Recently, throughout my book tour of primary schools across Scotland, I have discovered that the teachers’ staff-rooms are delightful havens for all sorts of cake-related naughtiness. I’ve never really had a sweet-tooth but I can, on occasion, be persuaded to munch into a Kit-Kat or a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer.
And when there’s three or four teachers insisting that I enjoy another piece of shortbread, try a little bit of home baking, or ’take another chocolate biscuit, no one’s watching’, it becomes difficult to resist. In fact, it would be rude not to.
I’ve even had one lovely dinner lady make me up a packed lunch, cling-filmed to a plate with a sticker on it that read ‘author’ . But my wife has made me a sandwich, I would protest. Oh, go on, would be the reply, you need to keep your strength up.
However it may not be my strength that’s going up but my waistline. My shorts are becoming tighter, stairs are becoming steeper and I recently admitted to my doctor that I haven’t done any exercise in the last 10 years.
So when my sister suggested that I take part in the Perth, Scotland vs Perth, Canada Kilted 5 Mile Race, to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the most number of participants wearing kilts, I could only say ‘yes’ – Of course, I will be taking part dressed as Grandpa Jock, from my book Gorgeous George and the Ginat Geriatric Generator.
So, instead of spending an hour writing this week’s blog, I’m just going to pad my post out with some really cool comments from head teachers and principals, telling me exactly what they thought about my presentation, whilst I go out for a bit of a run…..well, a walk, really. OK, OK, I’ll just meander about a bit and take in the scenery but it’s still exercise.
Testimonies from Head Teachers and Principals
The presentation was VERY informative and delivered in such a way that it held ALL the children’s interest throughout. It was excellent that Stuart involved the pupils at different stages and that there were some practical activities for them to be part of.
They spoke enthusiastically for many days afterwards and were very keen for Stuart to return. AND they enjoyed reading your book and talking to their friends about it.
TS, St. Mary’s Primary, Bathgate.
Superb children’s author….our P4 – P7 pupils were all absolutely entranced by his talk and the ideas he gave them for both reading and writing. Stuart’s novel, “Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator” is a superb book having read it myself and I know that many pupils in my class have since the visit bought the novel and enjoyed it. It is funny, entertaining and includes a number of interesting literary techniques which help to exemplify what the pupils should be trying to do in their own writing. It is fantastic to have finally found a book which encourages boys to read.
FMcT, Principal Teacher, Eastertoun Primary, Armadale.
Stuart’s presentation was entertaining and lively and appealed to the interests of the age range of the children in the audience. There were plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in and audience participation was encouraged and, indeed, expected! Teacher’s afterwards reported back that children, including some boys who are not usually all that interested in writing, were keen to start work on their own stories and were looking at ways that they could use alliteration themselves.
LC, Depute Headteacher, Deanburn Primary School, Bo’ness
Stuart performed the role of visiting author very well. His presentation hit the spot with the children in my school. He is clearly tuned into their way of seeing things. Our kids are now reading his book and are interested in the next in the series. We found Stuart to be very organised and amenable in setting up his visits and would hope to have you back.
MC, Laurieston Primary School.
I have just delivered your signed copies into the Primary 4-7 classes and the gasps of delight not only surprised but enthused me to continue to encourage our literacy developments in a humorous way! All of our pupils thoroughly enjoyed your visit and I am sure that their enthusiasm for reading, particularly the boys has been re-ignited!!
JC, Deputy Principal, Corpus Christi, Glasgow
One teacher said: “I felt Stuart had great presence and really captured the children’s’ attention and imagination.” On the whole both children and staff enjoyed your visit. Comments about your book have all been very positive. Thank you for helping to make our book week memorable.
Good luck with your next book. Maybe you could come back and share it with us!
DA, Principal Teacher St Joseph’s, Bonnybridge.
I do not approve of this sort of thing. Pupils should aspire to something more noble.
The timewarp teacher, who shall remain anonymous.