Hi, Matt here – would you like me to visit your school/library/bookshop for a day of reading and writing football fun? Great because I’d love to come!
I live in London but I’m available for literacy and creative writing sessions all across the UK. I’ve delivered workshops in primary and secondary schools, as well as libraries and football stadiums. I’ve also worked with organisations including the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, Read for Good, and Football Beyond Borders.
Below you’ll find a bunch of workshop outlines and reviews. I hope you like what you read! To discuss details, practicalities and costs, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
1. First Goal Stories
This is my most popular workshop, especially in primary schools. Using Gareth Bale’s first Southampton goal as inspiration, the kids use setting and emotion to write and tell their own exciting first goal stories.
2. Making Non-Fiction Fun
This workshop is great for classes with fewer football fans. The kids learn about how our books combine facts with story techniques (dialogue, emotion, setting) and then have a go at writing some fun non-fiction of their own.
3. Who is the Ultimate Football Hero?
If persuasive writing is your class theme, then this is the workshop for you! The kids pick their favourite football (or sporting) hero and then use comparatives, superlatives and evidence to argue their case. There can only be one winner!
4. Bouncing Back from Setbacks
This is my most popular workshop in secondary schools, as it ties in nicely with PSHE themes such as resilience and growth mindset. Using Gareth Bale’s early injury problems as inspiration, the kids use description, dialogue and structure to write their own stories of bouncing back from setbacks.
“The children loved the workshops and were very engaged. The sessions were interactive which engaged the children and there was a good balance between listening, writing and sharing. Many of them wanted to carry on afterwards which is always a sign of success! It was lovely to see lots of boys that are normally reluctant readers/writers with their hands up and wanting to share their work!”
Nicola Taylor, Literacy Leader, Palm Bay Primary School
“The start of the presentation was fun/entertaining and seemed to hook the pupils in so they were enthusiastic about the writing section. Well pitched for age group at ‘reluctant’ reader/writer level. Challenging yet accessible…Many commented to teachers that they really enjoyed the session. I have since had keen requests for the biographies from pupils who attended – many of whom are not normally enthusiastic about borrowing books!”
Michelle Kane, Librarian, Gleniffer High School
“Matt’s relaxed approach worked really well with our pupils. His encouragement during the writing process also had a positive effect…The quiz at the start relaxed and engaged students. Many of the pupils in the ‘middle’ section were selected because of their love of football – they were very engaged and interested in the lesson and were able to demonstrate this in their writing.”
Tracey Houston, Principal English Teacher, Castlehead High School
“Excellent balance between education and fun. The session was age-appropriate and very well pitched…Even the children who are not ‘football mad’ enjoyed the session as it was adapted accordingly e.g. a different sport. The children particularly enjoyed Matt’s 1:1 interaction with them.”
Helen Hughes, Deputy Headteacher, West Felton C of E Primary School
“The balance was good, and well-pitched for each age group. Matt had a very good rapport with the students, and made sure that each was heard and encouraged. He listened to their interest and knowledge of football, which they loved.”
Sue Raybould, Information Centre Manager, The Long Eaton School