Archive for March, 2008

Back to School …

March 18, 2008

Authors of books that children read are invited to visit schools. I have recently visited three, two primary, one secondary.

It is such a privilege to be back in school without being a) a teacher or b) a teaching assistant or c) a student. It was great to be reminded of the creative talents of children, their enthusiasm and brightness. It was also heartwarming to witness the dedication and expertise of the teachers. Without some good teachers, teachers who are respected, liked and occasionally loved by students, school would truly be a waste of everybody’s time.

In the first week of the three I was at Yerbury Primary School, in Tufnell Park, NE London – just south of Highbury. This school will be supporting the North London Launch of Aranrhod, which is happening on Sat 26th April in St George’s Church, Tufnell Park as part of their St Georges-tide celebrations. There will be three workshops – drama, visual arts, and wordcraft. At the school I did my usual interactive session about legend, weaving a new legend that leads us to the start of Aranrhod. I’m happy to say a good time was had by all.

The second school, in the second week, was at Great Torrington Junior School in north Devon. This was on Thursday 6th March, which – as I’m sure you all knew – was World Book Day. I was invited to attend with Katherine Reynolds, author of Born to Dance. We covered four classes each, so it was a hard-working day but extremely satisfying. The children do enjoy dressing up as Merlin, King Arthur, Aranrhod the Moon Goddess, and the Great Evil – well, who wouldn’t?!

Last week, the third week, was Something Completely Different. I took part in Wordcraft Day at Acton High School in north west London. Two 90 minute sessions with Yr 7s. No costumes, no legends, for I had been invited to do a creative writing seminar, a first for me. I had sought plenty of help from various teachers of English who happen to be members of my family, so I had more than enough material, and the students produced some good work. The school bought four copies of Aranrhod, which was a bonus since that hadn’t been the aim.

All three visits were wonderful experiences and I met some great people.