AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Before we were all confined to our houses, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful month travelling in New Zealand and Australia, seeing friends and relations and (a first for me) visiting Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia where I walked into the bush to see ancient Aboriginal rock paintings, went for a boat trip in the incredibly beautiful Katherine Gorges, explored the wetlands with an Aboriginal guide and got up close and personal with saltwater crocodiles in the Adelaide River.
When I was in Melbourne I did a school visit to Tintern Grammar School where I was amazed to learn that my book ‘The Silver Fox’ had been a class read for Year 5 ever since its publication 23 years ago! It was fun to revisit the story with the current students. They were all wearing special Silver Fox badges that they’d made with a 3D printer!
This Spring I had a lot of writing workshops planned with the schools where I’m Patron of Reading but sadly only managed to fit in two, at Thaxted Primary School, before lockdown. Here I am, working with a group of very enthusiastic and creative students.
At the end of last year I worked with the Chair of NAPE (National Association of Primary Education) and Girton Glebe Primary School near Cambridge, to create videos for primary school teachers, showing what authors can do in schools to encourage pupils’ interest in books and reading. With Year 6 I used my book ‘The Mark’ and with Year 5, my two volume middle grade fantasy ‘The Stonekeeper’s Child.’
Here is the link to the Year 5 video https://youtu.be/INSsa5vBtyQ