Hello and thank you for taking the time to look at my profile...
I've written over 100 books for Primary School aged children (including some of the popular Project X books) and I love visiting schools to share my passion for stories, reading and writing. I work with all Primary School Aged Children so your Whole School will be able to take part. My sessions are designed to motivate young readers and writers and I've visited hundreds of schools in Great Britain (and abroad including Switzerland, Belgium, Uzbekistan, Poland) so it doesn't matter how near or how far away you are... I will be delighted to come along.
I'm very flexible with what I do in school and am more than happy to work with you to fit in with your school's needs and what you want to achieve. As a rough guide, I generally offer two types of session. These are flexible and can be combined throughout the day...
These sessions work equally well with single classes or much larger groups.
As well as sharing stories and poems, I talk about different aspects of writing; from getting ideas, editing and drafting to what it's like being an author. Audiences get the chance to see books and stories in progress and get an insight into how a book is made - generating ideas, drafting, editing, reworking and even the illustrations and layout.
Although structured, these sessions are very flexible so it allows each one to be unique to the group I'm working with and ensures that the children get as much from the sessions as possible. Children (and adults) always have lots of questions to ask and I'm happy to answer any and all that I can as the session goes along. I have found that this helps to make every session different and interesting to each individual and helps create a real buzz.
Length of session - 20/30 minutes for Nursery, 30/45 minutes for Reception, 45/60 minutes (or more) for other year groups.
Number of children - From a single class to a very large group.
Location - A suitable classroom, library, or hall.
Materials - A table for my books etc.
I really enjoy working with a class to create characters and build up a story together and it's great to see the children's confidence increase as the sessions (suitable for children from Reception to Year 6) progress.
Starting with a blank sheet, the children get to see the whole story writing process - from getting the initial idea to writing and editing etc - it also gives them complete ownership of what they have produced and a real sense of achievement. I'm also more than happy to work on a specific area of writing or on a topic or theme if it fits in with what you are doing in school.
Length of session - 1 hour minimum (the maximum time is completely up to you). It's great being able to work with a class for a whole day...
Number of children - preferably a single class.
Materials - Ideally and interactive white board that I can write on with the interactive pen. This means that whatever I do can be saved so you can continue to work on it later if you like. (Alternatively, a flipchart with paper or a normal whiteboard.)
Location - A suitable classroom.
In my non-fiction sessions I work with a class to look at the writing of non-fiction books. We discuss the difference between fiction and non-fiction and the ways in which we can conduct research for non-fiction texts.
Using a selection of non-fiction texts that I bring with me we discuss and list our existing knowledge of a subject and then work in groups to conduct that will either confirm or disprove what we thought we knew - e.g. do Vikings wear horned helmets? etc. I encourage children to compile some facts that can then be presented as a non-fiction text or can be used creatively to write a piece of fiction - e.g. a diary account that incorporates what we have learned.
"We have never laughed so much! you were fun, a fantastic storyteller, and amazingly grabbed everyone's attention from Reception to Year Six. The children were excited, inspired amd thrilled by your stories. Your enthusiasm as an author certainly rubbed off on them. Everyone was delighted with your author sessions and your great talent for storytelling and sharing anecdotes. in a comical way that made everyone double up with laughter. This is certainly a visit that will be hard to forget. Once again, and enormous thank you for visiting our school." Gail Courtney - Primary Coordinator, Haut-Lac Internation Bilingual School, Switzerland.
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the inspiring workshops that you presented to the children at Unicorn. A fun time was had by all and I know that we will be very happy to recommend you to other schools." Natalie Crowe - Unicorn Primary School, Bromley.
I have public liability insurance - £10 million
I also have a current Enhanced DBS Certificate
Fantastic in all aspects. Thank you Damian, all our pupils enjoyed your assembly and workshops. Staff very impressed too.
Thank you for empowering children's love of reading. The children thoroughly enjoyed the event and have planned projects in class inspired by the day. Highly recommended.
Damian was absolutely fabulous with the children! Right from the start, he captivated all year groups and kept them motivated throughout. By using humour with his stories, the children continually had smiles on their faces and loved the characters they created in the writing workshops!