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Sunday 11 February 2018


I am delighted and honoured to receive the following piece of 'fan mail', which a teacher took the trouble to email to me yesterday. What makes this a lovely surprise is that I have never visited this pupil's school; she simply read my book and thought I was worth writing to! Makes it all worthwhile.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

COUNTDOWN POEMS - celebrating 'space week'

This week sees the launch of the world most powerful rocket. I don't know whether this is coincidental or not, but I have been working with a couple of schools lately that have been celebrating 'space week'. With this in mind, I'd like to share with you a quick, simple poetry idea. Using the structure of the famous rocket launch 'countdown', imagine what other things might be counted down to. The following poem is entitle 'countdown to holiday'.

Countdown to Holiday

pack suitcases into car
cram it in very tight
mum! mum! I need a wee!
I want to go in the middle!
No, I want to go in the middle!
I forgot my teddy!
get in the car
wait! I need another wee!
that's better
ready everyone? Strap in!
Devon here we come!
starts to rain

what other countdown ideas can you think of? Here are a few to get you started:

- jumping in the swimming pool
- getting ready for school
- eating a disgusting piece of food
- waiting for a birthday present

Image result for rocket launch

Saturday 3 February 2018


Yesterday I worked with a group of Year 7 students at Plashet Schoool, where we wrote poems exploring their perceptions of British identity. Using Benjamin Zephaniah's poems 'The British' and 'Neighbours' as inspiration, the students thought about the ways in which 'Britishness' forms their own identity (or not). I'd like to share the following amazing poem, which was produced during the sessions

Poem by Fatima

I am the type of person
who haunts you in your sleep.
Black and Muslim -
how much worse can you get.

I appear in front of doors
I watch you in your bed
I swing with monkeys
and jump on trees
When the sun rises darkness appears
the spirit of me bringing all types of fear.

But when I arrive
in the classroom
you'll learn to love
my unique personality.
I play sports
watch TV
talk in school.

You should feel good
I'm just another person.