World Book Day

i spent today at Kingsoak Primary Learning Centre in Wombwell, Barnsley. It was actually the second of two days in this big, busy, lovely school. Over the two days I worked with all of KS1 and all of KS2 and read poems to everyone, including F1 and F2, in my opening assembly yesterday.. In the workshops we wrote loads of MONSTER poems, UFO poems, PIRATE poems and PLAYING TIG poems and had a very very very good time. Everyone at the school is SO friendly and worked so hard. The grown ups are great and helped me a lot when I was working with the children. The boys and girls did a lot of poetry AND a lot of laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the teacher who asked me along, Mrs.Smith, had worked very hard and organised a poetry competition, so each class in the school learnt a poem and performed it. There were two slams and I had to choose two winners which was, as you can imagine, impossible….IMPOSSIBLE!!

In the first slam i chose Y5 because they did a very lively version of a Spike Milligan poem about the Ning Nang Nong and during their performance, they had all sorts people jumping up and down in unexpected places making noises, which made it exciting to listen to and watch. They came just in front of a very very good Y2 performance. And Foundation stage won the second slam because they performed a long version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with lots of group voices and very confident solos and some triangles too!

But all the classes were great. Everyone performed their poems with a high energy and huge confidence and did some great bits of acting-out, often with props. A very impressive set of performances.

Above all, the children of this school now have learned some excellent poems (three were written by me so of course I thought they were excellent!) by heart AND all of them stood up in front of an audience and made their poems come to life.


And of course everyone today, all the grown ups and all the kids, were dressed as their favourite book characters.

Thank you for a fabulous two days!

Withington Girls School; Manchester

I was asked to visit this WONDERFUL school on the 23rd of February and to work with the classes in KS2.

Everyone at this school was just so very very friendly, warm and welcoming. The girls worked very hard indeed, writing poems on their own or sometimes doing that and then making whole class performance poems.

In Y5 the girls wrote poems that made a type of weather into a person, based on my poem Frosty Pinchface. That is a hard idea to understand but all the Y5 pupils grasped it straight away and wrote really exciting poems, giving their weather character invented names. I especially liked Tina Tornado!

The other classes wrote about crazy zoos and UFOs bursting with aliens.

A lovely lovely school and I had a really enjoyable day. Great fun.

Which is what it is all about really

Thornhill J and I school in Dewsbury

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!  This was quite something let me tell you!

This amazing school is working on a project called  ’10 Easy Pieces’ which is set up by the BBC. Each year group listens to a piece of music and then responds through art, dance, drama, poetry and anything else they can think of! Very exciting.

I performed my poems to all of the school in a big hall. There are over 500 children attending this wonderful place and that was a big crowd. But they all joined in and laughed lots and had a great time.

Then I worked with the KS2 pupils and we wrote some poems and then made big performance poems inspired by the music. We shared these big poems the end of the day.

Y6 were listening to A Short Ride In A Fast Machine by the American composer Adams. So that performance poem was really fun, with different voices doing different machine bits and different words very quickly before screeching to a stop.

Y5 were listening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony which has a very famous opening.So their performance poem was all about very loud and strong lines about the weather contrasted by more peaceful, more gentle lines. Whirlwinds and then sunshine, that sort of thing.

Y4 were listening to the finale of The Firebird by Stravinsky, music he wrote for a ballet based upon the folk tale of a prince using the magic firebird to help free a princess from the clutches of an evil demon.  So their poems were about that tale.

Y3 listened to Mozart’s Horn Concerto which is a lot like a chase, so their poem was all about different games of Tig and one person chasing another, using dips like ‘coconut crack ‘ as a chorus.

Because the groups were quite big, we had a lot of fun with different people saying different things at the same time and on their own. There were a lot of interesting rhythms and textures produced by the pupils which sounded great when they performed them.

And they performed them very very well.

The children worked SO hard on their poems and all the grown ups were just SO helpful and everybody really enjoyed themselves AND produced some fabulous poetry, both written on paper  and Out Loud in big groups.

Another great day!






Another day at St.Peter’s C of E Primary in Leeds

This is another Very Favourite School To Visit. I was here last year and was invited again in early February.


I worked with the KS2 classes and we made poems about pirates and giants and animals and UFOs and then had a big shout-out sharing of poems at the end of the day.

It really was lovely to be asked back for a second visit and I had such a great day in this wonderfully warm and welcoming school.

Thanks to you all!


Barnburgh Primary School Doncaster

This is one of my favourite schools which I visit quite  lot. Over a couple of weeks, Y5 and Y6 worked very hard writing many different poems and then collaborating in groups to write big performance pieces. The children had to concentrate a lot and had to work hard because there was a lot to do and only so much time available. Everyone was very pleased with what was made.The results were great, really exciting stuff!

2016 so far!

In January I visited Norton Infants School in Doncaster, had a great day and really enjoyed myself. I had met all the lovely teachers before because I helped with a Training Day and of course, I met all the other lovely grown ups too. The boys and girls had a fun time making up big poems and performing them. So, thank you everybody at Norton Infants School!