Posted by & filed under Anna's Blog Roll, School Visits.

Someone asked me what I do on my Able Writers’ Days. In answering, I thought of what I would like to do differently given the opportunity.

Having worked with some amazing creative children, I think if I were to summarise my input, it has to be;
‘the most creative minds sometimes need a little help getting started. I love to help!’

Working with Authors Abroad has fulfilled all my expectations.
The programme I’m told has been hugely successful.
Their own website states;-

‘Ofsted inspectors have highly praised this programme on many occasions as it not only gives the children the opportunity to work with a current writer, challenges the more able children, approaching literature from a different angle but it also helps to further build links between schools in the local community. The day also serves as an excellent professional development day for the accompanying member of staff, as an observation day or for a school governor.’

Every author will deliver something very different, and whilst I have had a couple of minor criticisms, my reviews have all been very good.
As a host school provides the facilities and places are offered to visiting schools, there are usually about 34 children and several visiting teachers and adults present.
This is the day when for the most part the teachers are able to sit, relax and enjoy, whilst the visiting author takes charge. With a background in childcare and education that suits me very well.

Joking apart, the teachers do get involved and offer support where needed, once the children begin to develop their stories.

Below I have copied a brief itinerary from my Able Writer’s Day and a few reviews.

In summary, I do make it clear that my purpose is to inspire, and as the children attending are usually already good writers, personally I would love to see such a day for less able writers too!

A full day in school with the Authors Abroad Able Writers’ Programme is non stop, challenging, but very rewarding.

Why challenging? Because we have to keep the same group of children entertained, interested and focused all day. Not all authors find this easy. In fact, one author friend of mine recently commented, ‘I am an author not a teacher.’ In other words, a quick author visit to talk about the latest book and exit.
Hum!

My intention is that,
• The children will have learnt something new!
• They are inspired and encouraged.
• They know how the seed of an idea can be developed.
• The children are proud of their work and feel they can showcase it at school.
Of course, they had a fun day!

For more detailed information about the structure of the day follow this link on the author’s abroad page.

Meanwhile,

A few school quotes

‘I really liked that Anna’s own writing is based on Mexican Street Children. It added a whole new dimension to the children’s learning.
The children were so interested and engaged and went on to create their own great short stories.’

Monk Fryston Primary School

‘Anna obviously had a wonderful inspirational journey to becoming a writer and this came across. It would have been interesting to hear more about her experiences in Mexico.
The children found her writing support sheets useful and enjoyed using the objects she provided for initial inspiration.
They all had a wonderful day.’

Tadcaster Primary