The children had ordered 60 signed books, way too many to carry, so I had to post them and the parcel exceeded the maximum postal weight! Since big book orders are always the sign of a proactive school, I had high hopes for the visit.
They didn't disappoint: what a great school. It had a really happy feel about it. The children were so excited. I met all KS1 first, for a mega storytelling, then all KS2, for one of my PowerPoint talks about how books are created from scratch.
At lunchtime I scoffed a jacket potato in the staff room, then set to signing yet more books for all the teachers for Christmas presents. It was probably the most fun and friendly staff room I've been in. What a very silly bunch. I threatened to blog the things they were talking about but most of the banter would be unrepeatable here!
In advance of my visit, Mrs Morris the Literacy Coordinator, had organised a big reading challenge for the whole school. The classes were battling it out to see who could read the most by the time of my visit and the prize was to have an extra session with me in the afternoon.
The winners in KS1 were Class 2, so we had a fun hour together reading Bears on the Stairs and designing monsters. It was a dead heat between 2 classes in KS2. I don't normally do workshops for more than one class at a time, but we broke the rule and I worked with all 60 children together in the hall, showing them how to create animal characters and how to make them run across the paper.
I forgot to pre-order my taxi back to Lichfield Station, half an hour's drive away. The trains were only one an hour and the journey takes nearly 2 hours, so at 3.15pm, when we discovered there were no taxis to be had for another 45 minutes, I was desperate. Step in Mr Wilkes, the Head (yes, that's him on the left), who chivalrously dropped everything and whisked me safely to the station in his car. What a hero!
As you can see, the long journey each way meant lots of time for drawing. Hope you like them. I was especially pleased with Leopard-skin Coat Woman.