A soldier turned children’s author is launching primary school workshops to inject creativity into the classroom.
Sean Beech, 41, who started writing books after witnessing appalling levels of literacy when he worked as an army medic in Iraq, is now on a mission to inspire schoolchildren in deprived areas.
The married father of three has just qualified as a teacher after a year at St George’s Beneficiary CoE Primary in Portsea.
But rather than limit himself to the classroom curriculum, Sean says he wants to release the imaginations of youngsters through a fun set of author-workshops in schools across the region.
He says: ‘The reason I got into writing was to inspire young soldiers. When I was out in Iraq in 2006 with the Light Infantry a lot of the men couldn’t read which I found quite alarming.
‘They got letters from home, some of them very intimate, and they’d ask me to read them. I wrote my first book when I was out there and they helped me with some of the characters.
‘My passion is still writing and my short time in primary school teaching has made me realise I could help.
‘If young children see a former soldier who’s an author telling them he loves books and how cool it is to read, they might think it’s okay.
‘I have seen the benefits of authors going into schools, because if you want children to get hooked on something you have a lot more credibility if you do it for a living.’
Sean, of Waltham Chase, said working in Portsmouth was a real eye-opener, and he hopes he can give more children a love of books.
He explains: ‘When you do creative writing you give children the licence to be silly. When I show a class a picture of a whale and ask them what they see they’ll say a whale.
‘But when I tell them I see an undercover ship for the mermaid’s tea party, carrying fairy cakes to the bottom of the ocean, that’s the sort of freedom I want them to use to express themselves.’
To contact Sean call him on 01489 896 211 or email email@example.com.