Dan has visited over 2000
Inspiring Kids To Go For Their Goals
Dan visits hundreds of schools each year. Since 2007, he has visited over to 2000 schools in his aim to help make reading and writing cool.
Linda Hayes, a brilliant and vastly experienced librarian, looks after Dan’s diary and school visits.
Her email is Linda@DanFreedman.co.uk
Given the current situation, most of Dan’s school visits are now taking place online.
These visits (using one of Zoom, Teams, Google or Skype) have gone extremely well. They can be for a small group or up to a whole year group, with all the classes joining the session from their respective classrooms.
Please contact Linda to discuss and book a session.
Dan Freedman – School Visits
For visits in person, here is the information you need:
We offer one session per visit.
The session usually takes place in the afternoon, at 2pm or around that time to suit your timetable.
The session is 50-60 minutes, again to suit your time
For primary schools, we suggest the session be for all of your Years 4-6.
For secondary schools, we suggest the session be for all of your Year 7
Below is an outline of what we cover in an event.
We also suggest and encourage schools to make the most of the visit by building up to and building upon the visit with several weeks of lessons.
Here you can find teaching resources for Dan’s new novel Unstoppable that can be used with Year 6 to help prepare them for the move to secondary school or for Years 7/8.
You can email Linda any time if you’d like to discuss anything or if you have any special request.
You can also ask her to send you some brand new posters for Unstoppable.
Content – Big Talk/Q&A. Duration: 50-60mins followed by book signing
Dan’s Big Talk covers his journey from being a reluctant reader but massive football fan (like so many others) to becoming a football journalist and travelling to two World Cups as a part of the official England Team set up. This experience of working and living with some of the best players in the world inspired him to start writing the Jamie Johnson books. One of the themes of the talk is how one can use your own life experiences in your writing. Another is that reading can come in different forms and it’s truly incredible where your words can take you..
Dan discusses specific examples of where his ideas and characters come from and how meeting the likes of Ronaldo and Messi has been translated into his books about a boy with a dream of reaching the top of football.
The importance of editing; how and why it’s done is a key element to the discussion. This is a good opportunity to involve the English department.
Dan also talks about the BBC adaptation of the Jamie Johnson books into a BAFTA-nominated TV series. He covers the journey behind getting the books published and also getting a TV series commissioned. This is the other theme of the talk: the need for perseverance in going for your goals and rejection sometimes being part of the journey. This area of growth mindset is something we are aware that schools are extremely keen to explore and encourage.
Dan also covers the area of sporting excellence that he personally witnessed in the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Gerrard so the PE department are often keen to be involved in the day and session too. A good opportunity for cross-curricular co-operation and learning.
There are lots of questions, the girls are just as involved as the boys, and Dan gives a prize for the best question.
Dan will also be talking about Unstoppable… more of which here…
Case Study of Dan Freedman Visit and Funding
From Laura Carr, English Teacher The Westleigh School, Wigan
We recently invited Dan to come and speak to our Y7 students and once again were not disappointed. Dan is an engaging speaker who had even our most disengaged readers hanging on his every word. His anecdotal stories about his time with the England squad coupled with his motivational speaking about not giving up after failure and rejection was truly aspirational for our students. Like many schools, funding for extra-curricular activities can be limited and faculty budgets tight; however, having had Dan in to speak to our Y7s for the last three years we were confident in the value for money Dan Freedman provides. Experiences like a visit from Dan can be transformative for the reading culture of a school.
To fund this visit specifically, we decided to target a group of boys who were failing to engage with the reading interventions which had been put in place to close the gaps between their reading age and chronological age. Using literacy catch up funding, we were able to invite Dan, buy a copy of ‘Born to Play’ for all Y7 students and set up the ‘Dan Freedman Book Club’ with a view to improve reading fluency, reading age and inference in a small guided reading session. Dan is happy to provide resources to support the delivery of this including spelling, punctuation and grammar, which has been a huge help towards getting this project started.
Reviews for inspirational talks
‘You really managed to inspire a whole range of ages, boys and girls, from Year 7 through to Sixth Formers’
Vivienne Whitehead, Gordon’s School
‘I can’t speak highly enough of Dan’s involvement with our U11s last season. They thoroughly enjoyed the build up to his visit and the day itself. They were all fully engaged with every aspect of the initiative and are looking forward to his next visit and the continuing sagas of JJ. The biggest outcome from our perspective has been the boys’ engagement with reading for pleasure and how this has impacted on their written and creative work. As you will all know, it can be very difficult to enthuse boys in reading but this has provided us with a forum within which we have an opportunity to convince them how enjoyable and beneficial reading can be.’
Sue Parris, Education, Welfare and Player Services Manager, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
‘The workshop over-delivered and exceeded both mine and the players’ expectations. They were captivated and engaged throughout, not only being inspired to read but also learning many key psychological lessons. All of the players left positively affected in different ways by the experience so thank you.’
Mark Muddyman, Foundation Phase Lead Coach, Watford Football Club
‘I just wanted to write and say thank you for helping to get Dan here. The children are buzzing from his visit and I don’t have a single DF book in the library.
SLT are very happy. He was so good and the children were stunned by all the photos of famous players.
I’ve had several children come and say ‘thank you for organising it, it was brilliant’.
So a massive hit all round. I think I may be having a discussion with the powers that be about another visit.’
Miss Bainbridge, Librarian, Southend High School for Boys
‘I’d just like to thank you for your visit. Both the u9s and the adults with 9 year old mindsets enjoyed every second.
It was a magical, uplifting and inspirational occasion for all.
You are welcome back anytime.’
Lee Hagger, Head of Academy Player Care, Fulham Football Club
‘How rewarding it is to witness Dan in action! …. Dan was given the objective to inspire our boys to write and that was most certainly achieved during his writing workshops. Dan’s introductory talk hooked the children and left them thirsty for more.’
Mr. Beatty, Sheen Mount Primary School
‘I wanted to send a quick email to thank you for coming to visit our U9 Day Release learners.
I have had numerous messages from parents; particularly Kyle’s mum; to express how the workshop had inspired their sons towards engaging in reading at home.
I have already had some of the boys asking if we have more copies of your books at the Academy!
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to inspire our learners!’
Oli Lethbridge, Head of Academy Education, West Ham United Football Club
Student video idea
A visit from Dan gets a great introduction by two students at the Thorpe Academy in Tyne and Wear. Perhaps your students could do the same?