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Gervase Phinn - Author

About the Author

Gervase Phinn taught in a range of schools for fourteen years until, in 1984, he became General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham. Four years later he was appointed Senior General Inspector for English and Drama with North Yorkshire County Council and was subsequently made Principal Adviser for the county. He is now a freelance lecturer and adviser, and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Teesside.

He has lectured widely in this country and has published many articles on the use of English in education. He has published collections of his own plays and stories and has contributed to several anthologies; his own anthology of poems, Classroom Creatures, has also been published.


Gervase Phinn is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is widely sought after as a speaker and recently was an immediate star on Esther Rantzen's television show, Esther, appearing a second time due to public demand. He is married with four children and lives in a village just outside Doncaster. 

Featured books by Gervase Phinn

The Virgin Mary's Got Nits A Christmas Anthology

The Virgin Mary's Got Nits A Christmas Anthology

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

A touching and hilarious gift book of poetry and prose on the subject of children and Christmas from the Yorkshire school inspector and bestselling author of the Dales series and Little Village School series.

The School Inspector Calls A Little Village School Novel

The School Inspector Calls A Little Village School Novel

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

The third Little Village School novel Summer has arrived in Barton-in-the-Dale and as a new term begins at the little primary school, it's not just the warm weather that's getting people hot under the collar. Meetings with the teachers from Urebank School to discuss the merger are producing more than a few fireworks, a disruptive new pupil arrives, set to cause trouble, and a surprising staff love affair is exposed. There's also a big school production of The Wizard of Oz to organise as well as an impending visit from the Minister of Education. Headteacher Elisabeth Devine certainly has her work cut out for her. And that's just some of the drama set to shake-up the village. Throw in a sprinkling of secrets, shocking revelations, old flames, new liaisons, psychics, weddings and misfortune ...There's plenty to gossip about this term.

ebook of the month

Other books by Gervase Phinn

The Little Village School A Little Village School Novel

The Little Village School A Little Village School Novel

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2012

She was wearing red shoes! With silver heels! Elisabeth Devine causes quite a stir on her arrival in the village. No one can understand why the head of a big inner city school would want to come to sleepy little Barton-in-the-Dale, to a primary with more problems than school dinners. And that's not even counting the challenges the mysterious Elisabeth herself will face: a bitter former head teacher, a grumpy caretaker and a duplicitous chair of governors, to name but a few. Then there's the gossip. After all, a woman who would wear red shoes to an interview is obviously capable of anything . . . Warm, funny and poignant, Gervase Phinn's first novel for adults creates a fictional world that's as real as can be. It will delight all his fans, and win him many more.

The Little Village School A Little Village School Novel

The Little Village School A Little Village School Novel

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 07/07/2011

She was wearing red shoes! With silver heels! Elisabeth Devine causes quite a stir on her arrival in the village. No one can understand why the head of a big inner city school would want to come to sleepy little Barton-in-the-Dale, to a primary with more problems than school dinners. And that's not even counting the challenges the mysterious Elisabeth herself will face: a bitter former head teacher, a grumpy caretaker and a duplicitous chair of governors, to name but a few. Then there's the gossip. After all, a woman who would wear red shoes to an interview is obviously capable of anything . . . Warm, funny and poignant, Gervase Phinn's first novel for adults creates a fictional world that's as real as can be. It will delight all his fans, and win him many more.

Out of the Woods But Not Over the Hill

Out of the Woods But Not Over the Hill

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/06/2011

For Gervase Phinn growing old is not about a leisurely walk to the pub for a game of dominoes or snoozing in his favourite armchair. As this sparkling collection of his very best humorous writing shows, he may be 'out of the woods' but he is certainly not 'over the hill'. Looking back over more than sixty years of family life, teaching, inspecting schools, writing and public speaking, Gervase never fails to unearth humour, character, warmth and wisdom from the most diverse of experiences, whether they be growing up in Rotherham with the most un-Yorkshirelike of names or describing why loud mobile phone users get his goat. Brimming with nostalgia, gently mocking life's absurdities, never shy of an opinion, this is Gervase Phinn at his wittiest, twinkly-eyed best.

Road to the Dales The Story of a Yorkshire Lad

Road to the Dales The Story of a Yorkshire Lad

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/2011

A unique look into the childhood experiences of Gervase Phinn in Road to the Dales. Gervase tells of a life full of happiness, conversation, music and books shared with his three siblings, mother and father. This book is a snapshot of growing up in Yorkshire in the 1950s - reminisce with Gervase, and share in his personal journey - of school days and holidays as well as his tentative steps into the adult world. Devour numerous uproarious stories including the incident involving a broken greenhouse, crashing his brother's newly restored bike as well as secrets about his first dates, adventures at summer camp, family trips to Blackpool and many other captivating tales. With a wicked ear for the comical, and a sharp eye for detail, Road to the Dales visits poignant moments, significant events and precious memories from a boy called Gervase Phinn. Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/10/2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars is the second delightful collection of stories and poems from Gervase Phinn. Following on from the terrific success of A Wayne in a Manger, Gervase Phinn has collected together from his bestselling Dales books his favourite stories about children, and included some poems from his popular Puffin poetry books. In this humorously illustrated book, the stories have one thing in common - the wonderfully funny (and usually innocent) things that children say. What makes Naomi's granny wobble? What's the secret ingredient in Richard's jam tarts? What is Billy's unconventional method for making babies? Whether they are stories about children who cannot read very well but know the names of many breeds of sheep or children who are more privileged (coming to school in a Wolls-Woyce), they are simply delightful. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars is a heart-warming book will enchant you, as Gervase Phinn helps you look at life through a child's eyes - and that's quite a special thing. 'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Out of the Woods But Not Over the Hill

Out of the Woods But Not Over the Hill

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 14/10/2010

For Gervase Phinn growing old is not about a leisurely walk to the pub for a game of dominoes or snoozing in his favourite armchair. As this sparkling collection of his very best humorous writing shows, he may be 'out of the woods' but he is certainly not 'over the hill'. Looking back over more than sixty years of family life, teaching, inspecting schools, writing and public speaking, Gervase never fails to unearth humour, character, warmth and wisdom from the most diverse of experiences, whether they be growing up in Rotherham with the most un-Yorkshirelike of names or describing why loud mobile phone users get his goat. Brimming with nostalgia, gently mocking life's absurdities, never shy of an opinion, this is Gervase Phinn at his wittiest, twinkly-eyed best.

There's an Alien in the Classroom - and Other Poems

There's an Alien in the Classroom - and Other Poems

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2010

With entertaining examples of just about every type of poem known to man, and wonderful illustrations, Gervase Phinn's new collection of poems for children makes poetry fun and thought-provoking. Cautionary verses, limericks, rhymes, conversation poems and free verse jump off the page in this hilarious book. Great fun to read aloud or keep children entertained quietly for hours. A fantastic collection from Yorkshire's best-loved poet and storyteller.

A Bit of a Hero

A Bit of a Hero

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2009

Tom is finding it hard to come to terms with the death of his father and life just gets worse as Mum meets a new man and a bully joins his class at school. Unkind people say that his firefighter father ought not to have risked his life in a blaze when he had a family to support, but Tom knows that his father was a true hero. Will he find the same courage within himself to stand up to the bully, and also accept his mother's new friend?

Teaching Poetry in the Primary Classroom

Teaching Poetry in the Primary Classroom

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2009

When asked by the school inspector what he thought of poetry, an eleven year old replied that 'it's all la-di-da and daffodils, isn't it?' In his primary school the boy had come across very little poetry apart from nursery rhymes, snatches of rhyming verse and a few comic pieces and nonsense poems. Poetry to him was something arcane, not really related to his own life. He had studied no powerful, challenging, contemplative, arresting, quirky poems and had written very few poems himself. His teacher admitted that he was no English specialist, had received few ideas at college on the teaching of poetry and didn't really know where to start. As children progress through the primary school they need to be exposed to a rich diet of poetry and encouraged to read, perform and write it themselves. Providing a varied and stimulating environment is essential if is to fl ourish. In addition, children need specifi c guidance and ideas to start them off writing their own poems. This book, written by a former teacher and school inspector, and popular and widely published children's poet, offers an accessible, practical and structured programme for the teaching of this sometimes neglected aspect of the English curriculum.

All Our Yesterdays An Anthology of Childhood Memories

All Our Yesterdays An Anthology of Childhood Memories

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2008

The Heart of the Dales

The Heart of the Dales

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2008

The Heart of the Dales is the fifth volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling Dales series. A teacher was reprimanding a child who had drawn a very wobbly line freehand across his exercise book. 'Don't you know what the word straight means?' the teacher asked crossly.' 'Yes, miss,' came the reply, ' without water .' Awkward teachers, pompous school governors and fearsome lollipop ladies occasionally make Gervase Phinn's hectic job as a school inspector more than difficult. But, for Gervase, the main challenge remains the frankly spoken children. The new school year doesn't get off to a good start after a teacher suggests that Gervase has let him and his school down. Called up in front of his new boss, the formidable Miss de la Mare, Gervase fears he is going to be in hot water. To add to his woes, he is given another 'little job' by the Chief Education Officer, which inevitably means liaising with the infuriating and interfering Mrs Savage! Meanwhile, away from the pressures of school, Gervase's life with his wife Christine and their baby son is blissful - until noises in the attic start to disturb their nights. . . The Heart of the Dales is Gervase Phinn at his story-telling best. 'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Little Treasures

Little Treasures

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2007

What I Like! Poems for the Very Young

What I Like! Poems for the Very Young

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 09/12/2006

This entertaining volume of verse for the very young is the perfect introduction to poetry. It includes poems about everything that is important to children: animals, family, food - and some very good jokes. Jane Eccles' humorous and wacky illustrations perfectly complement this lively and amusing collection. Complete with Audio CD to aid independent reading.

A Wayne in a Manger

A Wayne in a Manger

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2006

A Wayne in a Manger is the hilarious compilation of nativity stories by Gervase Phinn. Discover some wonderfully funny and touching nativity play anecdotes, including children forgetting their lines, ad-libbing, falling of the stage, picking their noses and showing their knickers. One brilliant anecdote tells of an innkeeper who generously says there's plenty of room for Mary and Joseph, while another child, jealous of Joseph's starring role, allows Mary to come in but not Joseph, who can 'push off' ... There's the baby Jesus who suddenly pipes up with 'My name is Tammy, are you my Mommy?' and funniest of all, Mary who tells Joseph, 'I'm having a baby - oh and it's not yours'. Gervase Phinn's A Wayne in a Manger is the perfect gift this Christmas. 'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Our Cat Cuddles

Our Cat Cuddles

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 01/11/2006

Rich in language, humour and rhyme, this hilarious tale is perfectly complemented by Amanda Montgomery-Higham's witty illustrations. Lizzie and Dominic desperately want a kitten but they get much more than they bargain for! Complete with Audio CD to aid independent reading.

Little Angels

Little Angels

Author: Gervase Phinn Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2006

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