Saturday, 10 June 2017

Empathy Day

I'm delighted to be one of the many authors supporting Empathy Day on June 13th

What is Empathy Day?
Empathy Day is a platform to emphasise  the importance of empathy in our divided world and raise awareness of the power of stories to develop  it.

The Day  is  being  launched  by  EmpathyLab, a  new  organisation  with  a mission to  use  stories  to  help  us  understand each other better, led by Miranda  McKearney OBE, founder of The Reading Agency. 

On June 13th schools all over the country will be focussing on empathy and stories. Many will be having special assemblies.  Some will be giving out empathy awards or inviting in authors to talk about and read stories.

I'll be headung off to the lovely Spinney Primary School in Cambridge to join in their activities. I can't wait!

What is Empathy?

I was lucky enough to attend the EmpathyLab training day for authors in April and found out about all the great work that they have been doing.

Here are six important things I learned about empathy.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

School Visit Marathon Report

Lyndon Green Primary, Birmingham
February and March were super-busy months on the school visit scene.

I was on the road so much I hardly had time to unpack my bags. There were some early mornings and long drives (including being stopped by a policeman right outside the school gates for a faulty headlight!) and several hotel breakfasts. There were lots of amazing World Book Day costumes too.

Here are the fantastic schools I visited along the way . . .

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!