Pupils at Marden Lodge School in Caterham enjoyed an English lesson with a difference recently where the subject of the day was football – or more specifically, writing about it.
Football journalist turned children’s author Dan Freedman, creator of the Jamie Johnson series of books, visited the school as part of the half-term ‘Newsflash’ project. He spoke to talk to children about his life as a writer, his love of words and how he goes about creating his best-selling series of books, which are currently being made into a series for broadcast on CBBC later in the year.
“Dan was the ideal visitor to have at the school because he presented the subject in such an accessible way, which caught the attention of absolutely everyone,” said Year Six teacher Rachael Nicholls.
“His approach is very simple – he writes the sort of books he would have liked to read when he was younger – but it’s incredibly effective. The children couldn’t get enough of listening to his stories about his career, the places he’s been, the people he’s met – and how it all goes into his work”.
The visit of such a high-profile and popular author was a real coup for Marden Lodge, a member of the GLF Schools group, a rapidly-expanding Surrey-based multi-academy trust which runs over a dozen schools across Surrey, Middlesex, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, based on a system of collaborative working.
The importance of literacy and reading is at the heart of the school, as is borne out by class names including Dahl, Pullman and Morpurgo, and Dan rounded off his visit by helping Year Five’s Pullman class write a press release about a Philip Pullman book.
“We got Dan into the school to fire the children’s imaginations and to make them realise the importance of using your imagination, and the places that it can take you,” added Ms Nicholls. “He certainly did that, and everyone across the school gained a lot from his visit.”
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