We were very excited to have Bali Rai visit us at Driffield School.
Bali writes books for teenagers based on his own life growing up in multi-racial Leicester.
He also writes football story books.
We were able to secure Bali’s visit because of a donation from the Driffield School Association.
Bali’s book Dream On is a football book which is part of the National Literacy Trust Premier League Reading Stars programme which encourages children to read through football. Pupils have read books and completed tasks related to football, as well as completing online challenges which are set by Premier League footballers.
Dream On is the book recommended by Raheem Stirling. Raheem not only plays for England but for Liverpool, the team that Bali Rai supports and wanted to play for Liverpool as a boy or to become and author.
Bali spoke to the Reading Stars group first, talking about growing up in Leicester with his peers who did not read for pleasure and where they ended up and how he progressed because of his reading.
This group are to be rewarded for their attendance to the Reading Stars Scheme by a trip to a local soccer centre in October where they will receive a coaching session and have a match against each other. This group all received a signed copy of Bali’s book Dream On.
Bali spoke to two more groups of mixed Year 7 and 8 students who had all achieved their Bronze Independent Reading Scheme Award. Bali spoke about being an author, creating stories based on our own lives and surroundings and about how reading exercises the brain and increases our knowledge and understanding and leads to a better future. Again pupils were able to purchase signed books from Bali.
Finally Bali worked with a group of Year 9 students in a Creative Writing session where he talked about the genre, plots, characters of a story and about how important it was for humans to relate to the characters when we create in a story. He induced some intense discussion, which showed passion and attachment to some characters that pupils disliked but never the less reacted strongly too.
The pupils really enjoyed meeting Bali, with comments such as: ‘we didn’t get long enough with him’ and ‘would love to meet him again’ being given by them. They felt they learnt a lot about creating stories and characters and how reading for pleasure can enhance all areas of your life.