Author of the Ernie Gonzales series and Creative Writing tutor for key stage 2
What I am about and what I can bring to your school;
I have a passion for creativity and a huge heart for kids. I believe in the possibility of dreams/goals and the power of the right attitude; determination, perseverance, teamwork and encouragement. I like to bring this to the schools I visit and hopefully inspire and encourage the pupils I meet.
What my books are about, and what they can bring to your school;
Ernie Gonzales Series; Wholesome, humours, adventure stories with strong morals, great for rights respecting schools, building self belief, determination, friendship, teamwork, aimed at ages 7-11 but can be used for year 6 leavers, and good for on going schemes of work and lessons.
The Well of Dreams; for African themes, believing in a dream, understanding different cultures, empathising with those loving in poverty, believing in the impossible.
What I can offer schools;
I currently tutor creative writing privately in my local area and online. I really love my work, it is a joy to be able to use my skills to teach, encourage and empower children to express their voice through their own writing. I focus on breaking down how to write a story using the story hill template to build a basic plot and then work with pupils to identify the ‘ingredients’ that are needed in their story, such as action descriptions, setting the scene etc. My previous school visits include both creative writing and determined dreamer workshops, plus weekly sessions spread over 4 weeks on being determined which also included comprehension activities and which lead to a final persuasive writing piece.
Previously, I have worked as a teaching assistant, and a drama teacher in a college for young adults with learning difficulties. Also as an outdoors activity leaders for NST (similar to PGL), where I lead team building activities for primary aged pupils, and variety of summer camp, including Camp America, where I ran creative drama activities which focused on team building, self confidence. During this time I created plays from books which was the beginning of my passion writing and working with kids.
My passion and vision;
Using words to communicate a picture in the form of a story. I love the power of words and how they can create a picture in our minds, take us on journeys and stir our emotions. I think kids are amazing and my vision is to not only share with them my own passion for creative writing in the hope that it inspires them to enjoy this art, but to also share my own journey to achieve my dreams, teaching them that nothing is impossible if they put their mind to it, work hard and believe they can do it.
What other schools say;
'Beth is an enthusiastic author who is passionate about children’s learning. Her workshops focused on the themes of determination and overcoming adversity which are invaluable life lessons for our pupils. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and learning about the creative process of fictional writing.' Nikki Gooden, Field End Primary School, Aldemham
'Exciting workshop that inspired all learners. The children used their imagination to create the shared ideas and the teaching improved their outcome' R. Harkin, Norbury School Harrow
'This book delights and entertains children, whilst showing what can be achieved with ambition, patience and perseverance.' Maggie Crawford, English Advisor, Harrow
‘Ernie holds a wealth of morality for children to get to grips with- self- worth, determination, resilience, persistence, dreaming big etc.' D.Mendonca. Pinner Park Infant & Junior, Head of Literacy.
‘Ernie captivated the juniors I read it with right from the outset. It is linguistically rich with a storyline that holds great appeal to teachers and pupils alike. The workbook activities offer opportunities to develop PHSE and literacy skills. In my opinion, Beth Shepherd writes with a wise and dual purpose. To foment a love for reading and to induce her readers to dream. A joy to read and share.' Lindsay Macdonald, primary school teacher, Hertfordshire
'Ernie Gonzales - the Determined Dreamer' has been a big hit with our Year 4 pupils and has been a valuable resource in our reading development programme. I would recommend this book to other "read aloud" groups. The text is clever and funny.’ Anna Rickard, School Librarian, St George's Catholic Primary School
‘A great mixture of fun and excitement with cliff hanging sentences. Also filled with lots of morals for children to think about as they are reading. The children in my class sat on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what happened next!’ Steven Gibson. Teacher, Roxbourne Primary School.
Suggested itinerary for the full day workshop;
2 short book readings and question answer session (half school each). Followed by 4, one hour workshops, (or 2, two hour workshops).
However, this is only a guideline and I am more than happy to accommodate your school needs as best I can, for example, you may wish me to also visit years 5 & 6 also (I have found years 5 and even 6, to be very responsive and engaging during my visits).
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.
I have had 3 books published, including the Ernie Gonzales Series, and the accompanying literacy workbook for key stage 2 pupils. My most recent book published, The Well of Dreams, was illustrated by primary school pupils in my local area as a way of raising money to send books out to underprivileged schools in parts of Africa to inspire them to engage in reading books. My Ernie Gonzales series, is about the adventures of a brave Spanish snail, and demonstrates that nothing is impossible if you believe and are willing to persevere, and have inspired many young determined dreamers to go for their goals.