I spent my childhood in Sheffield and graduated from Leicester University with a degree in English and History. I became a teacher after training for a year in Birmingham.
I started my career in Gateway Sixth Form College in Leicester and then moved to my wife’s home town of Swansea in 1981. We have lived here ever since.
I was initially head of English in Dillwyn Llewelyn Community School and then moved to Cefn Hengoed Community School in 1991 as Deputy Head teacher. Apart from a short period in 2006 when I was Acting Head teacher, that job became my professional life and it is the job from which I retired in the summer of 2011, after 38 years as a teacher.
I always wanted to write. I have spent my time in the classroom commenting upon the work of others in one way and another as a teacher. I didn’t want to be a parasite for ever. I had to write for myself. Only then did I have the right to comment on the processes involved. I felt that it was time I stopped preaching and did something creative. As an art teacher once said to me, you wouldn’t appoint an art teacher who couldn’t draw, you wouldn’t employ a music teacher who couldn’t play the piano. Why should English teachers be different? Uncomplicated words, but they have stayed with me always.
Once our children were old enough (Laura, Catherine, Jennie and David) I devoted more time to writing and started to submit short articles. I was very fortunate that the first piece I had publlished appeared in The Independent newspaper in 1998 and other work soon followed. I began to appear regularly in The Times Education Supplement.
My first book was a GCSE Study Guide for York Notes – Heaney and Clarke and Pre 1914 Poetry. ( ISBN 0-582-77264-8) This has been very successful and is still available. If you click here you will be taken to the Amazon website where you can find out more about it. I enjoyed writing this book very much and I am pleased that it appears to have continued to help students since its first publication in 2003.
A piece I wrote in the Times Education Supplement led to an invitation to write a book on dyspraxia for Continuum Press. There is a page here on the site about dyspraxia because it is something which is very important to me. I have now written three books on dyspraxia for Continuum and you can find out about them by clicking here.
My other books for Continuum have been
How to be a Successful Deputy Head ( ISBN 0-8264-8647-9) published in 2006.
The Complete Guide for Teaching Assistants in Secondary Education (ISBN 0-8264-9906-6) published in 2008
Once again you can find these books on the Amazon website. Click on the titles of the two books above and you will be taken to the appropriate page.
Alternatively you can go straight to the Continuum Press website by clicking here.
Recently I have completed two more study guides for GCSE English Literature students.
The first wwas published in 2010 and is intended to support learners in their study of poetry for AQA English Literature. It deals with one of the prescribed poetry collections called Character and Voice.
I enjoyed writing it and I hope those who buy it find it useful and helpful. Here is a link to the book on Amazon. It is in the York Notes series.
AQA Anthology – Character and Voice
I was then asked to edit another Study Guide. I was asked to re-format an older version of the York Notes guide to Robert Cormier’s book Heroes which is now available.
My writing for Welsh Country Magazine led to the publication of my book Stories in Welsh Stone which explores the stories behind gravestones across Wales.
I then moved on to writing local history books about Swansea and Wales. All my books have pages on this website where you can find more information about them – just click on these links below