I offer creative writing and performance workshops for children and adults.  Content includes: visual art, reading, writing, poems and lyrics, scripts, singing, acting and dancing.  Workshops are tailored to suit requirements.

These lively workshops are suitable for a wide range of ages and groups including: PRIMARY, SECONDARY, STAGE SCHOOLS  and COLLEGES

Example Session:  Poems for Pets and their Replies.  My humorous poetry sessions are very suitable for Key Stage 2 primary children (7 to 11 years).  I also work with Key Stage 1, (ages 5-6), and younger years (4 years). My illustrated poetry book 'A Fishy Coat Tale and Other Poems' includes actions songs with scope for harmonising, acting and inspiring students to write their own pieces (and draw pictures) of work for presentation in class and for audiences.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS and STAGE SCHOOLS ~ A recent introduction for older children is my art-based poetry that links with a range of subjects: English, History, Poetry, Drama, Art, Music, Mathematics and Science. 
Example session:  Art & Poetry for Performance.  During a visit to Stagecoach (Theatre Arts School), students aged 14-18 years worked in small groups and work-shopped and presented to their peers, their own take on my poem/lyric/script/book: A Visitor to the Forest, inspired by and based on Paolo Uccello's  famous painting: The Hunt in the Forest, which is housed in the Ashmolean Museum. The students were encouraged to stage, present and adapt the work in order to bring in their own creative ideas.

Students at Didcot Girls School had a presentation on a range of art and poetry for performance following which, they devised their own written work for performance.
**See teacher testimonial ** (below) following my visit to Didcot Girls School.

PRIMARY SCHOOL ~ An example of working with younger years:
At Wootton St Peter Primary School I worked with younger children (age 4 to 6 years) and created a poem/action song that linked with their topic of Mini Beasts. Children enjoyed 'being bees in a hive' and performing a 'Bee Waggle Dance'.  Subject matter is topical and, as an educational device, this poem enables further thoughts from all age ranges on the importance of bees.  The poem can be developed (if desired) as a mini performance/stage play with lines added by children (from all year groups) to increase their knowledge of bees, along with musical harmonising according to age and musical abilities.  If you are interested in having a creative, fun, educational poetry session please contact me.

 NOTE:  These lively and interactive sessions are easily adaptable and engaging for a wide age range including adults.

There are currently five types of creative / writing / art /poetry / performance sessions available:

1.Poems For Pets And Their Replies (includes all types of animals, birds, insects).
   Age guide: 4 years to adult

2.Henry VIII And His Six Wives
   Age guide:  7+ years to adult

3.Writing A Jingle
   Age guide: 6+ to adult

4.Edward Lear's nonsense
   Age guide: 5 years to adult

5.Art and Poetry for Performance
   Age guide:  5 years to adult

Duration is one hour per class.  Times may vary for younger (or older) age groups, or for special events.  These sessions are lively and fun, and content (which is adapted according to each group) goes something like this:

My creative writing /art /performance sessions can link in many ways to the national curriculum.  For example, the topic of Tudors was requested by a teacher and I linked into several subjects: History on Henry VIII and his six wives; Maths: working out dates of birth and ages. English Language/Literature: reading of text and poems, class discussion on the Tudor era, writing poems and reading aloud, poetry forms such as Kennings and Clerihews, also creativity and humour.

You will find teacher feedback below. If you have any questions or would like to book a session please contact me and I will get back to you.

I look forward to working with your class.


Didcot Girls School: 
Creative Writing Workshop: Art and Poetry Performance
Diana delivered a workshop for a selection of our Advanced Learners in Year 10.
The students found the workshop to be very engaging and Diana's performance of her own work was an excellent hook. Diana provided a number of stimulating sources and ideas for the students to consider. This led to the students producing some excellent and original writing.   Many thanks Diana!
             Sarah Roberts, Head of English, Didcot Girls School

Stagecoach Witney
"This is great..." quote from Robin Martin-Oliver re 'The Hunt' / 'A Visitor to the Forest' Workshop for ages 14 to 18 years.

Wootton St Peter Primary School
"Lovely session! Thank you".  "Good poems produced"   "As a result of today's session children will be looking at developing the performance element in poetry."  

Wantage C of E Primary School
A sponsored event as part of the Wantage not just Betjeman Literary Festival
'The flamingos were a hit!'  'All the animal poems were super'.  'All fun and engaging'  'The more active and engaging poems had the children excited and laughing over your poems' and 'had a great impact on their engagement'.

SS Philip and James School Oxford
"The children thoroughly enjoyed the session and the teachers thought it was fantastic. They also said that every child had a go at the writing part and that in the past it has been hard to motivate some of them. Well done!"

St Andrew's School Headington, Oxford
"A wonderful set of poems and ideas that really worked. The resulting children's work will be used for part of their curriculum."

Marsh Baldon School, Oxford
"Children were engaged with the activity and enjoyed the poems. A good range of poems and styles. Open activity enabled different levels of learning ability"

Appleton Primary School, Oxfordshire
"Lovely for the children to hear original work; very stimulating; good interaction.  Relevant to age groups.  Children enjoyed the session and opportunity to write their own poems."

Bishop Carpenter School, North Newington  (Year 3 class)
Henry VIII poetry session:  
"Thank you, children motivated by meeting a 'real' poet";  variety of poetic forms discussed, poems brought to life covering tudor music, food, banquets

SS Philip and James, Oxford  (Year 6 class)
Poems For Pets:  A delightful afternoon session, excellent ideas, the children enjoyed the poetry, great use of powerpoint presentations, excellent manner with children, thank you so much. 

SS Philip and James, Oxford  (Year 6)
Henry VIII: Children thoroughly enjoyed the session, very relevant as children have studied Tudors, great re-cap and extension of knowledge and applying to literacy skills, great powerpoint, lovely to have music clips too, super interaction, all children were included and a variety of questions asked.  All children enjoyed producing their own poems and reading them to the class.

SS Philip and James (Year 3 class)
Engaging style of presentation, interesting range of poems, good use of slides to illustrate and explain, friendly and receptive to ideas

High Beeches Primary School, Harpenden  (Year 5 class)
The children enjoyed the session and learned a lot about word play, children were very engaged, wanted to participate and share their work, they enjoyed the freedom of writing from their own ideas.

High Beeches Primary School, Harpenden  (Year 6 class)
Entertaining, children liked the presentation and the singing, related well to age group.

Little Milton Primary School, Oxfordshire  (Ages 5 to 11 years).
Especially enjoyed the singing; a great idea for introducing poetic metre and rhythm.  Children were engaged throughout the session - great to get all children involved. 
Children made to feel comfortable to make contributions, all were eager to 'have a go'.

I wrote a MILLENNIUM PLAY for Beckley Primary School which comprised of 4 playlets; one for each class group on the themes of:  BEATLES, ELIZABETHAN ERA, VIKINGS, and THE NATIVITY (teacher led hymns and story).

A Fishy Coat Tale, A Visitor to the Forest, and Objects in the Ashmolean - all available from bookstores, and via Amazon
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