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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If you’re looking for something to do next Friday with the kids... ... See MoreSee Less

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone 😀

youtu.be/zKVCMoffmaY
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My first ever i-movie!

One of my poems called ‘I Like Reading’

My girls helped a lot with the technical aspects.

I fell out a wheelie bin.
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Last Thursday I met a lad called Barry - an unusual name for a primary school pupil these days.

He was great, and all the staff spoke really highly of him. I wrote this poem with Barry in mind. I then discovered that in a couple of weeks it’s National Random Acts of Kindness Day, so it seems appropriate to post this now.

Enjoy!! The poem is called (rather imaginatively, I thought) ... Barry!
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Look at this! How wonderful. As you might have seen, I've been collecting #booksforJacob - a young man in one of my Patron of Reading schools who loves reading more than anything else. Only, he's read every book in school. So I asked if anyone could help out. And it's begun! An author friend is sending him a signed copy of her latest book, several others on Twitter / Facebook have been sending them to his school addressed to him, and then yesterday MANDY BROOMHEAD, bless her cotton socks, hand delivered a parcel. Jacob's mum found me on Twitter today to thank me. It's so lovely when you get to see the impact you have, and this, Mandy, is the impact you've had.

Anyone else who would like to donate, please let me know. And, if you're worried that Jacob will have read everything already, a small cash donation could be a good alternative - I had this idea that we could send him off to a bookshop to find new books that he'd never read!

Thanks again.

It's good to have a story that makes you smile once in a while.

Con
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High Bank Hi Jinks!

I was back at one of my favourite schools today - High Bank in Liversedge. It was them, remember, for whom we collected all those books earlier in the year. I just LOVE this school. I was reminded once again...