World Book Day: Bootle’s Stanley High School appoint popular author as new writer-in-residence

A WELL known children’s author who has recently been appointed writer in residence at Stanley High School in Southport was the VIP guest at its World Book Day celebrations this week.

The school welcomed Wirral-based Jon Mayhew, the multi-award-winning author of numerous popular children’s books, who led a series of writing-related activities for Stanley students and pupils from local primary schools.

Jon Mayhew’s writing success began with the spine-chilling Mortlock trilogy, books set in Victorian London and described by one critic as ‘exciting, dark and gruesomely gothic chillers’.

He has subsequently produced the equally popular Monster Odyssey series which feature giant sea beasts, pirates and weird inventions set in a real historical world.

During his World Book Day visit to Stanley, Jon spoke to year 7 students about how he become an author, and the various sources of inspiration for his work.

These pupils then joined children from years four and five at Marshside Primary, Larkfield Primary and St. John’s Primary Crossens at other sessions which focused on Jon’s suggestions for different techniques that can help to make narrative writing more interesting.

All the year groups then worked with Stanley’s year nine Literacy Leaders on developing pieces of writing using Jon’s tips and ideas from the previous sessions.

Stanley Lead Teacher in English, Gill Navin, commented: “Having a writer in residence is a really exciting development for the school.

“Jon’s gift is that he manages to make students believe that becoming an author is something they could achieve in the future, inspiring them to work on improving their reading and writing skills today.

“Before becoming a full-time author Jon worked as an English teacher for 25 years, and this experience was apparent in the great  rapport he developed with pupils of all ages during the day,” added Miss Navin.

Headteacher Neil Moore added: “We were delighted to welcome children from our local primary schools to work with Jon and our Literacy Leaders here at Stanley.

They will be delivering sessions at other local schools over the coming weeks and we look forward to welcoming Jon back to Stanley soon.”