Schools work

“I was completely entranced… boys and girls were falling over themselves to ask questions; he is educational in the best kind of way – inspirational would be a better word.” Vivian French, children’s author

More testimonials

My visits to schools are among my favourite experiences as an author. I love the passion and engagement of children and young people, and their hunger to express themselves and find out more about the world.

Using keepsakes, multimedia images and stories from my voyages to Easter Island and around the coast of Scotland, I offer talks/readings for up to 200 pupils (aged 9 to 18) or creative writing workshops to smaller groups. With input from teachers, I can tailor bespoke single sessions or a series of visits to enhance specific or requested areas of study across the Curriculum for Excellence – whether in Literacy and English, Science, Health and Wellbeing, or even Technology.

From 2016 to 2019 I was delighted to be Patron of Reading for Craigroyston Primary School in Edinburgh, where I worked with each year’s P4 classes around the theme of nautical adventures for the past two years. Other notable primary school projects have included an outreach series with Edinburgh Festival Theatre around the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in 2015, and a three-school, 8-week multi-disciplinary project called All About Boats. At senior school level my sessions have included reflective and travel writing at the Higher English creative writing conference, and a sixth form psychology class on the subject of learning to take appropriate risks.

Teachers across the pupil age range have commented on how the first-hand accounts of my own adventures – particularly the 2500-mile voyage to Easter Island on a reed boat – have succeeded in engaging in the pupils who are often hardest to reach. For boys in particular, there’s something about sea, sharks and storms that fires the imagination!

I charge the standard author rates recommended by the Scottish Book Trust, which offers 50% subsidy in some cases under the Live Literature scheme.

For more information, or queries about how I could help in your school, send me an email.

Case study – All About Boats * Printable schools flyer (PDF)

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