Every year World Book Day is the first Thursday in March – this year the date is Thursday 7th March. There are lots of resources for primary schools on the UK World Book Day website here: https://www.worldbookday.com/resources/primary/
I’ve already had enquiries about that week so if you are thinking you might like a poet to come into your school to liven things up, please do contact me early to avoid disappointment.
In 2018 I had a busy week around World Book Day and spent the day itself at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school in Cheshire. There is a write up and some pictures here: http://www.stjosephs.cheshire.sch.uk/news/world-book-day-/32704
A great message in a shop window in Barnard Castle
I’ve done a lot of work over the years in schools promoting the Road Safety message using poetry. People ask me how does that work? Well, the Road Safety officers of the council block book me and then make the arrangements with a number of schools where they want to get the message across about things like crossing the road carefully, riding a bike wearing a helmet, encouraging adults not to speed (20 is plenty)… I visit with the Road Safety Officers and we have a fun time with a serious theme. Examples of some of my poems that I use for these kind of workshops are on my Road Safety Poems page, but we also get children to write and perform their own.
I’ve had 2 such weeks in June funded by Durham County Council and I have another in September. So far I’ve visited the following Durham and Barnard Castle primary schools: Finchale, Framwellgate, St Godric’s, Blue Coat, Green Lane, St Mary’s RC and Montalbo Nursery and Primary School.
It was such an enjoyable time with great work from the pupils and enthusiastic teachers. We produced some particularly good class poems with music accompanied by guitar.
As part of this block of work, I also performed and led a workshop at a Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSO)* event at County Hall in Durham, with pupils and teachers from 12 Durham schools, officers from Durham County Council, the Mayor and Ron Hogg (the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham Constabulary). It was a fantastic celebratory event of the work of the JRSOs over the past academic year. We split up into 3 groups with 20 JSROs from the different schools in each. A Road Safety Officer facilitated each group, and 3 group poems were produced in under 30 minutes and then performed at the event. The standard was excellent.
* Schools nominate a minimum of two Year 5 and 6 pupils to be junior road safety officers for their school. Their job is to spread road safety messages by running competitions, speaking in school assemblies, creating noticeboards and organising campaigns. (https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/6548/School-road-safety-schemes)
National Poetry Day, your chance to enjoy, discover and share poems you love, will take place on Thursday 4 October 2018. This year’s theme is Change: use it to start thinking about your celebrations now. Maybe you would like a poet to visit your school and help things along (if so, contact me)? For more information about National Poetry Day and useful resources see: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/
Here is a poem of mine for people who are thinking they might like a change of career. This poem is in my new book of poems for children ‘What Are You Like?‘.
Career Opportunity: Knight Required
Are you brave, honourable
Do you like wearing metal suits
and enjoy being called Sir?
Then this could be the job for you.
Your duties will include
wielding a sword, jousting
and clanking about.
Preference will be given
to those candidates
who come equipped
with their own warhorse and squire.
If you think
you’ve got what it takes
turn up for an interview
and show us what you can do.
NOTE: Candidates will be left to fight
it out amongst themselves.
Castle Management accepts no responsibility
for loss of life or limb.