David Horner taught English and Drama for 15 years. He went on to be an advisory teacher with Cheshire LEA for 6 years and then a freelance writer and storyteller for nearly 20 years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University.
David's poems have appeared in many children's anthologies (most satisfyingly when sandwiched alphabetically between Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes) and been featured on radio - even making it once onto Radio 4’s Pick of the Week. With his regular illustrator Anne Hodgkiss, he has also written and published 10 books of poems for children.
David has written regularly on creative writing in relation to young readers and writers in various educational journals. He has given readings and performances to audiences of all ages and abilities, provided INSET sessions across the UK and run workshops with children in over 1000 schools from Swindon to Singapore and Derbyshire to Dubai! Requests for return visits have meant a constant need for fresh ideas – ones that would work successfully in the limited period of a busy school timetable!
David is married to Judith, has two children and five grandchildren. He contributes regularly to Goodeyedeers, a joint venture with a local retired head teacher, publishing online material for teachers on the TES platform with all proceeds going to their chosen charity MedEquip4kids.
Debbie is an experienced MFL secondary school teacher who teaches in Ipswich. Her main interest in the classroom is engaging and enthusing students with her creative ideas. Her main interests outside of the classroom are travelling and hosting murder mystery parties.
Dorothy M Hamilton is a languages teacher who has taught in both secondary and primary schools around the UK and the USA. She has a great interest in using drama techniques to enable children to learn languages. Dorothy began writing plays in French for her pupils in 2010 focusing on well-known stories. She soon began to realise the linguistic benefit of adapting them to focus on a particular topic such as sports or food. The result is this collection of plays based on fairy tales which have been performed many times by pupils around the country. They are full of useful vocabulary and humour guaranteed to make them a fantastic learning tool. Each one is fun to perform and entertaining to watch! You can find Dorothy’s plays in Fun French Fairy Tales plays.
Elizabeth has been working with SEN pupils in primary and secondary settings since graduating from the University of Sussex with an English Language BA in 2014. She has spent many an hour helping SEN pupils in English Literature lessons as a teaching assistant, and figured out along the way that simple, engaging visual retellings of stories across the GCSE English curriculum prove effective in helping the pupils to understand what they are reading. Currently she works as Inclusion Coordinator at an Outstanding-graded London school, where she also delivers speech and language interventions, and always tries to make learning as visual and engaging as possible.
Gary Nott was born in 1963. He grew up in the 1970’s reading Enid Blyton and visiting circuses – an early passion! He has been the head teacher of schools for twenty years; twice serving as an executive head teacher. Married to Suzanne, he has three young children.
Gary divides his time between school, family and writing. Needing lots of good assembly stories to read to his own pupils, he decided to write his own. Gary has also written a novel for children (2015) and a primary history text book.
Gavin Middlewood is an experienced primary-school teacher who is currently working in Northampton. He specializes in drama, PSHE and MFL, and has worked upon a number of local projects and initiatives. He has recently scraped into his 40s, and is now doing grown-up things like getting married and playing in a band (much to the embarrassment of his two children). Gavin believes that learning should be a lifelong experience and he packs as much into every day as is humanly possible. To illustrate this point, he has just qualified as a hypnotherapist.
Crowned Mr Universe in 1986, Giles spent the remainder of the decade touring with The Rolling Stones as lead guitarist. Finding the late nights and unwanted attention of groupies disruptive, Giles pursued his sporting interests. Despite conquering Mount Everest and becoming the first Englishman to walk to the South Pole backwards, Giles felt unfulfilled and craved the stimulation and rewards of the classroom. He has been teaching in Birmingham for the last 20 years and is presently Deputy Head Teacher of a large Junior School rated as “outstanding” by OFSTED. Giles writes regularly for a number of educational publications and has acted as a consultant in the Arts and Creativity nationally.