During visits I often combine whole school assemblies with smaller classroom workshops - inspiring the children to read for pleasure and to develop their creative writing skills. I have a track record in engaging more reluctant readers, and encouraging boys as well as girls to enjoy reading. The books highlighted here are perfect for enrichment of the dinosaur topic at KS1/ KS2 and the Saxon topic at KS2. Freedom for Bron (Saxon fiction) also includes themes of migration, friendship and acceptance of others.
My visits are fun, friendly and very interactive. They include quizzes, role play, group story telling (where the whole class gets involved in telling a dinosaur story), on-the-spot illustrating/showing how my character illustrations developed over time, and of course reading from the books. However no two visits are exactly the same - I liaise closely with the organising teacher and tailor visits accordingly - this is particularly true if a teacher wants to incorporate work they are already doing on dinosaurs or Saxons, or if they have already used or intend to use the literacy activity sheets that accompany my books.
You can get a more detailed idea here: NS Blackman school visits
My Dinotek Adventures series is great for this topic and I often get booked to coincide with the teaching of this. I can visit just the class/year who are doing this topic or expand my visit to take in a whole school assembly too.
After more than a year of lockdown virtual visits I'm looking forward to celebrating stories and spreading some joy in-person again - I'm taking bookings for the whole of 2021/22... so get in touch a reserve a date!
When I'm not busy writing, I teach creative writing to adults twice a week. I love drawing, walking, family time and watching Dr Who! I visit dozens of schools each year (all areas - last year I took the night train from London to Cornwall to visit schools, it was great!).
If you'd like me to put you in touch with a school I have recently visited, do let me know.
June 2021, outstanding feedback from 3 days of virtual visits - class workshops and sessions with ten schools in Dorset: “Thank you so much for organising the author visit. The children had a great time and enjoyed drawing their dinosaurs!” – Year 3/4 teacher, Charminster School; “Really interactive and the drawing session worked well” Librarian & LRC Manager, Thomas Hardye School
“An inspirational visit – thank you – the children were so thrilled and will remember this for a long time.” Catherine Carter (London, June 2018)
“I read The Secret Dinosaur with my year 3 class and they LOVED it – they made me read the second book and are completely hooked. I discovered Nigel through recommendation on a forum and his visit was fantastic – he was great at engaging the children." Mandy Joslin (Dorset, July 2018)
“The visit was a great success last week - please see below from a happy parent!... “Hi, Both R and E loved the visit from Nigel Blackman. The house is being filled with dinosaur pictures! Please do forward on my thanks and these pictures if possible.” Jennie Wallace (Bristol, March 2018)
“We have children of all abilities and today I saw two of our boys in particular focused in a way they have never done before. Thank you!” Jo Morris (Cornwall, March 2018)
“I read the first book to my yr3 /4 class and they absolutely loved it. It inspired some fantastic writing even from the most reluctant writers. The children are so excited, thank you!” Catherine Townshend (London, March 2018)
“Fast moving; rip roaring adventures …The characters and world building are believable which is no mean feat given the subject of the book!... A welcome addition.” The School Librarian Journal
“5* dinosaur fiction …This is a fun and engaging world ... the books are a great fit for the target audience – straightforward, energetic and imaginative.” Bookbag Book Reviews
"We would recommend this imaginative and high-energy story to be read aloud to Key Stage 1 classes or as an exciting independent reading choice for early or reluctant readers who are beginning to dive into chapter books." Books For Topics
Freedom for Bron:
“This is an excellently written narrative that really evokes the period, bringing the reader an excellent cast of characters to relish ...the excitement of the period is conveyed really well, to draw in the reader.” Parents-in-Touch
"A tour de force of accurate history and epic adventure scenes, this is a really great book for Year 5 and 6 children." The School Run
Freedom for Bron is among titles shortlisted for one of the most respected book awards for children in the UK: the Hull Children's Book Award 2017 for KS2, run by Hull City School Library Service. The shortlist of 5 is drawn up by a panel of teachers and librarians who survey all new titles for children published across the UK over the past year.
I was thrilled and delighted when The Dinoteks - Giants Awake! was selected by Hodder Education to feature in their Literacy Course for primary schools. The course includes fiction by a few selected writers, including Michael Morpurgo and Roald Dahl (and respected educationalist/poet Pie Corbett - who visited my school and taught me in the late 1980's - what great company to be among!). The course book uses the opening of The Dinoteks as an exemplar of how to engage children into a story, encouraging them to read for pleasure.