Visiting author Marcus Alexander
Last term saw an unusual visitor around Ivybridge Community College. Years 9 and 10 students were privileged to enjoy the company of Marcus Alexander, author of the ‘Keeper of the Realm’ series of books. Marcus arrived, bringing with him a bit of a whirlwind which continued throughout the day as he worked with four different groups of students.
For the first session, forty-one Year 9 students, who had successfully completed the Books and Beyond Challenge, attended a creative writing workshop with Marcus. These students were rewarded for their commitment to reading by spending the hour working on strategies to support them when creating characters. While this will help them when it comes to the creative aspect of their GCSE English, the most important thing was the fun that was had while experimenting with different ideas.
Through the next three sessions, each lasting an hour, a total of one hundred and thirty students from Years 9 and 10 were lucky enough to listen to this engaging author talk about his passions and experiences. Marcus talked at length about his travels, he has visited more countries than could be named, and hobbies, including Parkour and Capoeira. He explained why he believed that reading was so very important to everyone. He talked about places that he had visited that didn’t have access to books, and about how detrimental that was to people’s personal (not just educational) development.
The students all had an opportunity to ask questions of Marcus, which they made the most of. He was asked about his favourite food, the strangest thing he’d ever eaten, his best advice for being successful, his favourite place to travel to, the best place for snowboarding , all manner of things, all of which Marcus answered honestly.
He then enjoyed a break in a collaborative lunch, involving teachers from Ivybridge Community College and primary school teachers from across our Multi Academy Trust, discussing further his passions of reading and travel with teachers from across all Key Stages.
All too soon, Marcus had to leap back onto his motorbike and return to London, leaving behind him a trail of enthusiasm and passion that his whirlwind had whipped up.