Leighton Park School's Patron of Reading Entertains over 300 KS2 Pupils

Author Steve Cole inspires 8 Berkshire primary and prep schools with his experience writing children’s books

Leighton Park School’s Patron of Reading, acclaimed author Steve Cole, returned for a successful Meet the Author event with 323 Year 4 and 5 children and their teachers from eight primary and prep schools across Berkshire on Tuesday 23rd April. It was an inspiring and enriching experience for young readers and aspiring writers alike to hear about the ups and downs of the writer’s journey to becoming an author and how they can also achieve their literary aspirations!Steve Cole is well known for his captivating children's books, including the immensely popular ‘Astrosaurs’, ‘Cows in Action’ and ‘Young Bond’ series.  With a knack for blending adventure, humour and imagination, plus a talent for the ukulele, Cole has captured the hearts and minds of KS2 readers across the nation, making him an ideal choice to engage young audiences. Steve's latest book, 'Drowning in my Bedroom' is the latest in his long line of over 200 published children's books and Steve was delighted to discuss his experiences as a successful author.During the event, students had the opportunity to interact with Steve Cole in the intimate setting of Leighton Park’s Main Hall, where in between bouts of laughter at Steve’s numerous digressions, they could ask questions, share their thoughts, and gain insights into the creative process behind crafting compelling stories. Cole shared anecdotes from his own journey as a writer, inspiring students to explore their own creativity and pursue their passion for storytelling.Joining the event were New Christchurch Primary, Whiteknights Primary, Christ the King Primary, Ridgeway Primary, Whitley Park Primary, St Piran’s Prep School, Caversham School and Hemdean House.Leighton-Park-School-meet-the-author.1Andrea Hutchison, Deputy Head at Caversham Prep, felt the event was “excellent in promoting a new genre of reading.” and that her students benefitted by “being inspired to write and to see the value in writing.” Alex Matthews, Year 5 teacher at New Christchurch Primary agreed saying “It makes writing seem exciting and fun for the students”. His pupil Charlie certainly felt that “It was very funny!”. Charlie T from St Piran's learnt "to merge different ideas to help start your story." Whereas Caversham Prep pupil Ella who enjoyed “Everything (but mostly the song!)” declared “I haven’t read any of Steve Cole’s books but now I really want to!”. A sentiment shared by many of the audience keen to expand their literary horizons following the talk.Steve Cole has done a wonderful job as the School’s Patron of Reading since 2019, engaging thousands of children over the last four years. Steve will be concluding his role this summer as Librarian, Grace Ritchie, gets ready to welcome a new author into the role. Grace is coinciding the announcement with the launch of the new whole School Library in September situated in the extensively renovated Grove House Sixth Form Centre. We look forward to welcoming all our visiting schools back next year to meet our new Patron of Reading 2025!
Leighton Park has received several recent accolades, including winning Senior School of the Year in the Independent Schools Association Awards 2023 and being a Finalist for Independent School of the Year in the TES Awards 2023. The most recent UK Government analysis shows that the school’s Sixth Form leavers achieved the best academic progress in Berkshire, while the Independent Schools Inspectorate awarded it excellent in all areas in January 2022 – the highest possible attainment for an independent school.The School was recognised as a national leader for Pupil Personal Development in 2022, winning the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Award for Excellence in this area. In the same, year the School gained the Wellbeing Award for Schools, accredited by the National Children’s Bureau.Leighton Park School is a day and boarding school for 11-18 year olds in Reading, Berkshire. For more information please see www.leightonpark.com.

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