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James Carter

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

James Carter is an educational writer, INSET provider and one of the most high profile children's poets in the UK today. A former lecturer in creative writing and children's literature on the BA.Ed degree at the University of Reading, James now travels all over the UK and abroad to visit schools, libraries and book festivals to give lively performances, workshops, INSET sessions and gifted & talented days. James has been writer-in-residence in numerous Primary schools across the south of England. A prize-winning and widely-anthologised poet, his poetry collections include Cars Stars Electric Guitars (Walker Books), Time-Travelling Underpants, Greeting, Earthlings!, Journey To The Centre Of My Brain, GRRR! (Macmillan), Hey, Little Bug! (Francis Lincoln); his anthology Orange Silver Sausage (Walker Books) was nominated for the highly prestigious CLPE Poetry Award in 2010; James was the major contributor of poetry materials to the recent BBC TV series Poetry Pie. Over the last ten years, James has written four widely-used and critically- acclaimed creative writing books for KS2&3 (all Taylor & Francis) - including Creating Writers and Just Imagine.

One Day Visit To a Primary School

To generate a real 'buzz' in a school - to get the children motivated and enthusiastic and to feel confident about their own writing.

Typically a day will involve:
  1. Separate performances for KS2/KS1/FS and up to four single class workshops from Year 2 to Year 6
  2. Performances for KS2 - a livley, quirky show with poems and guitar music aplenty, poems on all kinds of topics - from wolves to angels, woolly mammoths to brains, electric guitars to garden sheds! (1/2hr in hall)
  3. Performances for KS1 - a gentle, mellow show - but highly interactive - full of action rhymes about bugs, bubbles, pirates, dinosaurs and travelling around the world
  4. Performances for FS (as KS1) - 15 minutes in the classroom
  5. A range of poetry workshops (taken from James' creative writing teachers' books) - from free verse to kennings to calligrams to raps - all using playful, expressing language, alliteration and assonance and repetition. All workshops commence with James discussing his books/writing/the writing process then James will scribe as the children provide their ideas. The resulting poem on the board will serve as a model for children to do their own writing.
  6. In smaller schools, or during a two- day visit or residency, the day can finish with a finale (with parents invited!) in which children read out the poems written in the workshops
  7. Then, at the very end of the day, James will do a book signing in the hall
Larger Primary Schools will often book two or three days in order that James can visit all the classes to do workshops, and possibly include an INSET session or a family writing session.

"Thank you for sharing your brilliant poems - you really inspired me" Year 5 girl

"Your poems were fandabadozy! I enjoyed them as much as I enjoy watching Man U score a goal." Year 6 boy

"James gave us a lovely day - it was just what we wanted and to be thoroughly recommended! Miniature people ( grown ups!) are priveleged to spend time in his company... very inspirational wordplay and just right for our book week. Our school endeavours 'to make the curriculum irresistible to children' and 'to weave magic'. James did just that." Sarah Palmer, Headteacher Camelsdale First School, Surrey.


Based on James Carter's new Bloomsbury title Let's Do Poetry In Primary Schools! - this course has one simple manifesto: children love poetry, so readily respond to poetry, so why not integrate it into the everyday activities of the classroom? Poetry is perfect for reading, for writing, for sharing, for performing - and moreover, exploring class topics and so many aspects of the curriculum. What's not to like? And, if you don't like the word 'poetry', simply think of it as a 'language' - 'language' at its most expressive, musical, playful.

LET's Do Poetry... is a fun, accessible and very practical course to give teachers the tools, the mindset and the confidence to put poetry at the heart of the classroom and everyday learning.

LET's has an emphasis on writing - and provides teachers with games and warm-ups, ideas for cross-curricular activities and ultimately shows that all it takes is six or so poetic forms with which to create language-rich and expressive responses to all the topic and curricular work that Primary schools cover throughout the academic year.

Available as either a half- or one day course, Let's Do Poetry... is a wholly relevant, dynamic, creative and thoroughly enjoyable course designed for the modern Primary teacher, from Early Years to Upper Key Stage 2.

Praise from teachers for this course -

The best INSET I've ever been to!
KS2 Literacy Co-ordinator, Primary school, Oxfordshire

'Well done! Inspirational, humorous and very informative. IT WAS GREAT!'
'An excellent day, inspirational'.
'Good, practical ideas that could be easily adapted for a range of ages and topics'.
'Fantastic INSET - will be using a lot of what was demonstrated'.

Classroom teachers, Lower School, Bedfordshire

'As a school we are continually looking for ways to inspire children to write and believe pietry has an important part to play in this. What we needed as satff was as many practical ways to to do this and the confidence to share those ideas. James was inspirational for both our days training and the two days he had spent with the children. Staff left feeling excited about poetry and how it could be the trigger to better writing. Even some of our shyest staff were rapping by the end of the day!! The school would recommend James' work as an important stepping stone into creative writing.'
Headteacher, Primary School, Milton Keynes