Adam Bushnell visits BIS Group of Schools October 2014

Adam Bushnell is a popular children’s author and storyteller extraordinaire. He recently visited Asia for the first time, choosing Vietnam as his introduction to the continent. Previously Adam has toured Europe visiting schools, so it was a new experience to bring his tales to children in Vietnam.

His visit came about as a result of hearing about the BIS Group of Schools and experiencing Vietnam from Liz Million, who visited the schools last year to celebrate Book Week by sharing her illustrations. Liz took lots of beautiful photographs of her trip and they really inspired Adam to make the journey himself. Adam also used to work with the Head Teacher of the British Vietnamese International School, Ho Chi Minh City Primary, Ms Rosy Clark. He was invited to share his love for reading and telling stories with the children at BIS and BVIS Book Week celebrations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this October.

‘I worked with Adam Bushnell for many years and knew how successfully he would inspire our children as young readers and writers here in the BIS and BVIS schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Using humour, suspense, the traditional and the new, Adam used his stories to engage all, from our very youngest children in F1 to our most mature learners in Y6. He took our children with him into the wonderful world of stories, left them thirsting for more and bursting to write their own. What a wonderful Book Week we had!’
Ms Rosy Clark, Head of Primary at BVIS Ho Chi Minh City.

Adam follows an academic ‘beyond early writing’ method for teachers about the writing process, which is used to inspire EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) right through to adults.

‘Each workshop is designed to put a story in the children’s heads that they can then share and then be excited about writing. They create a pictorial plan, share it with their families orally then bring it back to the classroom and write.

My experience spending time at all five Primary campuses in the BIS Group of Schools has had a consistent theme; each school seems like a family with staff and pupils. The welcome you get is unbelievable. I normally have to spend time winning a group of students over at the start of each workshop, but none of that is required here because the children want to learn, want to write and they are happy to be involved in the workshops.’

Following his trip to Vietnam, Adam has been inspired to incorporate traditional stories and Vietnamese souvenirs into his future workshops; ‘Everything about Vietnam is different to the UK. The roads, restaurants, farming, shops are all totally different! I’ve found out that stories, myths and legends are embroiled in everything, and impact day to day life. The culture of mythology is fascinating and right up my street as a story teller. I’ve collected props from Hoi An so I can deliver a Vietnamese themed workshop when I get back to the UK.’

The feedback from both teachers and students about Adam’s workshop is testament to the overall success of BIS Group Book Week 2014:

“Adam’s workshops were a real inspiration to our children.  He excited and enthused them about story writing, and gave them the confidence to create their own ideas and story lines.  As a result, children produced some fabulous stories which were both imaginative and creative, and had a wonderful experience of being writers.” Ms. Karen Hanratty, Head of BIS Hanoi Primary.

“Adam Bushnell’s visit was great. He taught us how to plan stories and told us many of the stories he wrote. I really hope to meet him again.” – Minh Anh 6I BIS Hanoi

“Adam’s visit was an invaluable experience that encouraged our students to read for pleasure and be creative with their writing. The children were engaged in his sessions from start to finish, including those students who are sometimes reluctant readers or writers. Adam’s visit had a lasting impact on the children and the staff, who all benefited from taking part in his engaging sessions.” Ms Jessica Bell, Year 3 Teacher and English Leader at BIS HCMC

“I loved learning with Mr. Adam. He taught me how to plan exciting fantasy stories and use interesting language. I planned a fantasy land with an evil witch who turned everyone into babies. My main character managed to tame her so that she was a nicer character in the end.” Vivian, a student in 3T at BIS HCMC

“It’s rare to see someone who is captivating enough to inspire not only a room full of children, but a school full of teachers too. The content of Adam’s session may have been 1 lesson, but the follow up work and resources he has left us will inspire children and teachers alike for the rest of the year.  What a fantastic experience! Thank you so much Adam.”
Ms Tess Duffy, Head of Literacy at BVIS Hanoi.

‘Adam Bushnell’s story telling made me enjoy myself because he was very funny. It gave me more knowledge on how to write a good story. It also helped me a lot in reading and using grammar and now I think I have more knowledge in my mind.’ Nguyen, Year 7 at BVIS Hanoi