Not many classrooms play host to a gymnast, a free-runner, a Thai boxer, a snowboarder and an author in the same day, but that’s what happened recently at Hillcroft School in Caterham – and they were all the same person.
Marcus Alexander, whose Keeper of the Realms books are published by Puffin, is just about as far from the stereotypes of a children’s author as it is possible to get, and his high-adrenalin lifestyle and remarkable tales of his travels around the world – as well as those he has written – had his audience spellbound.
“Marcus was extremely enthusiastic about writing, and the children were fascinated by his stories of all the places he’d been and amazing experiences he’d had,” said Year Six class teacher Ali Short, who oversaw his visit. “As well as that, we had a practical writing exercise where he set up the context of Keeper of the Realms books and then encouraged the children to write their own version – they came up with some wonderfully creative pieces.”
Since his visit, the author has kept contact with the school, tweeting messages of encouragement to the pupils he met to help them stay engaged with reading and writing – not that they needed much help after having such a dynamic visitor.
“Meeting Marcus and hearing his stories has had a great impact on the pupils,” said Mrs Short. “He’s such an energetic character, with such a love of words, that it’s hard for them not to get caught up in it. It’ll be great to keep that enthusiasm alive in the classroom.”
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