Prize-winning author Lauren St John gave the creative writing skills of pupils at Packwood Haugh School a professional boost earlier this week.

Lauren spent the day at the school in Ruyton XI Towns running workshops during which pupils worked together to make up a whole class story. They also took part in writing warm-ups and other exercises designed to teach them to have confidence in their imagination and ideas.

In the afternoon they were joined by Year 6 pupils from St John the Baptist Primary School in the village for a talk with Lauren when she spoke about her childhood growing up on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe and her adventures rescuing dolphins and leopards with the Born Free Foundation.

She also talked about her career as a writer describing how she comes up with ideas and the in-depth research she does for the many different books she has written.

Head of English at Packwood, Roy Chambers, said: “Lauren gave the children some invaluable tips and techniques which I am sure they will put to good use in their work for the school creative writing competition later this term.

“Her talk later in the day brilliantly captured the interest of her young audience. The children were enthralled by her descriptions of life on an African farm, the wonderful photographs she showed and her many entertaining stories about animals.

“It was quite clear they could have happily spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in her company.”