On Monday 30th October 2017 I visited Beckbury C of E Primary School. This was a particularly special visit and Beckbury Primary School has a special place in my heart, as I trained to be a teacher here back in 2003 and 2004. When I arrived I was greeted by Julie the very welcoming school secretary, who remembered me from over 13 years ago!
I set up my props and Author banner in the school hall, which is a separate building from the main school and up a flight of stairs. As I scanned the room, wonderful memories of teaching here came flooding back!
At 2 o’clock the children excitedly entered the room and I heard a familiar voice. It was the very lovely Gwyneth Grinnell, she was the Key Stage two teacher when I had trained all those years ago! It was so wonderful to see her and to be able to share my story with the children at Beckbury Primary School.
As I read my story, the children were very engaged, excited and asked some fantastic questions! They were particularly inspired by the treasure chest full of magical potions! The quote of the day came from one of the pupils. I asked the question “What was the meaning behind the story?” Isabelle answered: “I think that this story shows that even if you are small you can make big things happen!”
The children were intrigued to hear how I became an author and when my next book would be available!
The response from both staff and pupils was very positive and I gained some fantastic feedback from Miss Dady (KS1 Teacher) and Mrs Grinnell (Ks2 Teacher) :
“The children very much enjoyed the session. The props really helped bring the story to life and engaged children from Reception to Year 6. It was fantastic that the older children could have time with Sarah to ask questions about being an author and the process behind creating a book.”
“I loved seeing how the children reacted. When the potions were brought out of the chest – their faces were priceless! It is wonderful to hear children catch on to the message behind the story too.”
“Having an author in school is a way of promoting writing and also a love of writing. At break-time straight after the session, I had two children come up to ask for some paper to write their own stories on! For me, it is an inspiration to see a teacher achieve something she has dreamed of!”
“Sarah was very professional and it was a pleasure to have her at the school talking to the children.”
On Thursday 30th November I visited Beckbury Primary School again to deliver the books the children had ordered and to have a look at the work inspired by my book ‘Douglas’s Trousers’.
Miss Dady brought some of the children into the staff room and they talked confidently about the work they had written based around my story.
I was overwhelmed with the children’s work from Key Stage One. They had written a newspaper report about Douglas and his magical flying trousers! The children had also filmed a news report with the background ‘Breaking News’ on the whiteboard behind them.
I was very impressed with the children’s ideas, presentation and descriptive vocabulary! As an experienced teacher and now a Children’s Author, to see a piece of work based around my children’s book was truly awe inspiring! I want to thank the lovely staff at Beckbury for all their support and kindness. It really has been a pleasure to visit the school and I look forward to visiting next year with my next book ‘George and Maude’.
I feel truly privileged to be able to write stories for children. To be able to inspire children’s reading and writing, for me is the reason why I wanted to be a writer from the beginning. Sharing my stories that carry a special message, to teach children to believe in themselves is so very important! To inspire one child is wonderful but to inspire a generation of the children of Shropshire and beyond is truly a magical experience for me!