Reading & Rugby in the Prep

Alphas and Prep 1s in the Prep were treated to a visit from prolific children’s author Tom Palmer on Monday 15 June.  He has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “one of the best football writers of our time” and his football based children’s stories have won him acclaim as well as several prizes.  In his latest series of books he has moved away from writing about football to writing about rugby and even hosted book signings for his “Rugby Academy” series at Twickenham during the Six Nations Tournament earlier this year.  Rugby World has described Palmer’s books as “pacey, but also thought-provoking …  just the thing to whet the appetites of rugby-mad primary school children at the start of the World Cup year.”

Palmer confessed to his young audience, “When I was your age I didn’t really like reading, which might seem strange for an author.  My mum encouraged me to read the sports sections of newspapers, football magazines and biographies of sports stars.”  He said that visiting schools and meeting the pupils gave him a buzz.

Both boys and girls were involved in the day’s activities which combined reading games, in the form of quizzes, with sporting drills.  Afterwards the children got the opportunity to have copies of Palmer’s novels signed.

Karen Yelverton, English Co-ordinator for the Prep said that, in general, reading still seems to be the preserve of girls, “We have a beautiful new library, but at lunch times it is filled with girls!  It’s great to have a visit from an author who taps into the interests of boys.”  This was a busy but very productive day, at the end of which Tom Palmer said that he had enjoyed meeting our articulate, friendly and happy pupils!

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