LOCAL GOLD

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Three schools local to our base in Berkshire and two schools local to our Yorkshire base, proved great visits and gave Kath and I a great time in the run-up to half term.

Great library display at Francis Baily

Parsons Down and Francis Baily in Thatcham and Falklands Primary in Newbury are all old friends of ours. Our job in all three schools was to present the new book, Kruschmeister and its prequel, Scabbajack. Our big KS2 audiences responded wonderfully to our spooky presentation and were more than enthused to get their signed copies of the books in readiness for half-term reading – though I suspect most fans started at the first opportunity! We challenged our readers to dare to read their books in bed; some seemed keen to rise to the challenge whilst others stated they would prefer to play safe and digest our creepy stories in daylight!

A BIG ‘thank you’ to Ms Cole, Ms Mumford and Ms Prentice for all their help and support. It was such a pleasure to almost fall out of bed and arrive at these lovely local schools within minutes, something we are looking forward to doing much more frequently in future. There are a good many schools in West Berkshire and Kath and I are more than willing to call in and do our best to help the staff raise the all-important profile of literacy in the curriculum.

OFF UP TO YORKSHIRE…

It was away up the M1 heading towards South Yorkshire next. Rawmarsh Rosehill Primary and Oakwood High School were our

Always welcome at Rosehill Juniors!

targets for the new week ahead.

I think we’ve visited Rawmarsh Rosehill more than most schools over the last ten years or so and that’s because it’s a school that never fails to deliver. Our very good friend, Mr Wagstaffe, has always regarded literacy as a major part of the school ethos and this is reflected strongly in the reading culture he and the staff have developed in the school. They also have a strong football interest among the community and hence I couldn’t wait to introduce Kruschmeister to them. One of their Year 6’s is a great footballing potential – a girl in Year 6 called Sydney; it was fab to meet up with her and sign her a copy of the book. I asked her and some other keen footballers at the school to tell their team mates about the book and spread the word…I hope they don’t let me down…I very much doubt it!

Scabbajack v Mokee Joe at Oakwood High School

Final call was to a school where we have a very strong connection – Oakwood High School.  Both my sisters attended this school and I lived close by as a boy for a considerable time. In fact some of my old school pals went to Oakwood. I attended a school called Old Hall, and I have fond memories of playing against Oakwood when I was a member of my school football team. The school has just been moved to a brand new building and Kath and I were more than impressed as we drove into the car park. We did a great presentation to a marvellous Year 7  – about 220 pupils in all – in the schools new hall/theatre setting with raised seating and a very large cinema-size screen. Brilliant!

Many of the pupils knew us from their primary school days and were already big fans of ours. It was a win-win situation for everyone! The next day we officially opened the new library and signed countless copies of the new book for our enthusiastic fans. 23 books were awarded as prizes for pupils who had completed work based on our books and our congratulations go out to them. Our thanks also go out to the two great librarians, Sally and Julie,  for all their help and enthusiasm. As we always say, great librarians are so essential in maintaining interest in reading and literacy in the school environment…a BIG thanks to both of them.

I was due to visit one more school before the half-term break, Anston Park Juniors, more massive fans of ours. Alas! My voice went and we’ve had to postpone the visit until later in the term! As Kath always reminds me…I talk too much! Never mind, I will rest my voice over half-term and allow Kath to get a word in edgeways for once!

Have a lovely rest everyone and see you all soon.

PJM

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