A Horse for Joe
Lynne Letherby, SENCO, Churchdown Parton Manor Infant School

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Year 1 and Year 2 SEN groups used these resources for a block of work during the first half of the Summer Term 2005. The resources provided a stimulating topic & context for support in literacy, numeracy, and cross-curricula topics, to engage both Traveller and non-Traveller pupils.

  • To more fully engage Traveller pupils in the curriculum.
  • To enhance inclusion of Traveller pupils through providing a topic that would inform non-Traveller pupils about Traveller lifestyle.
  • To provide basic literacy and  numeracy support in SEN group sessions that would be topic based, engage both Traveller and non-Traveller pupils, while linking to the mainstream curriculum.


Big Book: A Horse for Joe

Sample page from 'A Horse for Joe'

Sample page from 'A Horse for Joe'

The Big Book 'A Horse for Joe' was used in the Literacy Hour for SEN Y1 & Y2 Groups. We also used selected materials from the activity worksheets.

These resources were chosen because:

  • There are several Traveller children in both Year 1 and Year 2 SEN groups.
  • One Traveller pupil in particular is very restless and finds little of interest in the usual curriculum.
  • Stow Horse Fair took place during the block of work so the book was used as preparation for the Traveller children who were going to the Fair and as an explanation of what happens at Stow Fair for the non-Traveller children in the group.
  • The Big Book and its resources could be used to cover similar targets and activities as those going on in the mainstream classroom.
  • Many of the activities/resources were cross-curricula. We used dot-to-dots of horses for counting in numeracy and looked at maps to find Appleby and Stow (maps had already been studied during a geography block of planning for the term).
  • Conversation arising from material links with our targets for Wave 3 children on the Talking Partners Programme.

Outcomes were very positive, and included the following:

  • All children were very interested in the story/pictures.
  • Restless child was mesmerised, Teacher Assistant and I have never seen the pupil sit so still, listening and partcipating.
  • Very good story writing and illustrations by individuals.
  • Lots of conversation generated, especially about horses, fairs and trailers.
  • Good questioning/answers by all children, following modelling learnt in Talking Partners.
  • Comparisons made between trailers and houses, linked with Y1 topic on homes.
  • It came to light that a few non-Traveller children visit their Traveller friends on site and were very knowledgeable about their lifestyles.
  • Everyone learnt a great deal and hopefully this laid the foundations for a spirit of tolerance and understanding for the culture and traditions of Traveller children and their families.

Big book, teacher's resource book and worksheets, were loaned from Traveller Education.

'A Horse for Joe' : Big book, small books, and Pupils' Activity Worksheets Booklet:

Author: Hird, Margaret and Whitwell, Ann.

ISBN 086080285X

Story book:

"Insights into the life of the Travellers' community are given in this story of a ten year old, Joe, who dreams of getting his first horse. He saves money throughout the year until finally he gets a colt of his own at the Appleby Horse Fair. Detailed text, contemporary photographs and colour illustration."

Pupil's activity sheets:

"Attractive worksheets providing cross curricular activities in: maths, D&T, geography, history, science, as well as English - reading, writing, speaking & listening."

Available from:

Wiltshire Traveller Education

Address: Traveller Education Service, Schools Branch, Department for Children and Education, Wiltshire County Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JB

View some examples of pupils' work here

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