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Children’s Author: Ian MacDonald
Making a difference for boys’ reading and writing in school!
Ian MacDonald is a children’s author with a specialism in getting boys ‘on board’ with reading and writing. He is a recommended author on the School Library Association’s Boys into Bookslisting; his stories are full of marauding mummies, strange aliens and skateboarding grannies! Ian now devotes much of his time to providing an extensive author visit programme to schools across the country.
His journey began as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school in Kent. There he began writing in the school holidays and his first book, Mrs Wrelton’s Dinosaur(Eprintpub 2003) featured on BBC regional radio and TV. “It was a long-held ambition to be a writer for as long as I can remember,”says Ian,“And it was an exciting moment the day a book dropped through the letterbox for the first time with my name on the cover!” Since then Ian has written extensively for several well-known educational publishers including OUP’s Project X, Gemsfor Badger Learning, Rocket Phonicsfor Rising Stars and a couple of graphic novels.
In between writing projects, Ian now devotes his much of his time to providing an extensive visit programme to schools across the country designed to inspire even the most reluctant readers… especially boys! A typical ‘book week’ day includes a visit from Spike the dinosaur for the youngest in KS1, while in KS2 Ian unpacks how to write character description or teach the tricks of writing chilling suspense stories. “He has the ability to mesmerise, entertain and inspire!”says Maidstone teacher, Gillian Duke.
Ian especially enjoys partnering with schools to really make an impact with writing, especially for boys. His residency programme, run over two or more days, enables children to hone their writing skills alongside a real-live author. In step-by-step workshops, Ian provides models for writing, and support and guidance for children to write their own ‘chapter’ story with important key skills built in. Children even have the opportunity to genuinely redraft their work by making a book in the shape of an alien spaceship or an Egyptian death mask! Angela Robinson of Great Bridge Primary School in The West Midlands has seen the impact Ian’s workshops can make.“Sessions with Ian reinforce reading and writing targets, and children become convinced that they really CAN be writers’!
If you want to find out more about Ian’s books, author days or his residency programme, visit www.authorinschools.co.uk.