Author School Visit
“I liked hearing about your family and how you incorporate them into your books.
Also the story behind all your books. You had a lovely way with the children too. It was a great visit.”
Donna Wellings (Cambridge Road Primary School)
"It was lovely to see the children enthusiastic about writing their own poetry based on a text they knew well. The children loved their visit from a 'real life author' which even helped to motivate the reluctant writers."
Julie Bowen (Brownlow Primary School)
“Excellent engagement levels of the children.”
Jeanette Hill (Gretton Primary School)
“Excellent. I liked the variety of workshop options and great rapport with the children.”
Rebecca Winn (Colgate Primary School)
A typical day starts with a whole school assembly in which I will introduce myself and read some of the funny extracts from my books, especially Terrible Teacher, with the children looking around the hall for teachers who match my descriptions. This is followed by workshops which can range from character profiles, poetry, wellbeing or story sacks (the full list is below). These workshops will be adapted to fit your school, whether you are a small school or three-form entry. Some schools like another assembly at the end of the day to show the work they have done and often I then sign books for the children which I will have on sale. Having been a teacher for over twenty years I am very flexible and know how a school day can change.
Increase children's interest in books and help them understand how books are produced.
Make reading exciting showing stories are more than printed words: they are portals into other worlds that don’t just begin and end between the covers.
Show the importance of drafting and resilience as no stories come out fully formed the first time. Drafting and redrafting in response to the editor’s comments is all part of the process.
Boost children’s writing confidence (especially the boys) by showing the children that authors are real people who live and work today, not just names on a cover. They started out learning to write at primary school, just like your pupils. Children will participate in writing exercises to hone their skills.
1. Terrible Teacher
Terrible Teacher – Children will find out about the different types of teachers there are in the story and create their own humorous examples. Through a series of questions and extracts, I will get the children to produce a piece of work, in a similar vein to that I did in the book, describing a set type of teacher, and looking more into their character and personality. (Y2-6)
Steam – I will explain to the children how I created the steampunk characters in Steam using the website Pinterest, help the children to create their own characters, and produce an environment for their characters to dwell. (If children have been studying Victorians, they may find this workshop helpful as the story starts in Victorian England). (Y4-6)
11. Character Journal
Character Journal - When writing a story, character development is vital to the progression of the plot. I will explain to the children how their characters will experience different situations throughout the plot that will shape them and their personality. By using this character development book, the children can build characters and use them specifically in a story or make them generic so they can be used over several stories. (KS2)
3.Positive Pupil Power
Positive Pupil Power - A scheme that follows the teacher plan that can then be introduced to pupils. The contents are nothing new. The Law of Attraction, positive affirmations, journaling, personality and habits. However, I feel that these elements combined make a powerful tool for staff and pupils' mental health, putting them on the right path for the future, both at school and at home. (KS2)
9. Q & A
Be Kind Kids – As a primary school teacher, I found quotes and thoughts were priceless in varied situations to help, advise or guide children. In this workshop, I will share some of these with the children and then discuss their thoughts and ideas that they could share with others around the school. (Y2-6)
Morning assembly – an assembly introducing myself and my work – reading some extracts and taking some questions from the children (20-30 mins)
Rest of the morning – workshop sessions with individual classes. These can range from 30-60mins depending on number of classes.
Lunch - with the children or staff, either is great with me.
After lunch – more workshop sessions with individual classes.
Last Half Hour
Last half-hour – An assembly where children can read the work they have written in front of the whole school, parents, governors, etc. and a chance for any final questions.
After school – I would be happy to stay an extra half-hour or so to talk with parents and children, sell and sign books.
A half-day could include two workshop sessions, an assembly talk and a book signing session at lunch-time or at the end of the day.
A single session could be a longer assembly talk, or a single workshop session.
What will work best for your school depends on what you would most like to get from the author visit, how much preparation you would like to do with classes in advance, and how many children you would like me to work with.
I am happy to adjust my visit to the needs of your school, for example spending less time doing class workshops in order to deliver a longer talk in assembly. It is possible for me to visit as many as seven classes in one day, although this limits the time with each group and can be less effective.
If you let me know what your ideal author visit would look like, we can work to make it happen.
£400 for full-day,
£200 for half-day.
(Travel at 45p a mile)
For primary school visits I offer signed books for parents/children to buy on the day of my visit, and will send you an order form (A4, double-sided). I will either post the form to you or email it to you as a PDF attachment. Please photocopy it and send it home with the children a few days before my visit. The form shows a selection of my books. If parents decide to purchase a book, they need to return the completed order form and payment to school in time for my visit (there is a return date printed on the form). I will sign books at lunchtime or at the end of the day.
Book sales – questions I'm often asked
Q: Can children order books after the visit?
A: Yes, books can be ordered from my website.
Q: Can school order books?
A: Certainly! Schools buy books for the library, as guided readers, class library and as prizes. If you decide to do this, please try and let me know in advance of the visit, so I know how many copies to bring with me. No need to pay on the day – I'll add the cost to the invoice.