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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Really need to get rid of our fridge freezer now. Will take £150. Bought for over £500 just over a year ago. Perfect working order - excellent extra for a garage or perfect for the kitchen. Let me know ASAP ... See MoreSee Less

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On holiday in Northumberland. I’ve found a rather nice writing spot. I also heard a fun tale involving a friend’s little daughter - inspiration hit. Enjoy!

Maisy’s Jumper

Little baby Ivy
Splashing in the bath
Cousin Maisy’s helping
Making Ivy laugh

First she puts some bubbles
High on Ivy’s head
Then a game of peekaboo
Before it’s time for bed

But just as bath time’s ending
Baby Ivy stops
She grunts and groans and pushes hard...
Plop! Plop! Plop!

“Mum!” yells Maisy, “gross! Oh yuck!
Look what Ivy’s done!”
The evidence is floating round -
It’s not a number one!

Ivy shoots a hand out
And grabs a pile of poo
This cute and gorgeous baby knows
Exactly what to do

She throws her missile through the air
Straight at cousin Maisy
It lands on Maisy’s brand new jumper -
Poor girl just goes crazy

“Help!” screams Maisy. “Get it off!
I think I’m going to vom.”
Maisy’s mum comes running in
To see what’s going on

She starts to laugh - she cannot stop -
Tears run down her cheeks
It is by far the funniest thing
That she has seen for weeks

And as for baby Ivy?
She giggles: “Ooh ooh, eee!”
Sits down with satisfaction...
...And fills the bath with wee!
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One of my best friends set up a school in Zimbabwe last year. I got this message just now - can anyone help?

Thanks!

Con
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The ups and downs of a Panini collector... ... See MoreSee Less

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We have 3 lovely guinea pigs - Tomato, Sponge and Foxy Mae. But our girls are allergic to them and, since we’ve got Pebbles (our dog) they don’t get much of a look in.

We’ve taken the tough decision to re-home them once we get back off our holidays. But we want them to go somewhere they’ll be loved and looked after.

We have an outdoor cage, cage cover, water bottle along with the guinea pigs themselves. They are lovely pets - never bitey- but just not right for us Burdekins anymore 😞.

If you’re interested, please let us know. We don’t want any money for them - just lots of love.

Thanks!!

Con and Clare

*They live in the garden at ours but can also be housed indoors*
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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...