School Visits: Key Stage One and Two

I work with children from the age of four up to and including post-sixteen.

Reception and Key Stages One:

Based around my book, ‘Robin Hood’s Day,’ this is widely used in schools. This book is about a knitted character called Patchy Pat who is dressed in a Robin Hood’s outfit. I will bring a real Patchy Pat to school in my black trolley bag. I will read the first part of Robin Hood's Day and then introduce them to the real Patchy Pat:

There are lots of follow-up activities where children can imagine, talk, write and draw about taking Patchy Pat to somewhere... in their local community; town; city; country and overseas. This is a great activity which draws on many different areas of the curriculum.

English: Speaking, Listening and joining in discussions. “pupils learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say. They begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm. They use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.”

Geography:  “Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality.”

History:  Ask the children where their parents/carers or grandparents may have taken Patchy Pat when they were small.
“Pupils should be taught about:  changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life.

Key Stage One workshops based on Robin Hood's Day are very lively, popular and successful.

For Key Stage Two, we look at my latest book Gambledad.  

When Antonio's dad goes missing, life goes downhill for all of the family. Antonio and his best friend, Frankie, try to make things better. But there's only so much you can do when you're homeless, broke and hungry.

We look at some of the issues within the novel – homelessness; parents missing; living in a hotel room; the difficulties arising out of a gambling problem.

I will talk about how this novel came to be written and the problems and difficulties in producing a children's novel with such a controversial theme.

Makeover Madness has also been very popular with Key Stage Two. Makeover Programmes on Television lead us to believe that change and improvement is easy. Leanne thought this when she won a television competition to makeover her school.

"Hey you out there... yes, you... 
how would you like to be famous? 
Get your face on TV? 
Meet some fantastic celebrities? 

Sounds good, huh? 

Well, all you have to do is write and tell us 
why we should come to your grotty, 
run-down school and give the place a complete 
makeover, (including the teachers!) 
Yes, contact us today to transform your 
Dump from Hell into a Perfect School

What could be simpler..?"

There's lots of material in this story to help readers think about their environment and how it can be improved with the simplest of changes.