Natalie Eyles, teacher at Linthwaite Ardron C of E Voluntary Aided Junior and Infant School, said of my workshop: “Our Year 3 and Year 4 classes (both adults and children!) thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Stephen recently. His book ‘Madge the Mermaid’ is a great story which appeals to both girls and boys. Stephen was engaging and the children were hanging on his every word! It was particularly great for our children to see the ‘real life’ writing process of an author – especially in the current educational climate, that puts more focus on the ‘mechanics’ of writing, which can turn children off writing altogether. Our children became interested in writing again in front of our eyes. Stephen spent around an hour in each classroom working with the children; reading part of ‘Madge the Mermaid’, sharing his inspiration for the story and reading some of his poems. The children loved seeing pictures of the ‘real’ mermaid and handling a selection of seashells. Stephen then patiently met each child wishing to purchase a copy of the book individually and signed copies with personal messages – much to the children’s delight. I would wholeheartedly recommend that teachers contact Stephen to arrange a visit to their schools.”

 

Clare Wilbourne, teacher at Idle C of E Primary School, said: “Stephen came to talk to my Year 3 class. I’d prepared them by reading the first chapter of his book. The children were instantly fascinated by the story and were keen to find out more. Stephen interacted well with them. It was brilliant for the children to be able to see the process of taking an idea for a story and the journey to finally getting a published book. Seeing Stephen’s original plans and drafts really helped to engage the children in this process. Stephen presented these enthusiastically and even allowed the children to decide which sketches they would have chosen. It was useful for the class to see that books don’t just magically appear and the numerous steps that are involved. Stephen’s passion for writing inspired the children with their own creativity; it was great for them to see where their ideas could lead them.”

 

Click here for a report from the Keighley News regarding Stephen's school visit.

 

 

Rachael Heys, teacher at Burton Leonard C of E Primary School, said: “Stephen was easy to contact and our visit was organised within hours. He came a couple of days later and delivered a fabulous, educational and inspirational session to my Year 3/4 class. Stephen was able to support our learning of mermaids and inspired my children to write a story about them. He shared with us the process of how to write a book, choose the illustrations and how to have the book published. The children were fascinated to learn how you can become an author and to find out about Stephen's own journey in becoming an author. Stephen Pass shared a couple of chapters of his book, which is based upon a mermaid he stumbled upon in Perranporth, and the children have been asking to find out what happens next ever since. We gave the children the opportunity to purchase his book and the children snapped up this opportunity - as did I! The books were delivered promptly with a personalised message for each child - they were blown away with this! I highly recommend Stephen if you want your children to be engaged, inspired and motivated to write; he definitely got the vote from my boys!”


Keelan Barrand, teacher at Bolton Brow Primary Academy, said: “Year 3 and 4 were visited by author Stephen Pass. He read extracts from his fabulous book as well as performing some of his unique poetry. He then showed the children the creative process; from notes, to 1st draft to manuscripts to the final published book. This has really helped us when we think about planning our writing. The children thoroughly enjoyed their time with Stephen.”


Carol Harvey and Lynda Dodson, teachers at Crossley Street Primary School, said: “The children in Years 3 and 4 thoroughly enjoyed meeting a real-life author. It was particularly interesting to learn how a book is produced and how it transforms from an original idea into a published story. The children loved seeing the pictures of how Stephen and his illustrator developed the main character and the choices Stephen had to make; even down to the type of paper the book was to be published on. Stephen’s workshop was fun and captured the interest of adults and children alike.”


Another teacher wrote to me: “My class read your book throughout last week and have written their own versions of ‘Madge the Mermaid’ – with lots of variations on the name for the mermaid starting with an ‘M’. I am genuinely delighted and to a degree surprised by the quality of some of the writing produced. The children were clearly massively enthused by the morning we spent with you and it is really visible in the children’s writing. Most children in Year 3 write with a pencil, but when they prove their handwriting is of a certain standard (as is the case in lots of schools) they are allowed a ‘pen licence!!!’ A staggering 13 members of my class have been awarded their pen licence based alone on their Mermaid stories – they have taken such pride and care in the presentation of their work as they are so proud of what they have produced! Thank you so much for that!”

     

 

       
       
       
       
     
     
     
     
     
     
                                       
 
© 2020 Stephen Pass