Sunday, 30 June 2013

The School Visit

I think that summer may finally have made an appearance! It's been a beautiful weekend, lovely and sunny - I've opened wide all the windows in my house to let the breeze through, I'm in my shorts and sitting in the garden and all is well with the world. Can't get much better really.
     I've been busy on the Burly and Grum front - the vist to Our Lady & St George's School went very well. I've put a few photos below (photographs of students are not allowed to be shown web sites other than the school's, which is fair enough, so the photos below are of children with their heads down writing or drawing away!)
 

     I actually ended up speaking to over 180 children. The first group were aged 6/7 and we worked on writing a short story or a poem about animals and the importance of taking care of the environment because it was EcoWeek at the school. I was so impressed by their concentration and the quality of the work they produced was wonderful - I don't think I was able to write as well when I was their age!
     The second group I spoke to were younger, aged 5/6. We discussed the importance of looking after animals again, I read a piece from Burly & Grum and The Tiger's Tale and then they spent time colouring in some sheets I'd brought along.  After lunch (great school lunch by the way!). I went to the Upper School and met with my third and final group of Year 3 students (7/8 year olds) and they created a comic strip story. They worked incredibly hard and produced some excellent work which I know they were all proud of and quite rightly so, the quality was outstanding.
      Everyone at the school made me feel very welcome, the children were a joy to work with; not only were they polite, they were all so enthusiastic about stories and writing. Thank you everyone and I hope to come back and visit at some point to see how you're all doing!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Burly & Grum bear all!

   Yes, Burly and Grum are going to be in the spotlight tomorrow - they're visiting Our Lady & St George's Primary School in Walthamstow and will be meeting over 130 pupils. Yes, over 130 - no wonder they look a bit nervous!
   Yesterday I was thanking my lucky stars when my order from Vistaprint arrived - just in the nick of time for the visit, but now I'm wondering how I'm going to get everything into my bag!  As well as a few copies of the Burly and Grum books I have my companion Grum to take with me, some colouring-in sheets, stickers, etc. My table is positively groaning with goodies!
   I'll be working with the older pupils on a writing exercise and in addition to everything else I'm also taking along information about two young authors Jennifer Wilson and Olivia Miller because I want to show them that writing is not only fun but that you can be published no matter how old you are.
   It's Eco Week at Our Lady & St George's Primary School and I'm looking forward to talking the pupils not only about Burly and Grum but also about the importance of looking after the environment and the animals in it. I spoke to my friends at the Born Free Foundation and they have already sent the school details of the 'Global Friends' project which aims to link schools in the developed world with a Born Free supported school in Africa or Asia. Fingers crossed that the teachers and children at Our Lady & St George are interested because Global Friends is a great initiative and well worth being part of.
  And so now I suppose I'd better stop procrastinating and get on and pack my bag (this is going to be an interesting exercise!). Wish me luck and I'll let you know how it all goes :)