author visits

10 Schools, 3 Weeks, 1 World Book Day!

World Book Day season is over once more – and yes, it’s become a season, at least for us authors. For me it’s the busiest time of year with school vists most days and normal life on hold as I navigate early morning motorway routes, school car park security systems and the staff room tea making facilities. A big change from working at home in my pyjamas!

This year I had full day visits to Maulden Lower School, Bedford, Upton Cross Primary School, East London, Larwood Primary School, Stevenage, Greenfield School, Bedfordshire, Hartsfield JMI School, Baldock and Bradwell Village School, Milton Keynes, and half day visits to Pulloxhill School, Bedfordshire and Watford St John’s C of E Primary School, Watford. I also did a 1 hour story telling and poem making session at Hertford Heath Primary School and a writing workshop for years 1 and 3 in local primary schools hosted by Holmer Green Senior School, Milton Keynes. Thank you to all these schools for having me and making me feel so welcome!

Here are my top 10 tips for school visits:

  • Prepare for no tech to work. It takes away so much stress! This year I decided not to use Powerpoint presentations unless I was in a big hall and really needed to.
  • Identify where the staff room and toilet are at the start of the day. They’ll be your homes from home!
  • Take a travel cup preloaded with a tea bag. Saves precious minutes finding the tea caddy and working out which mugs are for visitors.
  • Make sure you have DBS and photo ID at the ready!
  • Research the route before leaving and identify where the car park is. Also, get tips on parking in advance, eg if the car park is full you have a plan.
  • Stare in awe at teachers as they silence the pupils with a single word. (But, more often, a nifty action rhyme.)
  • Don’t say, ‘Shall we have another story?’ unless you’re sure everyone will say yes! There’ll always be someone who isn’t feeling it on that occasion.
  • Do follow up admin straight away when you get home, even if you feel like collapsing at the end of the day.
  • Stare in awe at teachers because they don’t collapse at the end of the day (at least, not while anyone’s watching).
  • Remember why you’re there and enjoy every second.

2 thoughts on “10 Schools, 3 Weeks, 1 World Book Day!

  1. Fantastic! Well done!
    Quick question re the DBS and update service as its been an issue at a school I was before – DBS certificate (but a few years old) but update service doesn’t send a new one, just updates. Have you found this an issue?

    1. I can’t do the auto update as I understand it, as mine is a self check so can only be a basic one, so I just do a new one every few years. That must be annoying though as they do prefer a paper copy. Perhaps there’s an option to get a new one sent when it updates?

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