On Thursday 25 June best-selling author Michael Morpurgo visited Truro Prep to present the prizes at the school’s Speech Day.
Mr Morpurgo, famous for books including The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Half a Man and War Horse, shared an inspiring speech, captivating parents and children alike.
In his speech aimed at the children, Mr Morpurgo started by saying:
“This here marks a moment in time before moving on to something new. It is the marking of success.”
As Michael continued he recollected his own school’s prize-givings where he, as one of the ones who rarely received a prize, was amazed one special day at his primary school when presented with an award for effort.
“I would encourage you [children] to write. Read more, write about yourselves and how you see the world. I saw the world differently. I am a teller of tales and the tales I tell are of everything around us.”
As Michael’s speech approached the latter stages he focused the spotlight on the teaching staff. Mr Morpurgo explained how he himself previously taught for ten years, and that he thinks of his teaching career as from a quote from Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, where the teacher asks the question, “What are teachers here for? They are here to pass it on.”
The author proceeded by emphasising the importance of passing on knowledge, praising the teaching legacy that was being created at Truro Prep.
Speech Day was not the only reason why Michael’s visit came to fruition. Upon arriving at midday, the author was asked to plant the final apple tree in the school’s new orchard.
The new orchard has been created following the winter storms of 2014 which uprooted a number of trees in the school’s woodland area.
Students and staff have all taken part in the woodland regeneration project since the start of the month with the Year 5 children gaining tree planting experience as part of their John Muir award.
Parents, staff, governors, former pupils and friends of the school came together to donate a mixture of apple and pear trees which will join the already well-established vegetable garden and forest school to enrich the pupils outdoor learning.
At the planting ceremony the children were pleased to be able to make a substantial £2279 donation to Michael’s charity, Farms for City Children.
Established in 1976, Mr Morpurgo’s charity offers children from urban areas the opportunity to learn teamwork skills in a farmland environment, a scheme that welcomes around 3000 students and 400 teachers every year.
A significant proportion of the money was raised by the Friends of Truro School following a hugely successful Christmas Fayre in December 2014.
The pupils also worked hard to raise money through a sponsored read in which they had to read as many books as they could over the half-term break.
Mr Lovett, Headmaster of Truro Prep, concluded the day saying:
“It was a privilege to welcome Michael to the school. He is, quite simply, the greatest contemporary children’s writer; his talk was unforgettable, and will, I hope, inspire them to not just to read more, but also to write their own stories.”
Following the Truro Prep Speech Day, Mr Morpurgo now turns his attention to the Kneehigh Theatre production of 946, based on an adaptation of his 2006 novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, which launches on 25 July.