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

Facebook

It's windy and 'orrible out there. Only one thing for it - time for your dressing gown!

Enjoy 😀
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

I'm becoming the Patron of Reading at LOTS of schools recently, and I'm loving it! Consequently, I've written a new poem about books. Here it is.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the sound is in the background, that's our puppy Pebbles chewing on a toy car!!!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

In the last half hour two, of my friends have posted about their worries and anger at their (young) children having pressure of work from school - both in the form of homework and also practise Sats.

It's made me think: how much good does all this do? Our school's headteacher pretty much put an end to homework last year and it's made things SO much better for our whole family.

Instead, the children are given a big list of projects at the start of a topic and they can choose what they like the look of and which ones to do over the course of a half term or term.

It's brilliant! Last year Violet did two PowerPoint presentations off her own back. Mabel created an amazing scented garden from a box. She still has it. I saw it her bedroom tonight!

And yet...

One of my friends writes...

'So sick of homework!
My daughter has:

*Spellings (some stupid ones)
*not one but TWO reading books
*a double sided comprehension sheet
*10 words to learn
*maths and literacy sheets! Every week!

Is it just me l?!!!'🤢'

Is it just her?

I'm willing to bet that it's not!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

My contract for my latest book has arrived!!! And it's got a proper wax seal and everything! Working title of my book...

'Never Give Bread To a Duck.'

Very exciting!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
Like Me

Blog

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...