Author visits: sharing a passion for reading
March 17, 2023

Author visits: sharing a passion for reading

The School Council requested that reading for pleasure be a feature of last week’s Wellbeing Week, so the event presented a perfect opportunity for authors to visit the school and encourage the children to read.


Jane Porter, a picture book author and illustrator, joined us in assembly and spoke to the whole school about her early fascination with collecting unusual objects and making up stories around them. She showed the children the box she had made to keep these in. She encouraged them to make their own and to keep objects they could include in their future stories. Jane then visited Reception and Year 1 to read one of her stories, and asked them to help her make a story map filled with their imaginative ideas.


Archaeologist and author Jake Wilson visited Year 2 and 3, and read to them from his latest book. Jake also spoke to the children about some of the finds he had discovered on various digs, let them handle the objects and made them guess what they were. He also showed the children how he used these objects to give him a starting point for his stories. He was particularly impressed with the children’s knowledge of the Egyptians – his favourite period of history.


Nursery welcomed storyteller Steve Rawlings who hosted a brilliant, interactive storytelling session with the children. It was clear from their focus and enthusiasm that the children loved their time with Steve and the array of imagined animals that formed part of his story.


Finally, Year 4, 5 and 6 welcomed Alice M. Ross who spoke to the children about story-writing and her debut children’s book, The Nowhere Thief. Speaking to students afterwards, they evidently enjoyed her visit, describing it as “highly informative and creative” and “a doorway into her imagination.” After the session, Alice signed copies of her book and several children have been observed around school engrossed in its pages.

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The Pause

At St James, we feel it is important to introduce our pupils to stillness and allow them to discover how to be inwardly free and deeply at ease within themselves. A short period of 5-10 minutes at the beginning and middle of every day is allocated to quietude in which pupils may meditate, contemplate or simply be still – according to their own spiritual inclinations.

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