I had the great good fortune to spend National Poetry Day this year in Cambridge as the guest of The Perse Upper and Prep schools. I learned many things whilst I was there. Such as that it is possible to do Kung Fu whilst reading my Buzzing! book:
And that it is possible to have a name that is a quadruple dactyl. And also how valuable it is for a school to have a dedicated librarian.
The librarian at the Upper School is Janice Weatherall, who, along with her colleague Laura, had created a fabulous display in the library in advance of my visit.
The librarian at the Prep School, Sylvie Rigby, had also created a wonderful display, and inspired the pupils to enter a competition based on minibeasts they had photographed and written about. The only difficult part of my day was having to judge this competition, as the entries were so many and varied. Congratulations to all the children who took part. I was very impressed by what they had come up with.
I performed a Buzzing! show for the Year 7s at the Upper School, and a different Buzzing! show for the whole school at the Prep School. (All my Buzzing! shows are specially tailored to the particular audience, location and event.)
My shows were followed, in each case, by my signing copies of my Buzzing! book for pupils and chatting with them (my favourite bit!)
I was quite overwhelmed when one Year 7 pupil handed me a card she’d just drawn for me, complete with a fabulous ‘Thank You’ message.
Then just as I was leaving the Prep School at the end of the day, the Head Teacher mentioned he’d heard some work of mine broadcast on BBC Radio 3 a few days earlier. So, that’s another thing I learned during my National Poetry Day visit to Cambridge! I’ll tell you about that broadcast another time …
Meanwhile, I’d like to thank all the staff and pupils of The Perse Upper and Prep schools for making me so very welcome, and for making National Poetry Day 2013 so enjoyable and memorable for me. Particular thanks go to Janice Weatherall, whose idea it was to invite me in the first place.
Stop Press: You can see what The Perse Upper School made of my visit here.