All about school visits

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Note: this is about pre-Covid visits! I hope I’ll be able to return to ‘real life’ visits before too long, but in the meantime you can book me for a Virtual Visit.

I love visiting schools as an author/illustrator. A typical visit might involve:

*A whole school assembly where I talk about the process of making a book, from initial ideas to publication, followed by Q&A

*Workshops lasting 1-1.5 hours for individual classes, which start with story-reading , then inventing a story as a group which I draw out while children offer ideas, followed by a collage-based character and story-development exercise. This is ideal for KS1.

*Storytime and Q&A (half an hour) for nursery and reception

*Book signing after school

I have lots of experience of delivering workshops in schools, as well as in collaboration with organisations such as the National Trust, English Heritage and the Southbank Centre. I also have experience of working in a hospital school. There’s a blogpost all about my school visits here, and you can scroll back through an archive of my earlier schools workshops here.

Here’s what teachers have said about my school visits:
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for coming to Darell today. Your visit was extremely inspiring and was loved by children and adults alike. I know an experience like this really makes a difference to our children and will help them to develop a love of reading.”
Kathryn Hayward, Darell Primary School, Kew

“Jane has visited us several times now and each time she has totally engaged all our pupils in her book-making workshops. She teaches them a variety of imaginative art skills, encourages amazing creative writing  and fosters an increased awareness of the environment around us. She makes sure her workshops are fun and educational for all our children, regardless of their age, ability or medical need.  Her workshops are such a tonic for us all, thank you Jane!”
Fiona Dyson, Evelina Hospital School

“When Jane came to our school she conducted an assembly and three class sessions. Children and staff alike said how wonderful the day was.  Her classroom sessions, with Year 1 and 2 groups, encouraged children to think differently and create characters using collage – Jane even brought materials and ink stamps to use! Since her visit, lots of children have been asking for her books in the library and talking about collage and different art mediums.  It was clear that even the youngest children had a better understanding of the different roles of author and illustrator, thanks to Jane’s unusual situation of having different roles on different books! I would really recommend inviting Jane to your school – she has great talent and a marvellous way with children.  And her books are great for reading aloud!”
Tanya Efthymiou, librarian at Chestnuts Primary School “

“My class had a wonderful time when Jane Porter visited. She was keen to answer their questions and involve them in the  process of creating books. They loved listening to King Otter read by the actual author and were excited to meet King Otter himself! After the visit they were inspired to write the story they had planned together with Jane. Thanks so much for helping us to foster a love of reading.”
Gemma Crozier, Year 2 teacher, St Matthias Primary School, Bethnal Green

“We were recently visited by the illustrator and author Jane Porter. She spent the day with the year 1 children, talking about her work and helping the children to make books. The children loved her sessions and she was both inspiring and so personable.”
Anna Venus, Wessex Gardens Primary School, Brent Cross

“Jane is an absolute delight to work with, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm.  Southbank Centre’s Learning & Participation team asked Jane to come and work with two groups of children  across the country to create a guide for other children visiting our Royal Festival Hall Organ. She led the children through a series of activities, drawing, making and creating and really made each child’s contribution feel valued. The results were really beautiful, authentic pieces of work that the children knew came from them, all magically brought together by Jane.  We came away  from the project with more resources than we expected and are delighted with the work.  Jane is a brilliant facilitator and also works fantastically in collaboration with other artists.  We are looking forward to having her back!”
Alice Chesterman, Participation Producer (Organ Project), Southbank Centre

“Jane was a natural when working with our local primary school groups; devising and delivering creative sessions which made the complex histories accessible to younger children and inspired them to create their own art work. We would love to continue working with Jane in the future.”
Gemma Bending, Community Engagement and Learning Officer, National Trust (Sutton House, Hackney)