Sunday, 29 January 2017

Wecome To School Visit Season

The first few months of the year are always busy with school visits and 2017 is no exception. My school visit season got off to a lovely start last week with a day at one of my fantastic Patron of Reading Schools, Kensington Community Primary School in Liverpool. It was such a treat to see everyone again and spend the day plotting and solving mystery stories with the Y3 classes. We cracked codes, navigated our way around ancient maps, pieced together clues and tracked down the stolen treasure.

I was also honoured to be part of the whole school assembly launching Kensington as a School of Sanctuary. This is hugely important initiative is all about schools committing to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.

We talked about the role of reading books in 'putting ourselves in others' shoes and I read an extract from the wonderful Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland. The children had lots of thoughtful answers and comments about Azzi's first day at her new school.

Over the next few weeks I'll be at schools in Birmingham, Essex, Oxford, Norfolk,  and Buckinghamshire as well as several more right here in my lovely home city of Cambridge. I'm really looking forward to seeing you all there!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Happy Christmas!

Wishing everyone a joyous Christmas and a peaceful and productive New Year.

I'm hoping Santa will be leaving lots of lovely books under the tree for me.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Author in Residence

I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to be Author in Residence at the utterly fantastic Litcham School.

What is an Author in Residence? I'm sure everyone at Litcham will be relieved to know that it doesn't mean I'll be turning up with my suitcases to move in (although if I could camp out in your brilliant library, that wouldn't be such a bad idea!).

But I will be coming to school several times this year to work with students in both primary and secondary phases, promoting reading for pleasure, creative writing, and all things bookish.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

School visit round up

As September comes round and the new term starts I've been looking back over last term's school visits . It was a such a busy time that I didn't have chance to blog about them then so here's a round-up of the highlights.

Cambridge Home Educating Families Group

When is a school visit not a school visit?
When it's a visit to a group of students from Cambridge Home Educating Families.
Four visits in fact. I was delighted to be asked to give a course on all aspects of writing a mystery. We had great fun plotting crimes and creating detectives and villains and setting clues - there were so many great ideas, which produced some brilliant stories.

Here's a list of some of the titles - they all sound amazing, don't they? And how about the story we planned as a group. The Mystery of the Cursed Custard Creams. Who wouldn't want to read that book? Thank you to everyone who took part for joining in so enthusiastically and to Fathima Farouk who organised everything and made me feel so welcome. I really enjoyed meeting you all and sharing your writing ideas.