Pupils are inspired to develop love for books with visit from author

Damian Dibben visited Bay House School in Gosport where he met and chatted with the children about his new book. (left to right), Evie Warringer (11), Ryan Bloxsom (12), Darcy Edwards (11), 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142877-1)
Damian Dibben visited Bay House School in Gosport where he met and chatted with the children about his new book. (left to right), Evie Warringer (11), Ryan Bloxsom (12), Darcy Edwards (11), 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142877-1)
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There is ever-increasing evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for both pleasure and educational purposes as well as for personal development, writes school librarian Adele Hawksworth.

As a school we promote and encourage reading at every opportunity, as we work together to improve literacy levels.

Improved reading skills can have a big impact on our children’s attainment across all subject areas, which is why the Learning Resource Centre works closely with all departments to support reading for pleasure.

As part of this support a varied programme of events run throughout the year to promote reading. One major event in the school calendar is an author visit.

Our school thrives on the anticipation of an author coming in to school. The children are enthused and excited about meeting an author in person and having the chance to talk to them.

Those children that get to hear the author talk often comment on how they felt inspired to read more or try harder with their creative writing.

So when Damian Dibben arrived at Bay House School to a rapturous applause from Year 7 pupils yesterday, we knew that they were in for a real treat. Damian has had three books published as part of the History Keepers series and pupils eagerly listened to how he combined his love of adventure with his passion for history.

Damian said: ‘I grew up reading adventure stories and took inspiration from films such as James Bond and Indiana Jones.

‘I love being able to explore and talk about other worlds – history being the greatest story of all time.’

Damian interacted with the children by getting them to identify historical landmarks and events that were linked to the themes in his novels.

He added: ‘As a writer it’s great to get the opportunity to meet your audience in an exciting and engaging way.

‘With kids you get to see the enthusiasm for reading, for history and for the stories in general. Kids offer great feedback and often will tell you what they like and dislike.

‘I feel passionately about going back into schools and sharing my enthusiasm for things that they are learning.’

At the end of the talk the pupils were invited to ask questions and have books signed. After lunch Damian held a special on-to-one session with a history class.

All in all, our children went home inspired to think about time travel, adventure and history!