Rosehill Juniors Combined Arts Project June 2013

Once again I found myself at this remarkable Junior School in Rawmarsh, Rotherham. Every child in the school is involved in the project. On Monday there was an idea, on Friday there were two performances (and a dress rehearsal for the children of Rosehill Infants School to enjoy). I had drafted an outline for a story, carrying on from last year’s project where Professor Bryony Clocks and her friends had been stranded on the planet Siloobia. This year, they all returned safely to Rawmarsh, using a Siloobian Time Machine. The show was all about their strange journey through time. They met a Pharoah (Called Pharoah Nuff!), a particularly dozy set of Roman Soldiers led by an exasperated officer, Henry V11, Shakespeare, and loads more as well as escaping from a Siloobian Dragon and drafting in Sir Alex You Know Who to be the coach for the Siloobian Inter-Galactic Cup football team. Mr. McJannet and Mr.Holmes worked with me to help the actors (Y3 to Y6) to improvise the drama that told the story. The rest of the children were dancers, singers, musicians, prop makers and set painters. All the grown ups in the school worked alongside one of the groups and Mr Wagstaff the Headteacher, who puts this together every year, bought in Louise the dancer as well as professional musicians and singers. Once again there were two great shows and the parents and the whole school loved it!!! A fantastic week!!!!!!!! I can’t wait until next time when I will have to devise a brand-new framework, based (as it always is) on ideas from the children and the adults who work in the school. Oh, and a few ideas of my own. Usually we need to make HUGE puppets of Dragons, Monsters, Space Machines and so on…..well, we will all see what happens next year!

Sheffield Library Event June 1st 2013

This event was part of the Sheffield Poetry Festival. A few grown ups and some children came along to the library and I shared a few poems with lots of joining in. Then I talked about how grown-ups ALWAYS say that the games they played all those years ago were BETTER than the games kids play nowadays, especially as the grown ups ALWAYS played outside and didn’t have any computer games. And the kids know this is all bonkers and that their games are LOADS better.

So, I read my new poem My Game Is Better Than Your Game and the chorus goes

And we never had an X Box

And we never has a Wii…pronounced Wee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course I did have a wee when I was a boy, otherwise I would have exploded but you see what I mean. Anyway, the children made a verse of a poem about their games with me, the grown ups made a verse about all the old games they used to play, helped by the WONDERFUL Alexis from the library, and then we chanted them out, which was utterly brilliant and well done all of you who came along!

Hamstead Infant School, Sandwell May 2013

David with some prizewinners

David with some prizewinners


David meets with fierce Hamstead pirates.OOO -ARRRRRR

David meets with fierce Hamstead pirates.OOO -ARRRRRR


David and some very scary pirates...yo ho ho

David and some very scary pirates…yo ho ho

I drove down to Sandwell  to take part in an event organised at this lovely school. Laura Cameron, Senior Consultant, Sandwell Primary Team at HAYS Recruitment had asked me to be part of a wonderful literacy event going on at Hamstead Infants. Children had written poems and they received prizes, certificates and a chance to read them out to all the school. The headteacher, Andrea Day was there to make sure it all went smoothly, as was Laura and her colleague Jade. It was just great! Then I performed poems to all the school and followed that up by running workshops with each class so that EVERYBODY in the school got to make up some poems. I really did have such a great time. Thank you Laura for asking me along, and thank you to every one from the school. One of the school governors watched part of the work I did and wrote a REALLY NICE REOPORT! So, here it is!

Visit from Children’s Poet, David Harmer – Governors Report

On Friday 24th May, we had a visit from the Children’s Poet and Author, David Harmer. The school held a poetry competition and there was a presentation assembly for the winners/runners up of the competition, which their parents were also invited to attend. There were some fantastic pieces of work and the children were thrilled to receive their trophies and awards for their achievements.

David also recited some of his poems and encouraged the children to join in, using rhythm and rhyme. He made it fun for everyone – and everyone joined in. Some children who had volunteered were chosen to role-play one of his poems, using props and costumes as pirates, and the rest of the children were doing the sounds and actions. It was a wonderful sight to see!

David then ran a series of workshops throughout the morning, beginning with Reception, which I was also privileged to attend. The children were enthralled and had a brilliant time making up rhymes and ‘playing around with words’. The workshop was delivered in a fun way, and David was especially good at inspiring the children, using jokes and humour that the children were able to understand and relate to. They were all very excited and motivated as they left to go back into class, and hope that this can be continued and developed further in classrooms.

I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in and participating in the morning session. It was wonderful to see the children enthusiastic learning about poetry and words, and delivered in such a fun way.

Jane Bailey – Reading/Phonics Governor

That is SO kind of Jane to say those things. Thank you.

Here are some pics

This is me reading some SCARY poems!!!

This is me reading some SCARY poems!!!

David and the group 8Hamstead