This morning I had my first meeting with the head of Burford School, Oxfordshire, along with the head of English, the marketing/publicity manager and the fantastic librarian – all of us gathered to talk about my new position at the school as Patron of Reading, and what exactly that meant to all of us.
We all had lots of ideas and the great thing about the Patron of Reading scheme is that you can make it exactly what you want it to be, depending on the type of school and the author’s particular interests/skills. I had to try not to get carried away in offering things I could do – otherwise I’d never have time to write my books! – but here were some of our favourite ideas:
- do an assembly in the autumn term (and perhaps one each term) to introduce the students to some of my favourite books and have a shelf in the library where students can find my recommended reads. Also to have some kind of display of suggested books in the reception foyer
- talk to the sixth form about life as a writer and my experience of the publishing process, along with Why You Don’t Have To Choose One Career For The Rest Of Your Life (because I’ve had three so far and I enjoyed all of them)
- do a whole-day visit in Book Week next year to include a talk to as many students as possible in the hall, two creative writing workshops and a parents’ evening to raise awareness and interest in reading
- maybe get involved in the Accelerated Reader scheme (not sure how yet)
- maybe present prizes next year
- maybe get involved in some way with the Carnegie and Oxfordshire Book Award shadowing groups
I’ll be starting off by introducing myself in the school newsletter this term, so watch this space for further developments!