Author Visit to Eastbrook School, Dagenham, 16th July 2021
This is a little jewel of a primary school where the teachers are inspirational. An outdoor ‘Reading Festival’ was organised by Chris Peake, Head of English, in which I danced The Boogie Bugs with Reception (all six verses, in 29 degrees!) and also did a little play based on my book Jungle Home. Their fabulous teacher, Miss Maxted was so supportive and one of the most enthusiastic teachers I have ever met.
Years 1, 2 and 4 sang ‘The Snap Snap Song’ derived from my book Peter and the Timber Wolf, and also ‘Mum, Mum Quickly Come’ originally written for BBC Schools Radio.
Kimba Bush-Ramsey was the other author at the school and he presented one of his own raps, which was a beautiful piece of writing, and then we heard some of the Year 5 and 6’s own poetry. The children had clearly been incredibly inspired
by Kimba. Their words were from the heart.
"Both Ann and Kimba were fantastic to work with and if given the opportunity, I would work with them both again in a heartbeat. Ann's demeanour and way with the younger children was beautiful to behold and
she had them in the palm of her hand with her sing along stories. Each and every child involved in her sessions were captivated and enthralled by her. The festival aspect of the event went down with aplomb. The two of them worked amazingly well together and were incredibly flexible as we worked on a running order as the afternoon unfolded. Every child had a great time and the staff were all gushing with praise for both acts."
Thank you very much to Chris and all the teachers for making me feel so welcome.
THE INCREDIBLE IAA , JORDAN
I often wax lyrical on this page because I usually have wonderful positive experiences at schools in the UK and abroad. I have done author visits at literally hundreds of schools now but this recent visit to the International Academy of Amman, Jordan, is just the hugest highlight.
Melinda Martin, Head of Primary Curriculum, organised the visit and along with Dima, Primary Library Leader and Sammia, Primary Music Leader, she made my visit so special - an amazing experience for myself and for all the students. Melinda and I had been in email contact for months in advance and she had got the children familar with some of my poems, songs and books so there was a wonderful air of anticipation present and almost tangible within the school from the moment I walked onto the premises!
Describe your image
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Sammia had created a massive buzz by teaching every single student my song Mum Mum Quicky Come and it was a joy to play the piano in the final assembly whilst everyone sang it. She also created art work representing all the creatures mentioned in the song. The auditorium itself was huge and it's thanks to Hussein, Head of IT - we see his figure in the distance setting up the theatre - that the assembly worked so well for everyone.
Lina, the art teacher was inspirational too. She created quite a welcome for me, including the Paul Klee work that she did with Grade 4, basing the piece on my poem, HUSH.
I will always remember this visit to IAA and treasure the memories. Thank you to all the teachers, and especially for your beautiful comments, many of which will appear on my SCHOOL AUTHOR VISITS page in the coming days.
Thank you to Andrew, Head of Primary for saying lovely things about me and for asking if I might return. Don't worry if you change your mind, Andrew. Life moves on! New inspirations creep in.
I send you all at IAA my best love and wishes and maybe one day we will meet again. Let's see!