Year 6 pupils at Durlston Court School are thrilled to have had their collaborative book published.

During lockdown pupils took it in turns to write a chapter each of novella, entitled ‘Small Town Boy’, which is now available in paperback and on Kindle through Amazon.

It began in January when children returned to school for one day before the government announced lockdown and home learning recommenced.

Ms Jane Aspin-Locke, Head of English asked pupil Callum Murray, “Where have we got to with our class novel?”.

Callum thought she was talking about the book they were reading and replied “Are we writing our own novel?”.

Ms Aspin-Locke thought this was a great idea and started to plan a very different lesson!

The class drafted their ideas. Callum, aged 10, came up with the title ‘Small Town Boy’ and  wrote the first chapter.

The next day, the school, along with the country, went in to lockdown and Durlston began their Spring term of home learning, with full days of live teaching, on demand content and video catch up and feedback with the class and teachers.

During home schooling class 6L continued to write their novella. Callum said: “I spent most of the next week getting my ideas and imagination on paper. It was tough, but I wanted to leave the opening chapter with options for the next writer to add their own ideas and if they wished, change direction”.

The story takes place in ‘Normalville’ a boring bleak town where everyone lives the same way, except Felitia – an unusual girl who makes her own rules and follows no-one.

Each Friday that followed, a new pupil was chosen to write the next chapter and the class would share the story so far, suggesting edits and making changes as they went. The final paragraph was written on the final day of lockdown!

Publishing help came from Darin Jewell from Inspira with support from illustrator Nanou Blair Gould.

All  proceeds will go to Honeypot Children's Charity.

Callum said: “What I loved the most is that the whole class were involved from beginning to end. Everyone had a part in the book and to have this now in print is so exciting”.

Ms Aspin-Locke said: “I am unbelievably proud of this class. They have shown so much resilience, collaboration and creativity under challenging circumstances. The book ‘project’ got us through each week”.

“Small Town Boy” is Available in paperback from Amazon at: or an e-book

(The Audio version will be out in June