Category Archives: Author visits

Adisa – Performance Poet

On Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, performance poet Adisa will be working with Year 9 students.  He will talk to the whole year group during periods 5 and 6 after running a workshop for a smaller group of students during periods 3 and 4.



A Very Busy Week in the Library

Wednesday 1st November was a very busy day for Thornden Librarians.

It started with a group of Year 7 students being taken to Hamble College ,to take part in a workshop with the 2Steves, Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore. The experience has been described by the participating students as hilarious and very entertaining. They also have been borrowing the 2Steves books to read.  To see all the pictures from this workshop Click here

At the same time Helen Dennis had arrived at Thornden and was delivering a workshop on Code Breaking to a small group of Year 8 students. This is the theme running through her ‘Secret Breakers’ series of books. The students  really enjoyed cracking codes and the participation involved in the workshop.

After lunch Year 8, plus a Year7 tutor group and a small group of students from The Romsey School assembled, in Thornden Hall for the main event. Helen Dennis had come to talk about her early years, her career and her books. The talk was extremely enjoyable and the students had the opportunity to join her on stage and at the end of the session to ask questions. We welcomed P&G Wells again to sell books for us and the orders are still coming in. Always a good sign that the author visit was a success. Helen made time to talk to the students who had bought her books while they had them signed.

The following day we took the judges for this year’s Hampshire Book Award to Winchester Guildhall to watch Helen Dennis receive her Hampshire Book Award for her book ‘River of Ink – Genesis’. This was a popular winner of the award and everyone agreed that Helen was a very worthy winner. She was very excited to receive her award in Hampshire as this is where she first heard she had a publishing deal.

2Steves Author Visit

On Wednesday 1st November we will be taking a small group of specially selected Year 7 students to Hamble School to take part in a workshop with the 2Steves. This has become an annual event and their extremely entertaining performance is always very popular.

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore have written over 125 books in the twenty years they have been together. Some of the most popular are the ‘I Hero’ and ‘I Horror’ series of books.

Helen Dennis Author Visit

Helen Dennis will be visiting Thornden  on Wednesday 1st November. She will be talking to Year 8 students in Thornden Hall and there will be the opportunity to buy her books and have them signed by her.


She will also be running a ‘Code Breaking’ workshop in the library for a selected group of Year 8 students.

Helen has won this year’s Hampshire Book Award for ‘River of Ink: Genesis’ and will be presented with the award the following day in Winchesters Guildhall. It is about a boy who is washed up on the banks of the River Thames and has no memory. The only clue to his identity is the sketch he makes of a strange, twisted symbol. It is the first book in a trilogy.

She has also written the ‘Secret Breakers’ series of books under H.L. Dennis, which have been dubbed ‘The Da Vinci Code’ for kids!


Matt Dickinson on Everest

Author Matt Dickinson, who visited Thornden at the end of November, is back on Mount Everest!

He is filming the backdrop for his Everest Files play which will be premiered at the        Edinburgh Fringe in August.  His third Everest Files book ‘Killer Storm’ will also be launched in August at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

To find out more about Matt’s latest adventures on Everest read his blog at



Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate

Thornden Hall played host for Hampshire Schools Library Service ‘Meet the Author’ event on Tuesday, 7th March 2017.  Hampshire pupils, including some Thornden students, were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to see author and illustrator Chris Riddell.

He produced an illustration for every school attending whilst pupils were arriving.  All pupils were given a card on which to ask Chris a question.  He then picked questions at random and answered them with illustrations.  Questions varied from ‘which of your characters would you like to be’ to ‘what is your favourite shop’!

Chris then spent over an hour signing books for pupils.

After a short break he was then interviewed by Charlotte, Shivani and Katie for BBC School Report Day, which takes place on Thursday, 16th March, before he headed off to Brighton for an interview with the BBC.

Adisa – Performance Poet


Performance poet Adisa visited on Monday, 28th February.

He arrived in Lycra on his bike. A very impressive sight.

He talked to all Year 9 students in Thornden Hall. His engaging presentation, which included performances of his poems, ensured full student participation. The whole of the session was very interactive, with many questions being asked by the enthralled students

His performance was followed by two workshops for students ranging from Year 8 to Year 10. They were given a theme of ‘Revolution’ and were instructed to think about what revolution meant to them, to brainstorm their thoughts and finally to produce a poem. Some of the resulting poems were very powerful and stirring. One example is below.

‘Revolution is a never ending road of change.

On my never-ending road of change, there won’t be any hateful comments, because they will disappear into the air.

Everywhere you step you will leave footprint of positivity, free for others to use if they are feeling low.

All food will drive people to do something good for the world.

Happiness will spread like it’s the most contagious virus in the world.’


                                                                                                                                                            Nyah Russell


 Click onto this link to read the rest of the students poems.

Year 8 Author Visit – Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson, author, film-maker and Everest summiteer visited Thornden School yesterday.


He started the day running a creative writing workshop for 16 lucky year 8 pupils.  The writing tasks included what would you miss the most if you went to Everest and which fictional character would you want as a tent-buddy and why.  Pupils were encouraged to give reasons for their choices and write a story within a story.

This was followed by the main event in Thornden Hall. The whole of year 8 were off timetable for the occasion and were joined by pupils from The Romsey School and Hounsdown School.  His talk on ascent to the top of Mount Everest was very informative and the audience were asked to consider whether they would want to climb Everest when told of the risks/dangers involved, the living conditions, the difficulty getting to base camp and the cost.

Matt has used his experiences to write his ‘Everest Files’ books.

The morning ended with a question and answer session.  To answer one question Matt said it was much harder and in some ways more dangerous coming down Mount Everest than going up.


There was then an opportunity to buy one of Matt’s books and get it signed.

Art Competition for Year 7s

Do you enjoy doodling?

Do you want to see your design in print?

Why not enter the art competition to celebrate the visit of Chris Riddell to Thornden Hall on Tuesday, 7th March 2017.


Design a bookmark on the theme of


in the form of a doodle.

Entries must be hand drawn using colour or black and white pencils only.

Great prizes for winner.

For more information speak to the Librarians or download a template here riddell-template