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Thinking about buying someone a book for Christmas? take a look at the Book Trust Great Books Guide 2017 click here to view


Car-Jacked by Ali Sparks

A group of gifted and talented students, from Year 7, were recently given the chance to meet a multi-award winning children’s author. Ali Sparks, who has written 30 children’s books to date, invited her fans for an exclusive reading of her most recently published novel, Car-Jacked. The event, taking place on the 8th February, was hosted by Retford Oaks and was also attended by students from Retford Oaks itself, as well as two of its feeder primary schools and Queen Elizabeth’s Academy in Mansfield.

Students were each given a copy of the book beforehand which were signed by Ali before she gave an insightful talk on her life as an author. Car-Jacked is the story of a young boy with an IQ of 170, who when accidentally abducted, finds himself as clueless as everyone else. Ali spoke of the extensive research she undertook for the novel which included meeting with several, “child geniuses” by contacting the Mensa organisation. She also appeared on quiz shows Eggheads and The Chase in preparation for a scene in which the character takes part in a quiz show himself.

Ali also treated fans to readings of excerpts from the book, before testing their own genius with a gruelling quiz that contained topics from astronomy to history. 

Eleven students from Tuxford attended the talk, having been chosen based on their excellent performance in English by Mrs Hooton and Mr Bingham.

One student, Beth Huddart, said that she really enjoyed the event:

“I thought she gave a really good talk and it’s inspired me to start writing my own stuff”

Indeed, as well as inspiring students to take up the pen, it also gave encouragement to those who had already taken the plunge:

“I already write books in my spare time at home, but I’ve never been motivated enough to actually finish one but Ali’s talk has given me the motivation I needed”, said Oskar McCormick.

Beth and Oskar were joined on the trip by students: Jessica Abdy, Isaac Bee, Daniel Chambers, Sam Downing, Thomas Horsman, Zachary Pearson, Oliver Osborne, Abbie Ramsdale and Ariella Smith.

written by Oliver Pridmore




Forty-nine Year 11 students attended the Poetry Live event in Nottingham on the 24th January 2017.  

Click here to read more about it.  





Tuxford Academy was delighted to be graced by the presence of a debut author last November. Lily Divall inspired students and staff alike by detailing her journey to becoming a published author at just 18! Her book, A False Creation, sparked lively questions from students as well as how she managed to juggle penning a novel with her GCSE exams. Lily certainly had an impact; English teacher Carl Bingham said that students were left, ‘with a determination to both devour her new book and draft their own masterpieces’. 




Year 7 Reading  - World Book Day celebrations - click here to read more

One of the reasons young people don’t read as often as they should is lack of motivation. With Readathon, students  know that they are supporting other children and helping them to get through some tough times when they are in hospital. We thought we’d give it a try at Tuxford and our students have really embraced the inititaive.

The facts:

  • Around 3,000 schools are involved every year
  • Encouraging around 750,000 pupils to love reading
  • 30 major hospitals across the UK receive regular deliveries of brand new books from Readathon reaching 100,000 hospitalised children each year
  • Thousands of seriously ill children have benefited through our partner charities


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