There was feeling of excitement around Truro Prep School on Monday 8 June as pupils eagerly awaited the arrival of award-winning children’s poet James Carter.
Mr Carter’s visit to the school was part of his career-long mission to make children feel both confident and excited about using creative language. His poems are known and loved by the pupils and staff and his anthologies, particularly I’m a Little Alien (2014), Hey, Little Bug! (2011) and Journey to the centre of my Brain (2012) are inspirational.
Starting the day in the nursery with Truro Prep’s youngest students, Mr Carter quickly got the class singing along and taking part in an interactive poetry session, aided by his infamous guitar named Keith.
James then led an action packed workshop with the pupils in Years 1 and 2 who were able to listen and join in with some poetry from his most recent publication I’m a Little Alien. James’s playful style and delivery really captured the world as seen through a child’s eye and helped our youngest pupils see that playing with words and writing poetry is full of fun.
After his workshop with the Year 4 class, Truro Prep student Hannah said: ‘I thought he was very funny. I liked the guitar playing and poetry.’
The poet continued to deliver workshops to pupils across the Prep on various poetic genres. A particular highlight included a lesson with Year 5 class on writing Haiku’s which taught the students how to get extra creative when using adverbs.
Mr Carter said:
‘Poetry is a great way, particularly for boys, to get into literacy. Asking young students to write huge chunks of prose is a big ask, but do they prefer to write a short poem? – Absolutely!’
‘By teaching creative writing in through poetry students build lots of ‘molehills’ which, over time, build up to a mountain of creative experience.’
@TruroSchool My absolute pleasure – it was a real hoot – you are a fantastic school, you all wrote some terrific poems – teachers did too!
— James Carter (@jamescarterpoet) June 9, 2015
The day ended with a staff inset, allowing Mr Carter to pass on his specialist poetry teaching knowledge to the Truro Prep School staff.
Mr Tolkien, English Coordinator at Truro Prep School, said:
‘It was a pleasure to invite James Carter to Truro Prep School. His infectious enthusiasm inspired the pupils and staff alike to experiment with poetry and images and consider new approaches to writing.’
Mr Carter has since headed back to his home in Wallingford ready for his next school visit on his nationwide mission.