Based on my teaching experience and working with children in Primary schools over many years, I am now also offering workshops to teachers and student teachers on how to use my books creatively to develop literacy skills and have fun with language. In schools, I bring along puppets characters for the children to use and I show my original artwork, roughs and sketches. I love to inspire children to draw and to write their own stories. I have also developed some popular virtual workshops- see the testimonials below.
EYFS Foundation Stage
I'm prepared to travel by car to schools within a 30 mile radius of Cambridge. For Faculties of Education, I can travel by train anywhere.
In a day in school, I can give four sessions lasting one hour plus either an Assembly Q&A or a half hour Nursery/Reception session. If the numbers are large, I'm happy for classes to double up for a Power Point presentation in the hall before splitting off into their respective classrooms for the writing or drawing task.
Here is some feedback:
"We have just had the most wonderful Zoom virtual visit from the author and illustrator Gillian McClure. We were treated to an hour of magical and mesmerising reading from the author's book 'Selkie.' for the older children and 'Dog on Wheels' for the younger ones. The children were transfixed by hearing about the editing process, seeing her drawing live and hearing about where her ideas come from. There then followed a very informative Q & A session where Gillian gave us a real insight into the life of an author and illustrator. The younger children loved the interactive quiz linked to 'Dog on Wheels.'
I never believed that a virtual author visit could be so successful - thank you!"
St John’s College School Cambridge
"I can't thank you enough for today. I have had so much positive feedback from both staff and children, my own children included who are in years 3 and 4 at school. They have been telling me all about the drawings they did and how you edit your books. It was lovely to hear them talking so excitedly about it this evening at home. I feel we have been extremely lucky as a school that you were able to do this with us today. One teacher commented that they could have listened to you all day and another said that she thought it had been the best author visit she had been part of.
Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration to our children at school and for helping us bring our book week to life this week. I hope in the future there will be an opportunity for you to do something with our children again."
Monkfield Park Primary School
"Gillian McClure gave a fascinating talk on picturebooks to graduates on masters courses on book illustration and children's literature from both Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge Faculty of Education. She used delightful examples from her own work to illustrate points she was making about the art of picturebooks. Gillian had an excellent rapport with her audience and took time and trouble to answer their questions. Highly recommended."
Morag Styles, Cambridge Faculty of Education
“The children of Mayfield from year 1 to 6 were inspired by the beautiful story of the Selkie to write their own stories and poems. It was wonderful for them to meet Gillian at the end of Book Week and hear first-hand how the story was written and illustrated. The experience has encouraged our children to write and draw and we have seen some wonderful independent storytelling as a result.”
“The children and teachers were very inspired by your illustrations and the workshop overall. The work the children produced during your visit was in turn so inspiring.”
Sarah Quigley - Bonneville Primary School Librarian
"Our World Book Day came to life through Gillian McClure’s visit to Pirton School. The children were mesmerised by her extraordinary illustrations in the Assembly. She took the children through active, imaginative, adventure sessions, which highly developed their imaginations. All children were extremely engaged and continued their story telling and writing skills further, after their class workshop. Gillian had a charming way of enchanting all of our pupils and raised the profile of reading and writing throughout our school."
"I am attaching a few comments written by children:"
"I really enjoyed the visit. I hope she will write another book. She has really inspired me to become an author and illustrator". YYYYY
Amara Rah – (Form 1)
"I love your stories. I love “Zoe’s Boat” and the cover of “Selkie”. I also have the book “Tom Finger”. Thank you very much for coming to our school."
Tioluwani Adedayo (Form 1)
"Children inspired to see the process of writing a story."
Cliff Park Infant School.
"This visit greatly supported the work Y1 &2 are doing in literacy. It helped to develop the children’s knowledge of setting, character and problem."
Harpley Primary School.
Gillian McClure has written and illustrated over 30 picture books including