The Long Eaton School, Derbyshire

Thursday 22nd June

This was easily one of my favourite school visits of the year. Sue Raybould, Long Eaton’s Information Centre Manager, did a fantastic job of organising everything and making sure that the three workshops ran like clockwork. The library was set up perfectly for the writing sessions, with some rather lovely decorations!

Long Eaton 1

Long Eaton 3

Usually I deliver pretty much the same workshop to each group during a school visit but this time, my three groups had different interests and different literacy levels. My first group of the day were strong readers and writers, who had very little interest in football. No problem! Instead, I talked about the writing and publishing process, before getting them thinking about my favourite question – ‘How can we make non-fiction fun?’

Group 2 were visitors from Dovedale Primary, one of Long Eaton’s feeder schools. They were, hands down, the most excited and enthusiastic boys I’ve ever worked with. And the most knowledgeable about football too! It was a real pleasure to work with them on their player fact files and first goal stories. I brought along some books to sell and they disappeared very quickly.

Long Eaton 2

My third and final group were Long Eaton students with a love of football, but not necessarily reading and writing. They responded well to the theme of bouncing back from a setback and came up with some excellent fiction and non-fiction examples. Many of them wanted to buy books but unfortunately, Dovedale Primary had already cleaned me out! I’ve since sent signed copies to those who asked for them.

As you can tell, I’ve only got nice things to say about Long Eaton School. It’s a fantastic learning environment that is nurturing bright, friendly and inquisitive kids. Above all, Long Eaton a perfect example of what can be achieved by a really engaged and supportive education team.


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