Preparing for a Writers in Schools Visit or a Residency
We asked a number of our writers and storytellers for pointers around preparing for a school visit. Here is what they suggested:
Who is the person who rang you – eg secretary? principal? Who will be your contact for the visit? Get names, phone numbers and email addresses of contacts and teachers
Date and duration of visit
- When will the visit take place?
- What is the duration of the visit?
- Start and finish times?
Structure of visit
- How many separate sessions?
- Duration of sessions?
- What classes / age groups?
- How many pupils in each session?
Type of visit
- What type of session is preferred e.g. storytelling, workshop, talk, reading, or a curriculum-based session?
- Is the visit part of school arts week / part of another programme?
- Where will the session(s) take place? In classroom / hall / assembly / library / other?
- What are the acoustics like?
- Is the space free / uninterrupted?
- What is the exact purpose of the visit? What do you and the teacher want to achieve?
- Is follow up planned? If so, what?
- Is the school mixed / boys / girls?
- Are there any specific areas of creative writing that the teachers would like the writer to concentrate on?
- Have the children any specific needs e.g. learning issues, special needs, cultural / ethnic issues, sensitive issues that the writer should be aware of such as a recent bereavement?
- What are the ability levels?
- Are the pupils already familiar with the writer’s work?
- Do teachers whose classes are involved know about the visit?
- What is the teacher’s role?
Location of school
- Directions to school – ask for a map if available.
- Inform school of your approach to this.
Equipment requirements for writer
- Outline needs such as flip chart, name tags, etc.