Joe Craig

On Friday 29 April, author Joe Craig visited The Ravensbourne School and performed for Year 7 and Year 8 students.  The focus of the day was to inspire the students to become better writers. Working with Year 7s, Joe cleverly created fast-paced, action-packed stories from the children's ideas using his 3 problem theory - impending doom, let's get personal and inner demons.

I think that the best part of the session was when he took suggestions from Year 7 and made up a story.  I also liked his sense of humour which really interested everyone [Emily]

The best part of the day was … all of it!  It was so funny and I got so many laughs out of it [Anna]

I don’t think Joe could have done anything differently because he made everyone laugh and helped us all with our creative writing skills [Olivia]

Thank you for reminding me that everyone can write a story J [Anna]

For the Year 8s, Joe inspired them to 'tell a story' by re-imagining his life story in a completely believable way, drawing the audience in using humour. He finished each session with a Q&A and the students had a chance to buy a signed copy of his books.

The best part was when he told everyone that it was a story.  It amazed me because the story was very realistic and he said it with a lot of emotion to make it believable [Carter]

I enjoyed the experience of meeting a writer.  I found that his use of just his voice and no PowerPoint was nice, simple and refreshing [Year 8]

I loved it! Come back again [Year 8]

Joe enjoyed the day too and posted a message to everyone he met at TRS on Instagram @joecraiguk.  Check it out!

Chris Bradford

On Friday 13th March, the award winning author Chris Bradford visited our Year 7s and gave an action packed performance based upon his Bodyguard and Young Samurai series of books.  There was also an opportunity at the end of the session for students to buy books, meet Chris and get a personalised dedication. 

The students were in awe of Chris's martial arts, body guarding and samurai sword skills and many have been inspired to read his books.  A small group of students were lucky enough to meet with Chris for an informal chat at the end of the session.

Here is what some of them had to say:

After an amazing performance about his book some of us were invited to come and speak to him.  We found out that when he was young he wanted to explore and loved travel.  When I asked him how many martial arts he has done he said that he had done 10!!  One of them was jujitsu which I do, he wished me good luck as I had a grading.
Evie Van den Belt

Chris Bradford is an adventurous guy!  My favourite part was when he was telling us about his life and in particular, an amusing story about his wife, his spare first aid kit and a Samurai sword!

Meeting Chris Bradford was a very exciting experience and led me to buy his first Bodyguard book.  His books sound very exciting and real page turners, with Chris having actual experience of body guarding and samurai skills.  I feel very honoured to have actually met him in person and for him to answer my questions.  Also, meeting him put me in a good mood for the rest of the day!
Benny Turgoose

With Chris Bradford after school we got to ask him some questions and I really enjoyed it.  Also, at the end he gave us a free signed poster!  I asked him if he enjoyed writing his books.
Will Reading

Sam Enthoven

On Wednesday 4th February, author Sam Enthoven visited TRS to talk to and inspire our Year 8 and 9 students.  The students particularly enjoyed hearing him read from his books and participating in the Q&A sessions.  

Sam enjoyed the day too and was enormously heartened and encouraged by the largely positive feedback that he received from our students.  He has adapted some of these responses into a short post for his blog.  Click here to view.

All Sam’s books are available to borrow from the Discovery Library and his book Crawlers is currently being serialised (for free!) on the social network site Wattpad. 

Whilst he was with us, Sam kindly agreed to be interviewed by some of the students who heard him speak. 

Below are their questions and Sam's answers:

1. How did your time in a bookshop affect your writing?

There was fabulous access to lots of books; you could borrow them and see the newest releases and bestsellers. You could see how the best books were written and write things you cared about. I wrote three short stories in two weeks then knew I had to work part-time.

2. If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
I like the idea of flying and shooting energy out of my hands. My favourite hero was one that beats crime with music, whose enemy was the “Silencer”, who I discovered at a writing convention.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?
I used to want to be an astronaut, until I got glasses; astronauts need 20/20 vision. I used to also be interested in music and wanted to be in a band, which didn’t work out very well.

4. How was Centrepoint? (Centrepoint is a charity supporting homeless young people)
It was a fun fundraising evening out, more [fun] than I had expected. It was important as it raised a lot of money for the homeless. There is no safety net preventing you from also being homeless, which is one of the reasons why I helped. 

5. Is there an author you’re inspired by?
There are loads of authors I’m inspired by because you can learn how to improve by reading their works. I can't narrow it down to one; I’ll give you one name, and 10 minutes later I’ll give you another.

6. Have you ever based any characters on your family?No, because it isn't the best thing for a story to only base it on a single person.  Their reactions may be different to how you want your real story to be.  It is better to use a mixture, to make them unique.

7. Are there any philosophical teachings you present in your book?

No, but I have considered it.  It is better to not think of it because it makes your story stay set to only path.  Like your character, you need a mixture of what happens. 

8. Do you have any hobbies?
I like to listen to music and have recently tried to play new instruments.  I am currently playing the theremin.  The theremin is one of the first electronic instruments that is based on magnetism; it isn’t touched, your hand just goes through it to make noise. 

9. What or who inspires you to write your books?
It’s about asking “what if?” and “what is cool/fun?” It’s mostly about the books you enjoy in the world.  Don’t wait for ideas, make them come to you.  Write about what you love because passion is most important for writing books. 

10. What sort of things do you include in your stories?
“Write the exact book that you yourself would be thrilled to read.” This was said by Lee Child when he was asked the same thing.  It opened doors for him.  It will guide you through the rest of the process.

The 2Steves

On Tuesday 29th April the 2Steves, authors Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow, visited TRS to perform for Years 7 and 8 and to give a writing masterclass for a smaller group of students. 

Students described the 2Steves performance as entertaining, energetic, educational, funny and inspirational!

“They were nice, funny and really good with us.  They’re extremely good authors too!”

“They were very confident and enthusiastic, so they weren’t embarrassed when acting out parts in the book”

“They inspired me to carry on reading and write stories”

“I liked the jokes and the books - they had some cool books”

The Steves used comedy to get their points across, which went down very well with the students.  Drawing on their own experiences and books they have written, they provided tips and advice on how to write better stories and the benefits this can have for your future life and career.

“They were really funny and amazing and gave really good tips and points on how to enjoy and improve your literacy”

“I learnt that every one of us is capable of amazing things”

“It was very funny and enjoyable and I’m sure a lot of effort went into it – I‘d love to see this sort of thing again”

Overwhelmingly the students said that they would like the 2Steves to come to the school again.

“Absolutely because they made the talk fun and our school is always open for everyone”

After their visit, some students bought signed copies of the 2Steves’ books and all their available books in Discovery Library were snapped up!

The 2Steves enjoyed the visit too:
“Thank you for organising a great day! Really enjoyed out day with you - hope the staff and students did too!” Steve Skidmore

Check out the fantastic IHero posters, photos and feedback from the day on the display board outside the Discovery Library and don't forget to keep borrowing!  Look out for more Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow books coming soon to the Discovery Library.


Adisa the Verbaliser, performance poet, visited our school on Friday, 24th May 2013. In his own words, he believes that “poetry should be read, sung, and rapped from every corner of the globe, and performed on every stage that can sustain the weight of the spoken word”.

The day was split into two. In the morning he performed a selection of his poems including Lady onyx, Just 10 and Phat Buck in the War Memorial Library for Year 9 students. Full of energy, humour and a passion for poetry, he made the students feel at ease. He also laid himself open to answering any question they wanted to ask him, either about the poetry or about himself. He encouraged them to talk about what they thought his poems were about and to ask him questions about anything they wanted. The performance was very interactive with the students encouraged to join in and even try to anticipate the words of Adisa's poems.

In the afternoon he held poetry workshops, working one to one with the students. He helped them create their own poems, which were personal to them, using a variety of clever techniques. The students said that “Adisa was a great performance poet”, “he moved around the class really well to work with everyone” and that “he gave us confidence with our poetry writing”.

At the beginning of the day the children were in awe of Adisa, who is over six foot tall, but by the end they were laughing with him and wanting to shake his hand. Copies of Adisa's book, Lip Hopping With the Fundi-Fu, are available to borrow from the Discovery Library.

Chris Bradford

On Wednesday, 15th May 2013, award winning author Chris Bradford visited The Ravensbourne School and gave two performances to the Year 7s and 8s.

Some of the Year 7 pupils wrote about their experiences. Below is a selection of their views:

Krichelle Year 7

On 15th May 2013, Chris visited our school and talked to us about his new book ‘The Bodyguard’ and his series ‘Young Samurai’. It was an interactive experience for all of us. Some pupils even got to act out scenes from the book; they were awarded with a sticker and a poster of his new book ‘The Bodyguard’.

I personally enjoyed every second of it! We were well entertained. There were even water guns! It was truly a great time! We were shown videos related to his new books. We had a wonderful time.

Becky Year 7

Today seemed like just an ordinary day at school but GUESS WHAT! In period 3 and 4 Chris Bradford came into my school to explain his life being an author and a trained bodyguard. I walked into the sports hall and I saw Chris standing there setting up his equipment. I felt so lucky because I got to meet him.

All of a sudden Chris Bradford turned on the slide show and BANG! ... He showed us how to protect someone from a bullet. I jumped out of my skin with the loud and breath taking sound.

At the end of this event we got to go up and buy a book, otherwise you could get a poster and he signed it with your name. Thank you Chris Bradford for a great 100 minutes and for coming to my school to share your skills with us.

Peppe Year 7

When everyone had entered the hall a Librarian was reading from a sheet of paper telling us about Chris Bradford when suddenly gun shots went off. The Librarian was rushed out by Chris. He then introduced himself and asked for two volunteers to help him act out a scene from his book. He pulled out a plastic gun, and then revealed that it was a water pistol by squirting water over everyone. He then showed us some video clips and carried out a demonstration (in which I was a volunteer).

Overall I think he was very energetic and devoted. I enjoyed it and thought it was amazing.

Louise Year 7

Chris Bradford was very energetic and lively. He taught us how to be a bodyguard and also what it would be like if our school was a samurai school. I enjoyed that part because he didn’t just tell us what the book was about; he made us feel like we were in the book.

Jada Year 7

At the event Chris Bradford talked to us about his latest book and showed us how to be a bodyguard. He also showed us videos and websites. He engaged with the audience by using volunteers to create scenes and role-play parts of his book. He wasn’t boring because he connected with our age group and made the language understandable.

I think he was constructive with his ideas and made us feel like bodyguards and therefore like the character. I personally enjoyed it and got a book signed at the end. I am looking forward to reading ‘The Bodyguard’ and finding more of his books.
Ronnie Year 7
Chris Bradford likes to experience what he writes about in his books to make them more effective; also this gives him inspiration for his writing. When writing his book “The Bodyguard”, he trained to be a bodyguard, and this is what he talked to us about.
At the start of the event, a Librarian introduced Chris. The thing that was outstanding was that no one expected him to grab the Librarian when the sound of bullets came on in the background! He looked so serious because he screamed and ran with the Librarian outside the hall. Chris Bradford enacted scenes from the book with volunteers from the audience. Near the end he revealed something that we didn’t realize. He had been secretly filming us with a camera inside a fake coke can [he showed us he had deleted the film]. He ended the performance by letting students buy or reserve books which he would sign or sign a poster of his books.
I personally enjoyed the first part when he ran out of the hall and surprised everyone. He did something that we did not expect.
James Year 7
On the 15th May 2013 Chris Bradford came into our school, he is the author of the Young Samurai and Bodyguard series. When we saw him he talked about his books and what inspired him to write them. He said that he writes the types of books he’d want to read, books filled with relentless action, believable characters and plots that twist and turn through the pages. Chris’s books are really inspirational for people who are adventurous.
I enjoyed the first part of his performance when he was acting all serious with his shades and when he ran out of the hall with the Librarian and also the gun shots were really cool.

Jake Year 7

Chris Bradford is a very engaging man with lots of humour. Hopefully Chris can come back to this school again!

Jessica Year 7

Wow! What a wonderful writer. I enjoyed everything about the presentation. Chris left me and most of us in giggles. 

Joe Craig

On Wednesday 9th March, the  popular children's author Joe Craig visited the Ravensbourne School once again and spent the day working with two year 7 classes.


On Friday 14th January 2011, Adisa a performance poet visited The Ravensbourne School. He spent the day with some Year 9 students.

My class spent most of our day with him. I really had an enjoyable day with Adisa. I have learnt that there is more to poetry than just writing on a piece of paper. The biggest thing that I learnt throughout the day was that poetry is more than rhymes. It is about, appealing to a target audience, by trying to tell a story.

Our day started with a small introduction. He told us about himself and his life story. He then read us some of his poetry, which he had written in his book. Some of the poetry was really funny. I particular liked the way how he expressed himself when he was reading- his use of emotions was incredible! He gave us a chance to ask him questions and gave books to students who asked really good questions, or who were working well.

During the second half of the day, Adisa helped us to make our own poetry. We had to use three words of our choice; making the first line of five syllables, the second line seven syllables and the third line back to five syllables. I found this rather interesting, as it helped me to structure my poem properly.

This experience was truly memorable and I hope that Adisa visits our school again; so that other students can have the same opportunity as me.

By Sabrina Bailey 9MS
On Friday 14th January the rap poet Adisa visited TRS again to work with two groups of year 9 English students.

Here are the poems that the students created in the workshops after his poetry sessions.
Music :

The horse beat gallops through my head
The guitar solos is a wolf howling at the moon
The staircase rhythm goes on and on and on
The firework drums brighten up the night
The rollercoaster lyrics build the excitement

House Music
Rhythm is the ocean surrounding me
The base hits my like a machine gun
The basketball beats are in my head as the game goes on
The keyboard is a cat
Playing as clear as glass

The voice overpowers my ears
The Lyrics stumble through my memory
The album pounces on me as a lion in its prey
The beat washes over me like the waves on the beach
The drums surround me in their cage

Lyrics, base, drums
The lyrics are flowing like a river through my head
The bass is as deep as a lions roar
The drums are loud like a crash of thunder

Lyrics are a melody flowing through my mind
Beat so fast it’s impossible to find
Drums so loud
Bass so deep
And a soothing piano to help me to sleep

Ferrari Rhythm
Ferrari Rhythm hits my face
While toffee lyrics tickle my taste
Bear piano big and wide
Clocks time face cannot hide
Lions roar from the bass

The sweet bread bass
Rocking guitar lyrics
Screaming vicious chick videos
Bashing and smacking flow

My house :

My Old Friend
As you enter the runway
Look out for running monkeys
Take a first left into the chill out room
Be careful because there is a very stiff key

As you come out, turn left
And enter the cinema

The restaurant and jungle are through the next door
But this is private property
Walk out of the cinema
And take the first left

In here in the far corner of the battlefield
You will find
My cuddly companion
My cushion on my bed
My personal calmer
My old friend

Mad Shoe Shop
As you enter the mad shoe shop
Look out for the ghosts that dangle from above
Turn to the left to find
The dark ice room
Look out though, you will want to wear gloves

Now turn to the right
And you will find
The restaurant, take a sip of wine
As you walk past
Right again to enter the bakery
But look out …

Emotion trigger
Enter the Orchestra
Dodge the Lion with courage
Walk past the wooden palace
On the left is the bubble works
Up the motionless escalator and into
The forbidden kingdom
Tiptoe down the runway
Past the Hobbit chamber
Up the motionless escalator
When you come to the cream haven
Look on the desk and you will find
The Gold, shiny emotion trigger, the family treasure, the history maker, a memory hooker.

Princesses’ Domain
Enter the snowglobe
Walk past the art gallery
Then grab the rope and push yourself up the mountain
However, try to dodge the Blond Warrior and her minion Chihuahua
Sneak past Boris Johnson and battle Master Potatoe
His scream will kill you
Once you have done this enter the princesses’ domain

Tastebud tickler
Cross the motorway
Careful of the traffic
Turn right into the cinema
Relax and enjoy the popcorn
Into the café
Grab something to eat and put up your feet
My object is here
My mini supermarket
My tastebud tickler
My ovens dinner.

Open the gateway to relaxation
And into the forbidden room
Beware too many chefs spoils the meal
Turn right to the fat room to eat your feast
Finally, chill in the lazy room on the lazy chair
Swivel right and you will find sleeping
The mirror
The information source
The i…

Dreams and Nightmares
Set through the portal
Through the office block
Don’t stare at the floor, you will blind yourself
Run up the mountain but stop half way
Walk through the past, the vacancy
Turn right at the secondary escape
Step through the enveloped, hugging monster
And feast your eyes on
The sleeping mirror
It wakes with a note and the squeeze of a feeler
Can morph to play or listen
The gateway to a thousand dreams and nightmares
With no solid colours it always changes.

Little Red Book
Enter the portal
Turn left and head up the escalator
Admiring the aquarium and the silent stalker
When you have finished with the escalator turn left into the lair
And enter
Walk past the aquarium and past the big feather cushion
There will be laying my prized possession
My white brick

Bath Hater
Walk through the pigsty
Watch or for the trotters
On your right open a door
A sideways room with things on a floor
Carry on walking past the magic stairs
A chavvy girl in her room upstairs
Walk, walk, walk to the giant buffet
The food there is really luverly
About turn and go through the door
Here you’ll find what you are looking for
My mad barker
Non-stop walker
Attention seeker
Constant chewer
Playful fighter
Toy chaser
Bath hater

Flying Cushion
Open the gateway to hell
Go through the M25, but watch out
For the cinema in front
Don’t spill any popcorn or you’ll wake the ugly witch
On the right is the path to Morrison’s
Go left up the creaky pathway to level two
Where you have to fight off the beast from hell
After going past the bosses room
Your will find the place of
My dream maker
My back rester
My flying cushion

What am I????
Once you get through the door you enter the jungle
Look out for boulders or you’ll go flying
Through another doo is the box office cinema
If you want to watch a film, I’m sorry but you’re buying
And to you left is McDonald’s restaurant
A word of advice is to buy two big Macs
Through these doors is the best local bakery
It’s closed right now but the owner will be right back
Across here is my favourite attraction, the aquarium
I cannot open the door, unless you’ve got a lot of raincoats
Up the stairs is the dirty factory
Nothing to see here, they only make boats
Now here is the chill out area
This is where Einstein Lived I think
And opposite this room is the pig sty
Hold your nose because this one is big stink

And in the corner is my prized possession
Made from aggression
My white porcelain bowl
A convenience for a wee
My information storer
The comes with a key

Three lines :


Laugh the loudest
Love the strongest
Live the hardest

My faith is within
I run with freedom over obstacles
My heart filled with love

Peace means unity
Love it the key to our hears
Faith is the real dream

Learn to love today
Live life to the fullest
Only then will you receive your freedom

I have the speed in my body
The Love beating round my heart
The freedom is just one step away

Love is in my heart
Freedom we all need to survive
I have been given life so I shall give it back to others

Honesty is in us all
Hope keeps us going
Life is needed by us all

Live life with respect
Make feeling and movement with love
You do have a choice

Best Friend
You are my best friend
You help me when times are rough
Thank you my love

Live to the end
Peace for the world
Love you dreams

Life is like a vehicle on a journey
Good things give me happiness
Happiness gives me strength

Life is like a vehicle
Good things give you courage
Happiness gives you the strength to carry on