Shrewsbury House School has for a number years invited children's authors to visit the School to speak to our boys about their books, their style of writing and also what inspired them to become an author. We like to share these experiences with our local primary schools as we find it extremely beneficial in encouraging our pupils to read and write creatively.
This year we hosted pupils from St Matthew's, Surbiton, for the visit of celebrated children's author Tom Palmer. As he is a specialist in encouraging boys to read and an author who works regularly for the National Literacy Trust, the Football Foundation and the Premier League, we felt it would be a great opportunity to share this prestigious event with one of our local schools.
The aims of the partnerships are to share access to a range of children’s authors to encourage children to engage more and enjoy reading and creative writing.
The partnership came about through our School Librarian contacting St Matthew's Primary School and inviting them to be part of the visit we were hosting with Tom Palmer.
A room large enough to seat the audience, and teaching staff to supervise the children. The talks usually last about one hour with a question and answer session. This is followed by an opportunity for the children to get a signed copy of their favourite book or ask the author further questions.
The benefits of the visits have been that ‘reluctant readers’ have become far more engaged in reading and writing. The children have shown a genuine enthusiasm for books, fired by having direct interaction with famous authors. There has also been an improvement in the English language skills of many children as they have been encouraged to read and write more frequently.
The children involved were boys and girls from Years 5 from St Matthew's Primary School and boys from the same year group at Shrewsbury House School.
The collaboration between the schools is ongoing, with more author visits in the pipeline for next year.