Here is a little gallery of some of the wonderful class and home work already created by children and teachers in response to “Over the Line”.

I hope they inspire you!

Children from Stramongate Primary School in Kendal were inspired by ‘Over the Line’ to create a dance to perform at a dance festival. Tom visited the school to share his stories and engaged in a Q&A session before enjoying a performance of the dance.

The children enjoyed reading ‘Over the Line’ as their class text, as part of their World War I unit of work. Alongside the classroom learning, the children worked with dance artist, Rachel Towe, to explore the themes of the book and use them in the creative process to create a dance. The dance was performed at a local dance festival where primary and secondary schools came together to share and celebrate dance work. The children performed to a public audience of nearly 300 people in a local professional venue, The Brewery Arts Centre, in Kendal. Many of the children had never performed in a professional venue or on stage before.

The dance begins when the outbreak of war is all over the newspapers. The footballers are distracted, their heads are still in the game. Eventually, they sign up. Then they become lost in the horrors of the frontline. The dance also included the extraordinary ceasefire on Christmas day; a magical historical moment that brought football back to the soldier’s life for a fleeting moment. The two opposing sides play football in ‘no man’s land’. Finally, the dance depicts the poppy fields, a symbol of the soldiers who died during WWI.

All involved in the project were excited to share the dance with Tom. They wondered if Tom had ever had a dance created that was inspired by one of his books before.

Dance Artist Rachel Towe explained… As soon as I read Tom’s book ‘Over the Line’, I knew it was going to be a great stimulus for a dance with the Year 6 children I was working with. Many of the children had never danced on stage before, let alone perform on a professional stage. I knew they loved the football and war theme and that it would be great to capture the interest and imagination of that group of children in particular. Sharing the dance with Tom, when he visited the school, was really special – It looked like Tom was quite moved by the performance, and it was a memorable experience for all involved!’

Stramongate Primary pupils also produced cakes and other 3D and 2D representations of Over the Line.  Amazing!

Photos shared with permission.

Over the Line is powerful historical novel about one footballer’s experience in the First World War. It’s 1914 and Jack is making his debut as a professional footballer. But the match is marred by a demonstration demanding that the players sign up to do their duty in France.  It is not long before Jack is bound for the trenches with the Footballers’ Battalion.

“Classic” The Guardian

Find out more about Over the Line and more resources here

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Thank you.

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