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Tuesday 20 October 2015

Visit to Stanmore Primary School, Hampshire

I recently had a wonderful visit to Stanmore Primary School in Hampshire, to celebrate their Book Week. I gave assemblies for KS1 & KS2, followed by workshops for Years 2 and 3. I had a great time. You can read about the visit, and see some pics, on the school's website:

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Poems about Lying by Year 7 Students

I recently visited an RE class with Year 7. The class had been looking at the idea of philosophical questions, and the issue of different types of truth. I used this as an opportunity to explore the notion of lying, and in particular the ethical issue of whether it can ever be OK to tell a lie. I asked students to think about times in their lives they have ever told a lie, or been lied to. The poems that results were heartfelt, funny and imaginative. I’d like to share a few examples. (The last poem is by me.)

Chocolate by Zainab 

My sister asked if I ate her chocolate.
I said no, dad ate it.
So she ran to dad and said dad, have you eaten my chocolate?
He said no, mum ate it.
So she ran to mum and said mum, have you eaten my chocolate?
She said no, your sister ate it.
She ran to her sister.
Her sister ran away.
Who ate the chocolate?
Nobody knows.

They Told Me by Ameesha

They told me she was fine,
that she’d gone on a little holiday,
I knew they were lying,
she wasn’t fine,
she was ill,
and there was nothing I could do about it.
I knew she wasn’t coming back,
but I would love her all the same.,
her large flappy ears,
her deep brown eyes,
I hope she will remember me,
I know I will remember her.

My Poem by Hafeeja 

She told me about a place where fairies
roamed about.
“Beware the bad boy”, she used to scream
and shout.
She showed me a world with magic at
every corner
And about a girl with golden hands,
called Luna.
She spoke to me in a gentle voice so we
could not be found
For the bad boy was around and we
couldn’t make a sound.
She introduced me to the monsters that
fought in the rink
We couldn’t move when they were fighting,
we couldn’t even blink
She warned me about the ferocious lion
always on our trail
And the old witch with wrinkles
who sent us out to sail.
She lied to me about the world where
adventure lay in wait.
She closed for me all my dreams behind
a golden gate.
Now I remember all her stories, myths
and legends,
And when I think about it, that amazing

world is sent.

They Told Me by Joshua Seigal 

we were going on holiday.
They wrapped me in a blanket
and bundled me
in the front seat of the car,
with my favourite toy.

They told me
it would be OK
as they patted me, kissed me
and stroked my fur.
They fed me biscuits
made of warmth and love.

They told me
we would play the best games,
and I would have the best treats.
They said that, where we were going,
the cats would be fat
and slow.

But now I’m sitting
in a strange white room.
Who is this creature
in the clean white coat?
What is she holding?
Does she have treats?

My humans are here,
but why aren’t they smiling?
Why are they sobbing
and saying goodbye?

Where am I going?
Are they coming too?

Sunday 11 October 2015

Cats - Performance at Southbank Centre

I recently took part in 'Curious Cats', a celebration at the Southbank Centre of T. S. Eliot's famous cat poems. As well as performing some of Eliot's poems, I was tasked with writing and performing some of my own, ideally on a feline theme. On the request of one of the audience members, I am putting on my blog a previously unpublished poem, written especially for the event. It has a chorus, which has a kind of 'scratching' action accompanying it.

The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell

He’s cute and sweet, with bright blue eyes,
but he’s the devil in disguise.
He’ll make you groan, he’ll make you yell –
The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell.

Don’t pick him up, you might get hurt.
You’ll get his fur all down your shirt.
Who ate your fish? Well can’t you tell –
The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell.

He’ll mewl and hiss until he’s fed,
confuse his toilet with your bed,
and just what is that noxious smell?
The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell.

He’ll bring you gifts of mashed-up frogs,
he’ll frighten off the local dogs
you’d better lock him in a cell –
The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell.

He’s cute and sweet and small and white,
but he’ll bring terror to your night.
He’s Satan in a fluffy shell –
The Screaming Demon Cat from Hell!