04 October 2017

Birkenhead School was delighted to welcome award-winning broadcaster and presenter, Clare Balding on 2nd October, to talk about her new children’s novel, The Racehorse Who Disappeared.

The story is about the heroine, Charlie Bass, who launches her own investigation into the disappearance of Noble Warrior, a prizewinning thoroughbred, who is kidnapped from Folly Farm.

The story has a theme of overcoming adversity and making sure you follow your dreams and these were both topics that Clare spoke passionately on during her inspirational talk.

Interacting with the students and taking questions

Throughout her incredible career, Clare has interviewed and spoken with many great sportspeople, and she used these aspirational stories to help inspire the children to stick to what they love doing and to never give up, always making sure to be themselves.

One such story was that of Adam Peaty, the Olympic Gold medal swimmer, who overcame a fear of water to get to where he is today, a powerful reminder, says Clare, of bravery, “being brave is being scared of something but going ahead and doing it anyway.” This is something that Clare’s own eight-year-old nephew, Toby, can attest to after hearing Adam’s story, overcoming nerves and agreeing to interview people on camera as part of Clare’s video presentation.

Listening to students' story ideas 

Audience participation was also a big part of Clare’s talk, with children particularly keen to get on stage to share their own imaginative stories that they would like to write. There was everything from adventure stories, a dream diary and even a story about an escaped moustache! The children’s imaginations had well and truly been engaged.


Many children had been inspired to share their own thoughts and story ideas 

Clare’s visit was an absolute triumph and really seemed to give the audience the writing bug as they asked questions at the end of Clare’s talk to hear more of her stories and to gain more valuable tips and advice for their own story writing.


Clare signing books and listening to more great stories

Waiting to get their books signed, the pupils chatted excitedly about the talk and about their own story ideas, however, as well as whetting their creativity, Clare also left the students with a powerful and very valuable few words to remember, “always describe yourself in adjectives and not in nouns, as this is who you are”.  A fantastic message for the students to take away with them from this very inspirational talk.