‘I felt a pair of pointy smooth ears/ mittens of fur’

On Tuesday I woke up in a Docklands Travelodge then made my way on the DLR to Star Primary School in Newham for a fantastic day in Year 5 and 6.

Mar 2016 Star Primary Newham (29)

The kids were focused and lovely, just brimming with ideas.  We made whole class poems called ‘Keeping the Creature’.  The only rule was we could not name the creature!

Mar 2016 Star Primary Newham (25)

Three different classes created three very different poems.  The children worked in pairs to provide a line each, which their lovely class teacher typed onto the IWB.  Then we worked together to edit what we had.  This led to detailed and challenging conversations around the classroom about line endings, verb tense, choice of words, finding the last line, finding the first line, beat and rhythm – and more.

Thank you Star Primary!

Mar 2016 Star Primary Newham (30)

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Arvon Magic at The Hurst

I’ve just got home from a week tutoring for Arvon at The Hurst, in Shropshire.  My co-tutor was the fantastic Jonny Zucker, and we worked with 16 bright, funny, extraordinary-ordinary children from Year 5 and Year 6 at Hargate Primary in West Bromwich.  The week could not have been what it was without Hargate’s wonderful headteacher Andrew Orgill, and Year 5 class teacher Kirsty Cross, not to mention the warm, skilled support that every one of the staff at The Hurst provided for us.

Rising to the demands of such an intensive week, the children were so focused that they grew as writers and poets almost by the hour.  Jonny and I also made good use of the 26 acres of woodland around The Hurst, which inspired some great writing.  We wrote stories, we wrote poems.  I took my Crow.  We wrote a group poem for Leap Year’s Day ‘On a Day that Shouldn’t Exist’. You can get the idea, I think, from the pics that follow.

I had the best time.  Arvon rocks.  Thank you everyone!

March 2016 moss hands Hargate at ARVON (16)
‘Moss blankets the tree/ in spring, ready for the/ cold nights ahead.’  Patric
March 2016 Wood Write2 Hargate at ARVON (41)
We wrote about the woods in tiny Origami books. 
March 2016 Wood Write3 Hargate at ARVON (44)
Then went to the Workshop Room and wrote.
March 2016 Hargate at ARVON (60)
I asked the children to create the Museum of Lost Objects

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March 2016 Hargate at ARVON (35)
The brilliant Jonny Zucker leading his session on plotting a story. Observe the fun being had.

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