Preparing for a Visit
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?
- Any practical classroom requirements.
- Directions and the best way to the school.
Specific group information such as male/female ratio, literacy levels, physical disabilities, special needs, gifted students, behavioural issues, etc. should be provided. The writer should also be made aware of any special circumstances e.g. if a child has had a recent bereavement.
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.
- 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.