wrote to environmental ministers calling for better protections for coastal towns. Mrs Chapman said: “They had several replies and were really excited to read them. It’s very empowering for them to see they can make a difference.”

 The blog led onto another project which allowed the children to create their own tourism website. Mrs Chapman said: “Everything linked up very well and we talked about how tourist businesses are interdependent on each other.”

 She added: “We got them going out and about, visiting fish and chip shops, Portland Castle and local attractions, and taking pictures and writing reviews. “It was great, because it got them going to places they didn't even know existed.”

 The blog also impressed people closer to home, and Dorset Wildlife Trust invited the children to talk to Lord Coe on his recent visit to Portland.

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