We had a fantastic day on the 2nd May. This was because our Patron of Reading came to visit and spent the day with us. It was packed with fun activities and enjoyed by everyone. He agreed to do a book signing for any of our learners who wished to purchase his stories. Peter commented…

On 2nd May I visited Oakfield High for the third time as your Patron of Reading, and for me it just gets better and better. We crammed so much into a single day that I can’t possibly detail everything here, but here are some highlights (in no particular order) of what was a really special day.

For days before the visit, I was looking forward to seeing the completed Dragosaur on display that was started during my last visit, and it did not disappoint. It looks fantastic and I never could have imagined one of my stories creating the inspiration for something like that. Today, art was just as much fun as the students chose different characters from my books and turned them into moving figures using levers. The running police officers made me laugh the most but they were all great.

I judged the Sun Safe writing competition and chose the winner, and let me say that it was really tough. If you won, then congratulations, you deserved it! But if you didn’t win, then I can honestly say that the standard was exceptionally high and I really struggled to choose a winner. In the end, there were several that I loved, so the winner had to be the one that was best at getting all aspects of the Sun Safe message across. I loved the inventiveness on display and the fact that each entry was completely different.

One of my favourite activities when I visit schools is to help students create their own animal ‘mash-up’ and rhyme based upon my ‘Can You Draw The Dragosaur?’ story, and so it came as no surprise to me that Oakfield High, once again, came up with some brilliant creations. A Jagodile anyone? This was a great lesson as it showed how difficult it can be when faced with a blank sheet of paper, but I think that everyone enjoyed it and there was certainly a lot of hard work and effort put in.

Last but definitely not least, some of the students acted out my books, playing the parts of the characters, dressing up, and putting on a show. I admit that I was very nervous about this as I hadn’t tried it before, but I shouldn’t have worried, as the students really went for it and it was lots of fun. Acting out ‘Recipe for Making a Snowman’ and knocking everyone over was taken up a level by the inventive costumes, but the highlight was acting out ‘Bunny’ where the performances were truly memorable, especially ‘Cliff’, who stole the show for me.

Although the day was action packed and full of highlights, the best moments for me at Oakfield High are the small, unplanned moments, such as being shown your little sketchbook full of drawings, chatting over lunch, talking about books, or just saying ‘hi’ in the corridor. I feel like I have made friends at the school now, so if you recognise me say hello, or better still, stop and chat. It will make my day.