On the eve of World Book Day, author and broadcaster Simon Mayo visited Sibford School to chat to students about his book trilogy, Itch, Itch Rocks and Itchcraft.
Sibford pupils from Years 5 – 9 as well as pupils from Sibford Gower Endowed, Hook Norton, Brailes, Bishop Carpenter, Great Rollright, Shenington and Wroxton primary schools were all present to hear the BBC Radio 2 Drivetime host speak about his writing and his character Itchingham Lofte, a 14-year-old boy who collects elements.
Sibford student Sophie Hills said: “The talk was really inspiring. Not only did we learn about his stories but he also taught us a lot about the different elements in the periodic table.”
Simon Mayo caused gasps from the audience when he set fire to a 10€ note, just prior to reading an extract from his latest novel, Itchcraft, where Itch and his classmates find themselves in the midst of a riot in Madrid caused by money spontaneously combusting.
Edward Goundrey-Smith said: “We’ve had a few authors in school but none have ever burnt money on stage before! It was really exciting.”
Simon Mayo later tweeted: “Fine morning @SibfordSchOxon talking platinum, rhodium and Itchcraft (and best snacks evs)”
Librarian Frances King who organised the event said: “We were thrilled that Simon was able to come to Sibford. His talk was entertaining and informative and it was great that so many other schools were able to join us.”
After the talk Simon took time out to sign copies of his books. Then, in an about turn, he took the role of interviewee and was grilled by Sibford pupils Nat Williams and Fergus Bertie in preparation for a special report to be broadcast on 19 March, BBC School Report Day.