Preparing for a Visit

Before

Schools should agree the following with the writer in advance of the visit:

  • Expectations and aims, including how best to engage and involve the students.
  • The type of visit that the school would like: reading, creative writing session, or talk.
  • Number and size of groups. For creative writing type sessions, groups should be kept to no more than 20. Some writers are more comfortable than others working with large groups.
  • Length of the visit.
  • Students’ familiarity with the writer’s work: for sessions where a writer will be reading from and/or discussing their work, students should have read some of their work. Questions can be prepared by students prior to the visit.
  • Is the material being offered by the artist age appropriate?
  • Number and size of groups. Information on male/female ratio, literacy levels, physical disabilities, special needs, gifted students, behavioural issues, etc is also useful.
  • Any practical classroom requirements.
  • Directions and the best way to the school.

On the Day

  • Meet the writer on their arrival and introduce them to the relevant staff.
  • Provide writer with refreshments at break times.
  • A teacher must be present with the writer at all times in the classroom.
  • Teachers should refrain from undertaking other work while the writer is present.
  • Students should have the opportunity to give oral feedback at the end of each session.

After

  • We ask all teachers to complete an evaluation following a writer visit. All comments and suggestions help us to run as satisfactory a programme as we can for all involved. 
  • Feedback from the young participants is useful to us in whatever way possible. 
  • We are always delighted to receive copies of photographs, videos, publicity around a visit, or testimonials from young participants.