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Gaywood Primary School

Author Zooms in for visit

Our pupils had the chance to quiz a top author when he made a special visit after reading a Tweet about books.

Our school took to social media to tweet about the books we read each week, and one of them was by Richard O’Neill - who was promptly invited to talk to the children about his work.

Due to the pandemic, a ‘virtual’ meeting was organised with Richard appearing on a big screen in front of 400 pupils.

His book, The Lost Homework, was the spark which led to the social media post on Twitter and it tells the story of a child who lives within a Traveller community and is excited about a family wedding.

The author is an award-winning storyteller who has a Traveller heritage which he uses within his work and tells original stories which he brings to life in schools, libraries, museums, theatres and workplaces around the country.

“We are teaching children to think like authors - what makes a good story? We use the Talk 4 Writing approach in our English sessions which get children to memorise and retell a story so they understand how to write their own stories,” said head teacher Neil Mindham.

“Richard’s books give children an understanding of his community in an interesting way; They also give children an understanding of how other people live and that we are all different,” he added.

Questions from his young audience included asking why he wanted to become an author and how long did it take him to write a book.

It is hoped Richard will be able to visit in person in the future when pandemic restrictions have been completely lifted.

“I had the best time - what fab children and staff. And such amazing visitors,” said Richard on Twitter after his ‘visit’.