I am a former Primary Teacher, specializing in Early Years and Key Stage One, with 25 years experience. I was lead for Literacy for 8 years and passionate about using good picture books to develop speaking and listening skills, to nurture a love for reading and to encourage independent and imaginative writing. I introduced Values Education to my school in 2008 and was amazed by how this impacted the children's behaviour at school-giving them a strong moral compass to help them with their attitude and decision making. Other great passions of mine in teaching are Art and Music. I was leader for Art and Music for 7 years. I play the guitar and I have found that this is such an effective way of bringing children together through song.
I have written and illustrated two picture books The Meadow Farm Band and The Meadow Farm Talent Show. I thoroughly enjoy going back into schools to share these stories, at the same time using all the skills and knowledge I have built up during my 25 years of teaching experience.
'The Meadow Farm Band' has close curricular links with Values Education, Literacy, Art and P.S.H.E. As the story focuses on the values of Inclusion and Friendship, it is ideal for Anti-Bullying Week in November.It is so important for children to learn empathy and self understanding at a young age so that they can develop and maintain positive relationships with one another. The Meadow Farm story characters are fun, engaging and endearing. Children can relate to them easily and are soon able to pick out their favourite character. Will it be Carlene Cow, Robbie Robin, Peter Pig, Felix Fox or Chuck Chick?
'The Meadow Farm Talent Show' teaches the value of Confidence and follow's Carlene Cow's journey before she joins 'The Meadow Farm Band'. Children learn the importance of learning from mistakes, practice and perseverance, encouragement from others and self belief. Robbie Robin, Joe Goat, Greta Goose and Shona Sheep all come together to help Carlene Cow find her confidence.
'The Meadow Farm Band' is the first book in the series, which teaching a new value every time. 'The Meadow Farm Talent Show' is the second book. The third book is 'The Meadow Farm Surprise' teaching the value of Appreciation and will be published by Easter 2020.
The books are aimed at 3 to 7 year olds and therefore visits are best for preschools, playgroups, Early Years, Year 1 and Year 2.
School sessions can be tailored to meet the varying needs of your setting-choosing from a wide range of options: storytelling with action songs and guitar, a range of art and craft activities such as making headbands and lolly stick puppets of the Meadow Farm characters, step by step drawing, colouring sheets, role play activities, story boards and story maps.
Suggested outlines for sessions are as follows:
Action songs with guitar, storytelling of The Meadow Farm Band, craft activity and role play linked to The Meadow Farm Band
[resources for craft activities and role play with be supplied]
Action songs with guitar, storytelling of The Meadow Farm Band, role play, drawing and describing story characters with words and phrases in small groups
[large scale writing frames, drawing and role play resources will be supplied]
Action songs with guitar, storytelling of The Meadow Farm Band, hot seating of story characters, story sequencing, drawing own story map and story recount.
[writing resources will be supplied]
Action songs with guitar, children retell story of The Meadow Farm Band in own words, hot seating of story characters, whole class character description, children create own character for 'The Band' and create profile.
[hot seating props and writing frames for character profiles will be supplied]
I charge £125 for a morning session and £100 for an afternoon session plus travelling expenses.
Copies of my books are available for purchase and signing.
I have public liability insurance and DBS certificates.
School Visit Reviews
"We were thrilled to welcome Liz and her Meadow Farm Band to our school to visit Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Al the children were engrossed by the story and by Liz herself. The story focuses on some important themes and values which the children were able to understand and discuss. The children loved completing the well planned and age appropriate activities which followed the story session.The afternoon was topped off by Liz playing her guitar and teaching us all some fun and catchy songs. A wonderful afternoon was had by all the children and staff. Thank you Liz, we can't wait for the next book!"
Faye Wilkinson Smith, EYFS/KS 1 Coordinator, St Swithuns C of E VC Primary School, Sandy, Bedfordshire
"Thank you so much for sharing the incredible 'Meadow Farm Band' with Potton Lower. They loved it and it has been a joy to hear 'The Band' being role played in our setting."
Charlotte Coppenhall, Deputy Head at Potton Lower School
"We would like to say a huge thanks Liz for coming in to see us this week. The girls in Prep 2 really enjoyed your visit and spent the rest of the day writing their own stories and illustrating them."
Armande Fryatt, Individual Needs Coordinator, St Francis College, Letchworth, Hertfordshire
”What a totally brilliant afternoon! Wondering what we can do to get you back again?”
Ann Austen, T.A. Earith Primary School, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
“It was lovely to see you back again at Earith Liz and I have heard nothing but praise about the whole afternoon and your great book! Can’t wait for the next instalment!”
Debbie Rudwick, Office Manager, Earith Primary School, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
”We loved your visit. Thank you so much Liz. I especially loved having a guitar for the songs and the banana song was a real hit as was your wonderful book! Please remember us when you release more.”
Michelle Major, Leader of Playgroup TOAST, Potton, Bedfordshire
I have written and illustrated my first picture book called The Meadow Farm Band which is aimed at 3 to 6 year olds and teaches the value of Inclusion. I love to visit preschools, playgroups, schools and libraries and do my best to accommodate the different requirements of every setting.