I LOVE DOING SCHOOL VISITS!
I give illustrated talks to Years 5 – 8 on the themes behind my books, using images projected on a screen by some of the world’s great painters and illustrators to give the children a taster of Dante, classical myth and the First World War (Ante’s Inferno), or Elizabethan magic and the Faust legend (The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst). I make sure to involve the students all the way through, and give tips on how to create characters, structure a plot and write realistic dialogue.
Allowing time for questions and discussion afterwards, the whole session comes to around 1 ¼ hours. I'll talk to any number of children, ranging from a few at a time to whole year groups. Most of my visits have been in Oxford and London but I'm happy to go further.
I bring signed copies of my books for children to buy afterwards, if they wish, and usually a good number are excited enough by the story to do so.
Since 2013, Ante’s Inferno has been adopted by Pegasus Primary School, Oxford, for their Year 6 Reading groups. The pupils enjoy the adventure story while discussing aspects of bullying, self-esteem and empowerment crucial to the plot – issues also tackled by the https://www.familylinks.org.uk/ nurturing programme which the whole school follows.
'The children were fascinated and really enjoyed hearing you talk.' SS Philip & James Primary School, Oxford
'Your talk seems to have gone down extremely well and the boys have been left now with plenty to think about.' Bruern Abbey School, Bicester
'You clearly brought the boys something with which they were totally engaged. It's such a relief they want to read a book that doesn't involve guns/jeeps/terrorists/the word "suddenly" every second sentence!' New College School, Oxford
'What a success! I hope you enjoyed it as much as the children obviously did. I think you just gained 40 new fans.' Dragon School, Oxford
‘The children thoroughly enjoyed spending time with a 'real life famous person.' I know many of them will have been inspired and they have already said that they can't wait to read your next book.’ Pegasus Primary School, Oxford
'I can hardly put into words quite how much the boys enjoyed Henry Fowst...a complex story that has fully engaged the most reluctant reader....The boys' confidence in reading, writing, speaking and listening has grown immensely.' Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford
If you’d like me to visit your school, do get in touch via the CONTACTS page.
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