Cowplain students inspired by visit of Tarzan author

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STUDENTS from Cowplain Community School at Waterlooville welcomed the author, screenwriter and producer Andy Briggs to the school this week.

The author entertained the Year 7 students with stories from Hollywood and later told them of his travels to Africa while researching his books.

Andy is the author of the contemporary Tarzan series of books, a character originally created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912.

Andy approached the Burroughs family and was granted permission to bring Tarzan up to date for the young readers of today.

During a lively presentation, Andy described the effects of deforestation, illegal logging and hunting.

Pupils were fully engaged and transported to the Congo – with its constant noises of the rain forest, the birds, dripping water, hissing snakes and thousands of insects.

After the main presentation, the students took part in interactive workshop sessions.

Andy explained the importance of setting the scene and introducing characters before the main action and drama of the story unfolds, and described the point of no return and how the ending of a book should tie all the storylines together.

The author encouraged the students to write their own stories and read them aloud.

Jennifer Rogers, 11, said: ‘Today has taught me how to get over having writer’s block which I have often. It has been very educational.’

Karen Milford, the library manager who arranged the visit, said: ‘Andy Briggs was truly inspirational. You could see the budding writers emerging from their shells.’

The students were able to buy signed copies of the Tarzan books.

Nicki Craven, the work-related learning manager, said: ‘We are very proud of our students and the focus shown during this amazing opportunity.

‘Andy has seen some great potential at Cowplain and took the time to give individual words of encouragement and advice to students with a flair for writing.’