Introducing Our Literacy Laureate – Jon Mayhew
When Mrs Griffiths and Mrs Walton contacted me and asked me to be the school’s official Literacy Laureate, I was very honoured and excited by the prospect. I’m passionate about two things really, reading for pleasure and writing to the best of your ability.
I wasn’t always in love with reading and certainly, between years 5 to 7, I stopped reading altogether (I’ll be telling the students at the school how this came about). I never suspected that I would become a multi-award-winning author of books that fly off the shelves of bookshops. I’m pretty sure my teachers never thought that, either.
Reading opens so many doors for people, some into the imagination and some into well-being and prosperity in the ‘real’ world. Research has shown that children who read for pleasure achieve much in later life. I believe reading is a habit that is not just fun but it has many pay-offs in terms of thinking skills, problem-solving and effective learning.
We’ve put together an exciting programme of events, workshops and competitions that will engage all students. I’m really looking forward to talking to the students about their reading choices and preferences and, who knows? They may be able to help write my books!
Why not read the first chapter of Jon’s book, Monster Odyssey: http://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/monster-odyssey-chapter-extract.pdf
About Jon Mayhew
I live on the Wirral Peninsula with my wife, four children, two dogs and several evil chickens. My house overlooks the forbidding marshes of the Dee Estuary which is great for wildlife, spooky mists and wet feet.
I love writing but also enjoy running and playing the mandolin. Running is great because it keeps me fit and I can eat as many chips as I like without worrying about putting on weight… I think! My Favourite food, apart from chips, is probably chicken korma, or maybe mussels or perhaps lasagna or maybe roast lamb. My favourite children’s book is Holes by Louis Sachar.
We have exciting events, workshops and competitions that will engage all students. I look forward to talking to the students about their reading choices and preferences and, who knows? They may be able to help write my books!
Jon works with various groups within the school, whole year groups or individual classes.
Year 9 explore the concept of ‘show not tell’; broadening their descriptive writing by using the senses to explain what had happened rather than literal description.Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Walton, said: “Our students had a unique experience of learning writing techniques from a published author. The students got a great deal from the workshop, and I look forward to reading their future writing”.
He speaks to the whole of year 7 about his books and reading for pleasure. LRC Manager, Mrs Griffiths, said: “Jon engages the entire year groups with his storytelling, they are fascinated to hear about his work as an author and thoroughly enjoy his animated explanation of his school days”.
At the same time he sets the whole year group a story writing competition around monsters. Jon returns in the summer to present prizes in various different categories which covered all aspects of story writing.
His smaller workshops concentrate on the needs of the specific groups, He engages the students, getting them to think about character, plot, what they need to make a good story and what props they might need.