Visiting Authors at Ravenor Primary School
On Friday 7th February 2020, we were delighted to welcome Stewart Foster to Ravenor. Stewart has written ‘The Bubble Boy’, ‘All the Things that could go Wrong’ and ‘Checkmates’. For the past few months, his books have been circulating amongst our Year 5 and Year 6 children. We are delighted that over 100 children had read at least one of his books before his visit and several children had read two or all three of them.
It was fantastic to see how enthusiastic the children were when Stewart arrived into the main hall because so many of them were familiar with his very important stories. His visit couldn’t have come at a better time, during ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’, as his books touch on a range of significant issues. It was fascinating to hear the real life stories that inspired the fictitious characters in Stewart’s books.
Stewart commented on the excellent behaviour of all of our children and he was particularly impressed with their questions and comments about his books as these showed that the children had read and understood his stories.
A wonderful day was had by all, particularly those who were fortunate enough to have lunch with him and those who spoke with him as he signed copies of the books they had bought. Lots of copies of Stewart’s books are in our upper key stage 2 classrooms, for our children to enjoy – we cannot recommend these highly enough.
On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December, Chloe Daykin, a children’s author, visited Ravenor Primary School. On Thursday, she did a wonderful presentation for our KS2 children. During this session, she discussed the importance of saving the rainforest and she shared some fascinating information about her visit to Peru, that she used as the inspiration for her book ‘Fire Girl, Forest Boy’.
On Friday 6th, she spent the day with the children in Year 6. We invited her in because the Year 6 children have been reading ‘Fire Girl, Forest Boy’ and they will be doing some writing, in the form of a dual narrative, set in a rain forest, just like the story in Chloe’s book. The Year 6 children really enjoyed the visit. Here’s what some of the children said about their time with Chloe:
‘Chloe’s visit inspired me and gave me some ideas about how I could include some magical powers in in my own dual narrative.’ (Ridhwan)
‘In the workshop, Chloe helped us to develop some ideas for a really good story. I feel ready to write my own narrative, now.’ (Serena)
‘I really enjoyed Chloe’s visit because we made a pop-up museum, which gave me lots of ideas for my own dual narrative.’ (Arwa)
‘Chloe’s visit was amazing because the museum activity helped me to understand the different layers of a story and I will be including some of these ideas in my own dual narrative.’ (Bidushi)
A very good day was had by all.
On Thursday 31st October, we were delighted to welcome a children’s author, Sylvia Bishop, to Ravenor. Sylvia was accompanied by Dylan Townley, a musician. Throughout the day, there was a buzz of excitement in the air. Sylvia and Dylan were kept very busy as they led four highly engaging sessions for all of the children, from Y1 to Y6. These sessions gave the children an opportunity to share their ideas about different characters and settings. Sylvia and Dylan skilfully shared how these ideas could be turned into oral stories and songs. The children’s words and ideas came alive in such a magical way.
Additionally, Sylvia and Dylan enjoyed a very entertaining lunch with our senior pupils and some other Y6 children, who’ve read Sylvia’s books, as part of our school book clubs. Both Sylvia and Dylan were very impressed with the children’s enthusiasm for reading. They also praised the behaviour of all of the children in each of the sessions. Dylan particularly commented on the very positive and welcoming atmosphere throughout every aspect of his visit.
Sylvia’s books have been enjoyed by many of our Year 6 children and we have even decided to use one of her books as one of our core texts in Year 4. The children in Year 4 are in for a real treat as ‘The Secret of the Night Train’ is a fabulous story, full of twists and turns.
We are delighted to announce that Sylvia Bishop has agreed to become our first ever reading ambassador and this is a role that we will develop over time. Sylvia will be returning to Ravenor in the Spring Term and we’ll continue to develop a positive relationship with this wonderful author. Some of our children have been fortunate enough to receive their own letters, from Sylvia, in response to the beautifully written letters that they had sent her. This is an opportunity we want to continue to develop as it provides our children with a real purpose for writing.
On Tuesday 26th February, we were delighted to welcome John Dougherty, a children’s author, to Ravenor. He had a very packed schedule for the day and this enabled us to get the most out of his visit. The day began with a presentation to parents about the importance of reading for enjoyment at home. Lots of helpful suggestions were made about how to make reading a fun, an engaging and a special experience for the whole family to enjoy. This is in line with our core belief that reading for pleasure provides children with a strong foundation so they can develop in to successful lifelong learners. After spending time with the parents, John got his selection of multi-coloured Sharpies out and began signing books for children, before delivering a very engaging presentation to all of the children in KS2.
Following on from the KS2 presentation, John went straight into a session with the children from FS2. The 4 and 5 year olds were mesmerised by John’s singing and storytelling. More book signing took place before a select group enjoyed a delicious lunch with John. The lunch was filled with conversation about books, authors, stories and lots more. John was particularly impressed with the children’s enthusiasm about reading, which was music to our ears.
More book signing took place, before the KS1 children had their performance. The last session of the day was a performance of ‘A midsummer Night’s Dream’ by a group of impromptu actors, from Year 5 and Year 6. It was wonderful to see how confident the children were when they delivered their lines.
Finally, as the day drew to a close, John made an appearance in the playground for more book signing and photographs. Overall, it was a very successful day and we were delighted that John was able to provide our children with such a magical day.
On Thursday 29th November, children’s author and poet- Michael Rosen- visited Ravenor. He wowed our children, from FS2 to Y6, with his very entertaining performances. Following on from his visit we held a very successful Poetry Week, during which the children learned to write and perform like a poet. Please enjoy reading some of our class poems below-
On Tuesday 20th February 2018, we were joined by the award-winning author, Anne Fine. She has written over 50 children’s books and these have led her to win numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award, the Smarties Prize and she became Children’s Laureate in 2001. Throughout the day, she presented three workshops to different phases of the school, where she entertained the children with her stories. A small group of children had lunch with her and one of these children, Elija, in Year 5, said ‘It was a breath-taking experience to sit and have lunch with such a famous author. Talking to her has inspired me to write a book, myself.’
During her visit, she also opened up the KS1 library and we have a plaque in there to remember this special day. Throughout the day, Anne was also very busy signing over a hundred books for children across the school. Overall, the visit was a success. We hope you enjoy reading some of Anne’s books.
Jeremy Strong, a well-known children’s author, visited Ravenor Primary School on Tuesday 21st February 2017. During his visit, he ran 3 different workshops, for different phases of the school, throughout the day. The children were very impressed with the fact that he has written 106 books to date and they were privileged to hear him reading an extract from one of his books. Jeremy also signed over 175 books for children across the school. At lunchtime, he opened up our school library. All of the children at Ravenor had a wonderful experience meeting a published author and we hope to be able to invite another author to our school in the near future.