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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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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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...