28 September 2017

Imagination ‘reins’ as TV’s Clare Balding champions Erdington pupils

TV presenter, writer and broadcaster Clare Balding proved to be a good sport when she visited Brookvale Primary School today and praised the “fantastic, imaginative and funny” pupils.

Clare’s books are a big hit with Brookvale children

The popular personality, whose love of horses has inspired her to write four children’s books, gave a motivational assembly and classroom sessions, to help budding authors with their own literary works.

During the packed assembly – which was also attended by some parents – Clare talked to children about confidence, creativity, and the importance of using their imagination. The animated audience joined in with Clare’s colourful storytelling and took note of the author’s top writing tips.

Clare said:

It was great to meet the children and hear their creative stories and their ambitions in life. I was impressed that so many of them want to become teachers and I credit the excellent teachers at Brookvale for inspiring them.”

Clare met with different year groups to discuss the children’s own stories and to take part in question and answer sessions. The pupils found out that the author’s favourite subject at school was English and that she has presented the Paralympics since 2000. When asked which celebrities she has encountered, Clare’s reply – which name checked David Beckham, Justin Bieber and the Queen – met with gasps of amazement from the star-struck youngsters.

The visit was organised by Harriet Halsey, reading leader at Brookvale, which consistently tops the national primary phonics league table.

Harriet said:

The pupils had a fantastic time and Clare’s visit has left them buzzing with ideas about creating their own stories and develop their writing skills.”

Harriet added that Clare had helped to shape her own life’s course.

I first met Clare when I was nine and she inspired me to do what I love – working with children – and so I became a teacher,” she added.

During her visit, Clare signed copies of her books and donated a collection to the school library – including her newly published ‘The Racehorse Who Disappeared.’ Children presented their famous guest with equestrian themed cards and Clare was clearly impressed with the handmade gifts. She said:

They’re fantastic, imaginative and funny – I can’t wait to read them all!”

Headteacher Jonathan Smart said:

It was a pleasure to welcome Clare to our school and we thank her for taking the time to meet with and listen to pupils – she’s a natural!

Brookvale children are aspirational and such visits help them to realise their potential and develop the confidence and creativity to achieve future success.”