The Prince

Smarter Words for Sharper Thinking

Supporting Schools to improve standards in literacy across the curriculum


All Schools are NOT the same

Tailoring the delivery of a Workshop to fit with a schools needs and resources is always at the forefront of my thinking.  I know that it’s never easy for schools to find the time or the finances to introduce new projects from external providers, but there are ways to solve these problems. I always look to come to schools in advance to discuss how a workshop will best fit in with their needs and how its delivery can be funded. All schools are not the same and I am always keen to work with staff to understand how they perceive the workshop benefiting their students. I offer two types of  Workshops; both are designed principally for Primary School and Key Stage 3 Students in the early years of their Secondary Education.

Poetry in Performance – in school

Full day workshops, held during the school day, seek to introduce the wonders of the language and of poetry through poetic composition and performance. The workshops are carefully constructed to support both the UK’s Skills Framework for Learners established in 2008 and, in Wales, where I am based, the more recent Literacy & Numeracy Framework 2013 These Poetry in Performance Workshops encourage a collaborative approach to learning and provide for those taking part to develop their capacity to think for themselves in new and challenging ways. These workshops are primarily directed at children between the ages of ten and fourteen, but can be adapted for younger and older students.

Poetry in Performance – after school

I also run after school Poetry in Performance workshops over two terms, beginning in January and finishing with a public performance at the end of the school year. These are weekly sessions which, in the Easter term, comprise a series of workshops exploring how we use language and voice, movement, mime, stage props, mask work and  ensemble performance, as well as an investigation of performance space and the relationship of the performer to an audience.

In the Summer term the lessons and skills learned in the earlier workshops are introduced in to rehearsals for a final performance, either of one poem or a series of shorter piecess on a chosen theme. I focus on encouraging a group dynamic and emphasizing the use of voice and movement to create the scenery and imagery of the poem. I do not cast individual roles, there are no costumes and props are minimal. The workshops , rehearsals and final performance build self confidence, explore and encourage values associated with working together and, in seeking to encourage participants to strive for excellence, permit those taking part to discover and broaden their sense of self and understanding of the power, value and effect of language, poetry and drama. As an after school activity, fees for these workshops are billed directly to parents.

I am fully insured and hold a DBS (previously the CRB) certificate. Please get in touch today to discuss how Poetry in performance Workshops can benefit your students.

A video record of workshops previously undertaken is listed below. Where possible I have included a commentary on their experience from someone who took part.


New Ideas in Alien Territory : Poetry in to Performance

This production of Julia Donaldson’s Tyrannosaurus Drip was staged at a local primary school in South Wales. It’s not the final quality of the production that matters (the children were all very nervous), but the fantastic effort and understanding the children displayed in dealing with challenging new ideas about acting and working together and with the audience. They successfully translated what they had discovered in earlier workshops  in to the show. The first video below explains a little more, the middle one is the performance itself and the final video, by way of a testimonial, records what one of the children and her parents  thought about it all.

Firing the Imagination : Working with the Skills Framework for Learners

The three videos below are a record of a half day workshop at a Primary School in Cardiff. I went to the school beforehand and discussed with the staff what would be the most relevant theme for the day. By so doing I sought to ensure that the pupils taking part would feel an immediate enthusiasm for the mornings work and could produce poems in which they genuinely felt they had a stake. I also read three of my own poems, all specifically written for the occasion and based on the agreed topic which was The Past, the Present and The Future. My poems were then pinned up as reference aids for the children’s own creations and myself and members of the teaching staff remained present to offer assistance throughout the morning. The children worked well in their groups and got a great deal from the experience. They had only a little time to prepare their final performances, but on the feedback forms I received later it was giving a performance of their work and watching their class mates do so as well that made the children feel they had really accomplished something and learned important lessons in how to work cooperatively in a team.