IT IS not often pupils get to enjoy a masterclass with a top author whose work they have been studying in lessons.
But that is exactly what a group of students at Mossley Hollins had the chance to do as they came face-to-face with Alan Gibbons after reading his books throughout the term.
The year 7 and 8 pupils spent the hour-long creative writing session with Mr Gibbons as he helped them pen an opening for their own vampire novel.
The author, who writes books for children and young adults, gave them an insight into his own writing processes, including the importance of using imagery to ‘show not tell’.
English teacher Mr Parker explained: “The pupils were picked out for the session as they had previously said they were disaffected with reading and off-track in English lessons.
“We are trying to engage them in a different way and they have enjoyed it.”
Other pupils enjoyed author talks as Mr Gibbons took them through the writing process of short stories they have been studying, before answering their questions about his ideas and inspirations.
Mr Gibbons, who has written 60 books and hundreds of short stories, travels around the world for his writing and visits about 150 schools a year.
He said: “The children have been very responsive and have all got involved. I love seeing their eyes light up when they come up with something creative.
“It is especially great to see some of the more reluctant children picking up a book and reading it, or writing something themselves.”
Meanwhile, Year 11 pupil Charlotte Collier is celebrating after clinching a prestigious award for most progress in English.
Charlotte, 15, came third across the whole of Tameside and collected her certificate and trophy at a special awards ceremony with other pupils and staff from the borough.
The hard-working student, who starts college in September to study accountancy, was nominated by teacher Mr Parker.
Charlotte said: “I am very pleased. I have just been doing what I normally do so it was a surprise.”