I regularly visit schools throughout the country and abroad to give talks, present storytelling sessions and run writing workshops. My first priority is to ensure that both staff and children have an enjoyable and rewarding day. Visits are specifically designed to stimulate and motivate children, making them want to read and write for themselves.
My Key Stage 2 Author Talk lasts for an hour and is usually given to all of the junior children at once. As well as explaining how I go about writing a book, the talk is packed with ideas and practical suggestions. I cover such topics as collecting ideas; building a plot; creating characters; drafting and editing and illustrations. Children are given the opportunity to pull out an object from my Story Bag! Towards the end of the session, children are given time to ask their own questions.
I also offer a Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 Storytelling Session.
This lasts for about forty five minutes and consists of lively, original stories supported by colourful PowerPoint pictures. It ALWAYS involves audience participation.
I usually follow up this session in a Year 2 class.
My Story Writing Workshops have proved to be REALLY popular! Following the initial stimulus, we discuss ideas and model planning together. The children then produce their own plans and begin to draft their stories. As the workshop progresses, we stop to emphasise points of good practice - effective openings, description, correct use of dialogue etc. Children are encouraged to share their work by reading extracts aloud.