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Issued: April 18, 2016

PICTURES: Pictures can be viewed and downloaded HERE
Children's author Dan Freedman visits King Harold Academy
Children's author and former football journalist Dan Freedman visited King Harold Academy to work with students from Years 7, 8 and 9.

School librarian Giselle Morris said: "We were able to offer many of our students a literary treat that brought their reading to life."

The event - organised by Mrs Morris and the school's literacy co-ordinator, Nicola Reece - included gifting 40 students with a copy of Freedman’s first book, ‘The Kick Off’, a special parent/carers evening and watching football matches whilst listening to ’The Kick-off’ being read in the Learning Resource Centre.

All of Year 8 along with some specially selected Year 7 and 9 boys were given a ‘Big Talk’ by Mr Freedman who discussed his exciting and varied career journey, his experiences as a journalist, his work with the England football team, his latest venture of the Jamie Johnson series being made into a CBBC TV series, and his inspirations.

Students were given the opportunity to ask many questions where they impressed staff with their thought and maturity.

Later in the day, Mr Freedman spent time with a selected group of 40 Key Stage 3 boys where he led a writing workshop.

The boys enthusiastically played detectives and psychologists by analysing the main characters from the Jamie Johnson series and created their own story with Mr Freedman’s support.

The best four pieces of students' work will be published on Mr Freedman’s website.

Mrs Reece said: "The students were really enthused about the whole event with many inspired to become authors themselves as Dan had reinvigorated their love of reading."

Year 8 student Kai Ibrahim said: "Dan’s workshop made me realise how crucial reading is for my English and literacy skills, and has motivated me to never give up on whatever you do.

"I feel really confident with my writing after working with Dan."

Fellow Year 8 student Thomas Darling said ‘The ‘Big Talk’ had "inspired" him because Dan spoke about the struggles he went through at school.

Year 8 student Santyna Marchesi said: "‘The ‘Big Talk’ showed me to try everything because I may regret it in the future. Dan Freedman didn’t like books and writing when he was younger but became an author which tells us we can be anything."
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