Fearns Chat 2014

Our Literacy Leaders at Fearns work with Catherine each year to produce our school magazine, 'Fearns Chat'.
As well as producing a fantastic magazine used to publicise our school, the pupils involved gain a multitude of skills.
Catherine is fantastic with the pupils and they thoroughly enjoy their journalistic experience.
Rebecca Roach
Literacy Co-ordinator
Fearns Community Sports College

Antony & Patricia Hair Salon

I have known Catherine Smyth for many years when she was a reporter on the Lancashire Telegraph and then with the Rossendale Free Press and always found her to be confidential, meticulous and competent.

Since she started working for herself, I have employed Catherine to help promote my hair salon business Antony and Patricia both in the local media and also by producing a four page leaflet Snippets that I distributed to the local area.

Catherine has a very professional approach to work and she has a keen eye to spot a news story and achieve publicity that has helped me promote my business in the local and regional press.

She cares about the stories she writes and the people she writes them about and for. That comes through in the copy she produces.

The edition of Snippets was extremely well received and many of my customers commented on it. They remarked on how well written it was and that it was an interesting, easy read.

I look forward to working with Catherine in the future and am happy to recommend her to other businesses.

Tony Winder


Antony and Patricia


Britannia Bees

We all really enjoyed newspaper in a day! My mum and dad were thrilled!! They said it was beautiful 



(sorry, that joke just came to me!)

Yours sincerely                                                                                                       



Thanks for the great day; we really enjoyed it, especially when the first draft came through. The whole class were "buzzing" in their seats! (Really bad joke...)

The day was thrilling and I thank you greatly for the day; now I know what a "snapper" is! It really was great fun!

Many thanks,



Its Jacob I am sending a message to you to say thanks for coming and doing a news paper in a day it was soooooooooooooooooooooooo fun like a ride doing exiting stuff. I thought I was going to do a bad job at the newspaper (like mess up or something) but no I did have lots of fun and did a great job so did you, making it, teaching us stuff and much much, more !!!!!!

Thank you Catherine


Thanks for the best day ever would love to do it again. My dad loved it and thought I did it all by myself. It was fantastic and hope you are happy with what came out, we all learnt something new that will be in our heads and we will never forget thanks for coming and hope you had a good time because I did and loved what came out at the end.

Many Thanks



To Catherine

We really enjoyed making our articles in the Britannia Bees newspaper. We loved learning about old newspapers and new words we did not know before. Our parents really enjoyed reading our newspaper. Thank you for coming; we loved it.

We had a great experience!



Thank you for the news paper in a day. My mom and dad said that the news paper was nice.

The part that I liked the most was when you gave out the sheets and we needed to say what the words meant.

Thank you for the day for coming to our school and did a newspaper so thank you for the day





Hi Catherine,

I really enjoyed the newspaper in a day !!!!!! I was buzzing with excitement when I saw a new visitor joining us for a day. I loved all of the really tricky questions at the start of the day. I liked sharing my ideas out to the class, and I especially liked how my title was used for the newspaper. My favourite part was when the snapper came round asking if he could take a picture of us!! It was a really good experience. My Mum was really pleased with the final result and so was everyone else!

Yours sincerely

Hannah :)


Year 6 has just completed another successful 'newspaper in a day' production which saw the launch of a third edition: "Britannia Bees".

What amazes me, year on year, is just how much Catherine achieves with a group of children in such a brief workshop.

After a thoroughly interesting introduction to the world of journalism which involved a quiz, teamwork and choosing a name for the paper, the kids were sent off in small groups to research and prepare their respective articles. This year, Cath showed great skill by including a number of retiring children; one in particular who became the 'snapper' was so chuffed with the responsibility he could hardly contain himself!

In fact Cath's rapport with the group, I feel sure, is the key to her success.

And then the magic happens: within just over 2 hours of her leaving, the class watched the white board on the edge of their seats as the first draft appeared by email before their very eyes.

Thanks so much for another great experiences, and we look forward to next year's visit!

Mr Overton

Year 6 teacher

Britannia Primary School

The Diamond Tree

Dear Catherine, Just a quick note to give you some comments on the Newspaper in a altDay, which you recently undertook with my class. The whole event was really memorable and the children’s final product was a worthwhile publication, which parents have been able to purchase. The publication was of a professional high quality, and the children were delighted to see their written work in print, and accredited to them. I was struck by the way in which the children worked to your strict deadline – they HAD to be finished by lunchtime (no extra half hour available in the afternoon!) The children had a deadline to meet, in order to get the paper out and they rose to the challenge and worked to it. Apart from the super writing experiences which the children were involved in, they were also given a range of the vocabulary and terminology of newspaper production, thus allowing the children an insight into the world of journalism. Every child was involved and key roles were found for everyone. Your own personal experience of journalism and anecdotal references brought the adult world of work alive to the children. Thank you again for the experience you gave my class. I hope that we can work together again in the future. Yours sincerely, Mr Lloyd Class 4 St Saviour's Primary School Bacup

Anti-bullying lesson at St Saviour's Primary School

Using extracts from her book Weirdo Mosher Freak, which details the murder of Sophie Lancaster, Catherine presented an anti-bullying lesson to older primary school children. Here is what one parent, and her daughter, thought of the lesson.

My daughter came home and said she really enjoyed it, she found it quite challenging I think, but not in a bad way, more in a thought provoking, stimulating, intense way!

I think it's right to get children at this age to now raise their game slightly in preparation for high school and teach them about life at the same time!

Thank you.


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