CPS pupils were delighted to meet award-winning author, story-teller and musician, Gareth P.Jones, who is our new Patron of Reading for 2018-19 on Friday. 

Gareth spent the whole day here, thrilling and inspiring the children from every year group in the school, with a world of Ninja Meerkats, Steampunk Pirates, dragon detectives, murderous twins, dark family secrets, bureaucratic ghosts, Victorian illusionists, dinosaur parties, time travel mysteries, funky ukuleles, sinister accordions, alien-fighting pets, death and ice cream.

Whilst speaking about the many interesting and varied books he has written (36 in total), Gareth also captivated the children with his book-inspired songs, accompanied by himself on the ukulele, piano and accordion, although not at the same time!  The library was buzzing at break, with so many children queuing up to meet him and have their books signed.

The Patron of Reading is a nationwide scheme which encourages schools to form a relationship with an author over the course of a year.  Gareth P. Jones will be visiting Cranleigh Prep several times this academic year, to run specific workshops for the children to inspire their reading and writing.  He will also be presenting the Awesome Book Awards at Cranleigh School in May 2019.

The Patron of Reading’s first official job is to award prizes to the children who won the Cranleigh Prep Summer Reading Challenge.  Pupils were given a raffle entry for every book that they read over the course of the Summer holidays.  Gareth P. Jones drew the raffle in Chapel and the following children were awarded an Amazon voucher as a prize: Edward J for Lower School, Lucy H for Middle School, Mattie W for Upper School.

Kate Schutte, Head of English at Cranleigh Prep, explains “Building a partnership with a Patron of Reading is so valuable to the children.  Over the course of the year, the author helps pupils to grow in confidence as writers and develop their breadth of reading.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of our pupils becomes a published author in the future.”

Please follow the link below to watch the highlights of the day: