Popular radio presenter and author inspires pupils at former school

Zeb Soanes with Northfield St Nicholas Primary pupils

Zeb Soanes with Northfield St Nicholas Primary pupils in Lowestoft. - Credit: Amy Louise Photography

A popular broadcaster, author and newsreader who grew up in Lowestoft has returned to his home town to help inspire children at his former school.

Radio presenter Zeb Soanes is known as the voice of the shipping forecast and is also familiar to British radio listeners after many years on BBC Radio 4.

He joined Classic FM earlier this month to present Smooth Classics at Seven.

Last week, he was back in Lowestoft as he returned to his former primary school to highlight the importance of reading from a young age.

Promoting the Summer Reading Challenge, Mr Soanes - who attended Northfield St Nicholas infants, Harris Middle and Denes High (now Ormiston Denes Academy) schools - was back in the classroom at Northfield St Nicholas Primary for the first time since he left.

Mr Soanes' fourth book 'Fred and the Fantastic Tub-Tub' is included on this year’s Summer Reading Challenge reading list.

The author gave talks to the students and promoted the annual reading challenge that runs throughout the summer holidays.

Zeb Soanes speaking with Northfield St Nicholas Primary pupils in Lowestoft

Zeb Soanes speaking with Northfield St Nicholas Primary pupils in Lowestoft. - Credit: Amy Louise Photography

He said: “It was lovely to revisit the school after all these years.

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"It’s so important, the work that Get Suffolk Reading and the libraries are doing.”

Hannah Punchard, Key Stage One lead at Northfield St Nicholas, said: “Get Suffolk Reading has helped improve pupil engagement with reading both in school and at home and has worked alongside us a school to help further develop pupils’ love for reading.

“To end the school year and promote Lowestoft Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, we are super excited to be having two bell tents on the school site which have been funded by Get Suffolk Reading.

Northfield St Nicholas Primary enjoy reading in a bell tent on the school site

Northfield St Nicholas Primary enjoy reading in a bell tent on the school site in Lowestoft. - Credit: Amy Louise Photography

“Throughout the last week of term every pupil will have a class story time session in the bell tents, which is an exciting and sensory opportunity."

Zeb Soanes with Sally Connick

Zeb Soanes with Sally Connick. - Credit: Amy Louise Photography

Sally Connick, Get Suffolk Reading project manager for Lowestoft, said: “It was so lovely to see Zeb return to Northfield St Nicholas and the children clearly enjoyed his presentation.

“We know author visits to schools are important in boosting reading and writing enjoyment and confidence in children."

Get Suffolk Reading is a campaign led by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Suffolk County Council.