VIEWS From the pen of... Paul Kerensa Fromthepenof... PaulKerensa

In our regular feature on authorsworking in the field of education, thismonthwe spea k t o comedian andwriter PAUL KERENSA


describes the thinking behind his newchildren’s books Noah’s Car Park Ark andMoses & The Exodus Express.

“I’m a father, a writer and a stand-up comedian. It m that while man

dad pals struggle to

make bed-tim e reading as they’re racing home from work, I struggle because I’m heading off, to some far-flung gig. Handily the stand- up circuit is quiet most of the week, so mostly I’m there for the pre- sleep read.

“I’ve read a tonne of books with my children, and our selection has taught me enough to take it into my writing. A few of our books seem to rhyme, but some give up halfway

through, forcing rhymes or including dodgy scansion. Others are too long for their age range, or don’t seem sure what point they’re making. But our favourites all have something that sticks in the head: catchy rhythms like in The Paper Dolls, clever seamless rhymes like The Gruffalo, or vibrant words that jump off the page like in Down by the Cool of the Pool.

“My new children’s books – Noah’s Car Park Ark andMoses & The Exodus Express – started from these observations. First came that first title (I had to Google to check that no one had already turned Noah’s Ark into a car park over the past few thousand years; thankfully car parks are a more recent invention, so there’s been a narrower window to combine the two).

“So with at least one rhyming title, these books had to rhyme – and I figured that rhymes are helpful for making it memorable. Exciting visuals were vital too, and we found two fab illustrators in The Pope Twins (yes, in this Noah’s Ark, even the illustrators come in two-by-two). There’ve been several thousand retellings of Noah andMoses, so these stories needed to stand out to be worth telling anew.

“I’ve had a writing job recently for the educational site BB C Bitesize, trying to make their geography and chemistry videos user- friendly and fun, but above all ensuring those key fa again, that meant catchy visuals, funny but relevant

images, and the cts stick. So

odd bit of wordplay, such as rhymes or puns (although these particular Bitesize videos were for BBCWales – and puns that work in English andWelsh are rarer than a rareWelsh rarebit). “In TV land, I’ve had the joy of writing for shows like Top Gear andMiranda – and it’s always the visuals that stay with people. Audiences might enjoy a verbal joke at the time, but it’sMiranda playing ‘Where’sWally’ or chatting to her pretend ‘Fruit Friends’ that folks remember.

“So I guess it’s the same here, as I delve into biblical books or educational websites – whether it’s stacking Noah’s Ark li ke a car park, or sending the Israelites on the Exodus Express train, or scripting videos forWelsh Chemistry GCSE (or ‘TGAU’ inWelsh – and if you’re thinking they had a hit with China In Your Hand, no, that’s T’Pau), I stick to those Reithian BBC values: inform, educate and entertain.”

Marc h 02 1 8 2018

y of my eans

BritishEduca cational SuppliersAs See you at th e

Education Show! ATRICK HAY

Thismonth, regular Education Today columnist and Director of BESA PAT

xt AYES extends a

warmwelcome to those of you heading to Birmingham’s NEC for the Education Show.

Each year, the Education Show gathers thousands of teachers from across the UK, for a few days of networking, sharing best practice, and perusing a smorgasbord of the latest educational resources from hundreds of leading educational suppliers.

Participants at the show at the Birmingham NEC – taking place between 15 – 17March 2018 – will be able to find the resources they need for their schools, whether they need to fit in new furniture, to update their science equipment, to renew or refresh their software solutions or to refill the library with books.

The Education Show was set up by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) back in 1991 and today remains an unparalleled opportunity for teachers from across the country to experience firs t hand the best educational resources .

They will get the training they need to use them too. Suppliers and educators alike will be leading plenty of free CPD learning sessions, showing teachers how to use these resources in creative ways in the classroom.

This is all the more crucial following research published by BESA last year, which found that teachers say they receive insufficient training on educational technology resources, which prevents their effective use in the classroom. Purchasing the resources is not enough, it’s also important that teachers are trained in embedding them into their working practices.

We at BESA have been monitoring school spending for decades, and it seems that over the next year, things are finally starting to look up after three years of uncertainty. The latest BESA research finds that headteachers are now anticipating an increase in resource budgets for 2018/19.

I therefore expect the Education Show to be buzzing with excitement and interest from headteachers and school leaders, who will have so many new features to check out.

Indeed, this year’s Education Show is going to be more interactive than ever before. It is launching a new Health andWellbeing Zone, Arts and CraftsWorkshop and Teaching with CreativityWorkshop, where educators will have the chance to get inspired by the latest education resources.

We can also look forward to experts and practitioners sharing their insights on the main stage. They will be discussing how to prove progress and predict SATs, manage disruption in the classroom, best support children on the autism spectrum, promote curriculum innovation, engage in creative reading and so much more.

The brilliant authorMichael Rosen will deliver the keynote speech, inspiring the participants to read poems in class and use them to inspire collaboration, experimentation and inventiveness in children. Lastly, I cannot wait for the Education Resources Awards ceremony on 16March, which will highlight the quality and diversity of educational products and resources, excellent educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession and supplies industry, all working together to encourage the very best in education. Good luck to all of the finalists !

BESAwill be stand H29, the Information Point of The Education Show. Formore information, visit: www www www. 31

VIEW S British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) rs Association(BESA) A)

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