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Author flies in for action-packed day at Harrogate School

Pupils at independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor had a close encounter of a different kind when author and cartoonist Mike Barfield flew in – literally!

Youngsters at the ‘outstanding’ Harrogate school came face-to-face with a human-sized housefly – aka author Mr Barfield – who dropped by to share his latest book with pupils.

The Boroughbridge-based author spent a day with pupils at Belmont Grosvenor School as part of their celebration of national Book Week.


Armed with a pink ukulele, giant fly swats, fluffy toys and a venus fly-trap plant, Mr Barfield entertained youngsters from years 3 to 6 at the co-educational school, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, near Harrogate.

SWAT – Mike’s latest book – tells the story of a just-hatched housefly called Buzzter and is packed full of scientific facts and information, as well as fun!

Mr Barfield was inspired to write his book by his son who, he said, was obsessed by a Venus Fly Trap plant.

Mr Barfield said:

It got me thinking about all the things that eat flies. As well as being great entertainment, Swat is also full of lots of science stuff,” said Mike.

I have been very impressed by all the pupils here at Belmont Grosvenor – they really seem to know their science and were great at answering all my questions.

As well as doing loads of fun stuff, they have learnt a lot too.


Sophie Johnston, Head of English at Belmont Grosvenor School, said Mr Barfield’s visit had been a great success:

The show was fantastic, it had information in bucket-fulls, great jokes and wacky costumes. The children were all very enthusiastic during the show and workshops, they were all eager to ask and answer questions as well as volunteer to be part of the act.

A very informative and engaging morning was had by all.

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