On Friday 15 June, I performed Buzzing! to Years 5 and 6 at my old primary school, Lord Deramore’s, in Heslington, on the outskirts of York. It had been many years since I’d last stood up and performed in that hall!
I was welcomed very warmly by the pupils and staff. The head teacher, Mrs Powley, even invited me to stay on for Special Mention Assembly, where children from each year were praised for something particularly special they’d done that week.
A week later, on Friday 22 June, I went back to the school to do a Poetry Workshop with Year 6. They are in exactly the same classroom that I was in when I was in Year 6 (which is a long time ago …) It’s a classroom full of character – with a spiral staircase, a balcony and a heavy arched door with wrought-iron hinges.
The pupils and I set about Having Fun With Words together. This culminated in their writing poems about the minibeasts they had found and photographed in their houses and gardens. (And the ladybird larva they found in the classroom that morning, which we examined under a microscope they have linked to a computer.)
I was very impressed by the skill they showed in observing and identifying the creatures they had found, and in finding out about them. And then, how they took this information and incorporated it into some really imaginative poems. I was also amazed to discover that one of the pupils had learned one of my poems – Betty – off by heart, from my website! She recited it to me beautifully.
I’m looking forward very much to going back to the school to hear the children perform their poems for me, and show me the artwork they’ve created to go with them.