Testimonials

Before ever stepping over the thresholds of NOPA or Caldicotes, you had already begun to knit together our Y6 teams to be able to effectively challenge and inspire our somewhat apathetic and disengaged pupils - certainly at Caldicotes - in a project that has proved to be inclusive, inspiring and challenging. I have witnessed at first hand how you have enthused, praised and inspired our pupils to actually want to write and enjoy it; something that I had hoped to say but was not certain that I ever would. To see Josh, confidently reading and being proud of what he had created, was mind-blowing! Your legacy for the Y6s is a belief that they can and is a mantra and belief that we will build upon.

We often refer to people that spend time with us at Caldicotes who see how we work, can feel our determination for all our pupils to succeed and recognise that we expect the best for them all, as being 'Caldicoted'. I think you have well and truly been both 'Caldicoted' and’ NOPA'd’ over the past week and we too have equally been 'Burdekin'd'. I hope that it is a relationship that we can continue in the future and I know that the collaborative approach that the Y6 teams have begun will continue and can be translated elsewhere in our academies for the benefit of all our pupils and staff.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks for your kind gifts, for taking the time to write in the children's books and for igniting a belief in our pupils that they can write. I look forward to sharing with you more examples as we gently blow on the embers and allow the flames to grow!

Helen Steele – Principal – Caldicotes Primary Academy, Middlesborough

Conrad has really helped to inspire the children in our school to write. One teacher wished Conrad taught her children Literacy every day as he managed to get the children to write things that she was astounded by

Alice Smith – Headteacher – Rosebank Primary School, Leeds

Conrad has been a big part of aiding and improving our approach to boys’ literacy skills. Conrad gets the job done and done brilliantly

Steve Varnam, Headteacher Halfway Nursery and Infant School

I need to thank you Conrad for showing me a side of Josh I've not seen before. It made us immensely proud to see him at the front of two groups of children, sharing his learning and clearly being proud of it. He's just one win of many but will definitely be one that stays in my memory for a long while. It all reminds me of that quote: 'My teacher thought I was better than I was, so I was.'

Ben Jones, Y6 teacher – Caldicotes Primary Academy, Middlesborough

Teachers tend to shy away from poetry because we believe it is difficult to teach. There are no right or wrong answers in poetry, just imagination. This is where Conrad comes in. In just 30 minutes, he hooked the children, created a fantastic poem about their interests and then got them performing. The children were engaged but most of all, I was too. Just watching him enthuse and excite has got me wondering why I rarely attempted poetry before. I can't wait to give it a go!

Scott McHale - Year 3/4 teacher.

I loved being silly with Conrad. He is so much fun

Luke, Year 1

Conrad did our assembly and I laughed really loud. It was fun learning about poems.

Charlie Duffy, Year 2

He let us create a poem called Snotty Nose! It was great. He made us laugh and we could use our imaginations till our brains exploded!

Isabelle Cross, Year 4

I really enjoyed Conrad's visit because I liked making a poem come to life. He makes poems fun and helped make ours funny!

Cara Marbeck, Year 4

Thoroughly enjoyable and something totally different to the usual Christmas concert.

Barry Patterson, Chair of Governors at Vale Primary (Knottingley)

He has made our children more confident and they now overcome their reluctance to speak in public.

Linda Maskell

I'm sure your week with us will be one of our high spots of the year and will continue to influence the children's writing throughout the rest of Y6. The quality and quantity of work produced is superb.

Christine Kemp-Hall – Principal – North Ormesby Primary Academy, Middlesborough

We (both the children and I) have had such a great time working with you. They have been so engaged and it has been lovely to see some of the more reluctant speakers eager to share their work.

Stacey Todd, Y6 teacher, North Ormesby Primary Academy – Middlesborough

It was an absolute pleasure – children spoke about you all day yesterday and staff were impressed with the way you tailored your sessions right from Nursery to Year 6 – that doesn’t happen often with visitors!

Samantha Marriott, Scholes Village Primary School

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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