Halfway Nursery and Infants School (Sheffield)

Steve Varnam (Headteacher), Halfway Nursery and Infants School (Sheffield)

1. What was the reason for having Conrad come to work in your school?
We’ve worked with Conrad now for a number of years. Whenever we are in need of an uplifting and engaging literacy workshop we know the man to call! We’ve had various issues with the attitudes of boys towards reading and writing in school and this reflecting in our school achievement data. Conrad has been a big part of aiding and improving our approach to boys’ literacy skills, by providing an incredible role model to begin with, designing bespoke workshops to inspire our children and by reading some of the most ridiculous and disgusting poetry you have ever heard…and we love it!

 

2. What effect and impact has Conrad had in school – with the children and staff (and has he helped solve the problem that you might have been looking to address when inviting him to school)?
For a bloke ‘from up north’ he has been quite impressive! Our staff and children love Conrad coming into school, often with the same anticipation as awaiting the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve (he had better pay me handsomely for this reference.). Seriously though, Conrad gets the job done and done brilliantly! Whatever workshop Conrad runs, our kids love it…and so do the staff. We have seen levels of engagement rise, especially amongst boys, and their enjoyment is evident throughout. Conrad fits into our school so well and really feels like part of the team when he’s here. Last year we saw a significant increase in the number of boys achieving age related expectations in writing and this has been due to increasing their motivation to read and write through support work from Conrad.

 

3. What makes Conrad different to other visitors you’ve had in school?
He has a sense of humour and is not afraid to make a complete plonker of himself for the sake of engaging and inspiring our children! He also creates the most fantastic, bespoke poetry for your school and children. Sometimes they even inspire him to write poems which he then includes in his books!

 

4. Would you consider inviting Conrad back to work in school with you in the future?
Oh Yes! He’s booked in already for a series of adventure book workshops and for world book day!

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What makes me different?

    • Fun and engaging
    • Over 10 years’ experience
    • DBS certified
    • Nursery – Year 6
    • Poet, Storyteller and Writer
    • Teacher trainer
    • Visited over 200 schools

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Written by my friend, Peter Robinson, for my birthday today. It's flipping brilliant! ... See MoreSee Less

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I'm at Castleford Library waiting to do a storytelling workshop. The three crowd members so far are rather familiar😀.

I ran some workshops here last summer. One of the boys who came was called Peter. He attended as part of his Children's University course where he had to do 1000 hours. At the end he'd to pick his favourite moment.

He picked my workshop. How special do I feel?!
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Facebook keeps reminding me of our 40th last year. In light of that, plus the fact that I have a poetry book to write by the end of the month, here's a poem about mi twin bruv, Phil.

My identical twin

I'm his twin and he's my twin
And when I lose it means he wins
And when he wins it means I lose
And we both have the same sized shoes

I'm his twin and he's my twin
My face is round his face is thin
My waist is big his waist is small
We're both six and a bit feet tall

I'm his twin and he's my twin
On stage he's shy on stage I sing
He writes with left I write with right
At maths we've always both been bright

I'm his twin and he's my twin
Our brother's Ol our mum is Lynne
In photos taken years ago
Which twin is which? Nobody knows

I'm his twin and he's my twin
I'm like his yang and he's my yin
I know his thoughts he knows mine too
We're miles apart yet stick like glue

I'm his twin and he's my twin
It's really quite a glorious thing
For 40 years we've been this way
I wouldn't change a single day

(Except the day he broke a snooker cue on my back...)
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Mabel keeps telling me about the 'turtle on my knee' in the song Attention. I couldn't believe that was right, but she assured me it was. I've just looked it up - 'throwin' that dirt all on my name' isn't nearly as good as Mabel's invention 😀 ... See MoreSee Less

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Check out Wakefield Libraries getting in on the rhymes! Good work 😀 ... See MoreSee Less

You know that you'll have a great time With story and rhythm and rhyme, When Conrad is here- He's due to appear on the stroke of the two o'clock chime! Conrad Burdekin! enjoy a great afternoon of fun with words.

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