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Reading Week Author Visit - Gary Toward’s ‘The Magpie’

Year 7        210 students       1st November 2019

With his unique combination of imaginative storytelling and charm, Gary Toward gave a compelling presentation about his classic, internationally best-selling novel ‘The Magpie’. Like many successful authors, he combines aspects of his own life story in the characters that he brings to life; referring to his humble upbringing in a small mining village in the north of England. Gary spoke about his life story in detail, explaining how he found education a challenge. In the community he grew up in, he was expected to enter the world of coal mining like all of the other young men in his village, but he defied these expectations to pursue his dreams of becoming a Head teacher and an award-winning author. He spoke to Year 7 student about how to write creatively by including aspects of their own lives, including many anecdotes and photographs that his grandmother had passed on to him from her experience of surviving World War 1. Through sharing parts of his novel, Gary brought history to life in the heart of Beaumont Leys School and our students had the unique opportunity to see genuine WWI relics from the Battle of The Somme. Thanks to Gary Toward, our Year 7 students were inspired into realising the potential they have when they focus on their goals. They said:

“I could really connect with the topic as my Great Grandad used to talk about the war”

“Gary showed us that you can achieve your goals even if you are told that you can’t” Preston

“The author gave a very good perspective on how to get ideas about what to write when you are struggling to think” Lauren

“Amazing. Fascinating. Brilliant. 10/10” Alfie and Robert