What Cat Does in Schools

‘SUPERMEGA STORYTELLER!’ Jason, age 14

‘I think Cat is the best storyteller in the world’ Cameron, age 6

The Helpful Hedgehog

A full school day usually consists of 3 or 4 x 50 minute story sessions, though Cat can be flexible about this. Ideally the sessions are with one class at a time but she can work with year groups or key stages. Cat doesn’t read from a book and never sits down for long! She is a physical performer who combines language, characterisation, gestures and musical instruments in a seemingly effortless but wonderfully captivating way.

Cat will help you plan a busy but successful day. It is possible to mix and match sessions ie performance sessions for both juniors and infants, or a combination of performances + workshops

Infants

Cat and dulcimer

 

Cat loves infants and will work with children from 3 years old. She combines age-appropriate stories with action rhymes, music, singing, physical objects, dance and games to create highly interactive sessions for little listeners. They are imaginative, engaging, memorable, educational and great fun! She sometimes works with puppets too. Her BEAR TALES show has proved enormously popular.

Cat has a general repertoire of infant and nursery stories but she also offers themed days: ONCE UPON A RHYME (famous fairy tales with Cat dressed as a fairytale princess!) SHINE! (stories on the theme of light – perfect for autumn term because it complements Divali, Hanukah and Christmas) BEAR TALES (wonderfully entertaining bear stories from around the world, fascinating facts about bears and gorgeous bear and teddy bear hand puppets) and WORLD TALES (glorious stories from around the world. Great for exploring cultural diversity).

Juniors – Performance

Cat tells WORLD TALES in her junior sessions, choosing age-appropriate stories that will engage and challenge her audience. Years 3 and 4 love magic and humour, for example, but older children often feel they have outgrown such fanciful fare, so Cat will give them problem-solving stories, lateral thinking and word play.

For juniors, Cat can also offer MEET THE AUTHOR book sessions. Author events can be quite dry, but Cat includes all her characteristic flourishes – a high energy performance style, music, fairy lights and plenty of audience interaction – to create lively, entertaining programmes that really bring her books to life. All sessions include Q & A and inspirational talk about writing and being an author. One performance can accommodate up to 150 juniors, so a real ‘book buzz’ is generated – especially at the book signing!

NEW! PROMOTING NON FICTION READING THROUGH WHACKY SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS! A wonderfully entertaining 50 – 60 minute session in which Cat conducts amazing science experiments using household items. Crucially she brings along the books the experiments come from, so children can see the benefit of reading and exploring non fiction.

Parents love this session too – especially dads! Launch your next literacy drive with a BANG! After school sessions are available.

‘Absolutely wonderbubble’
‘I can’t wait for the next visit – the wacky experiments were fantastic!’
‘I loved it all but the cola experiment was fizzingly good fun!’  Jamie
‘Hold your breathe because you never know what’s going to happen’
‘Is it a bird? Is it a ‘plane? No! It’s a flying teabag! How does she do it?’  Drew
‘I hope you can come again soon as I really enjoyed it. I love your books and the story telling too. I liked the pirate one best. I liked the experiments too – they were great for kids.’

‘The children thought your visit was fantastic and they have been further motivated to read. Meeting you has given the children that extra dimension to their reading. The whacky science was trully inspirational! Good books have just got better!’

 

Juniors – Workshops

SPARKY IDEAS WORKSHOPS  A collection of story games to get brains fizzing and generate ideas of creative writing.

BOOK DESIGN WORKSHOP – A fascinating ‘behind the scenes’ look at the evolution of a book cover suitable for Years 5 and 6. Working in small groups, the children assess various Barkbelly cover designs, learn about marketing and the book business, and design a cover of their own.

 

Seniors

With teens, Cat favours the ‘big’ themes of life and death, love and loyalty. She often looks at relationships – between lovers, friends or family members. Through her intimate, emotionally-charged stories, Cat shows that life is frequently confusing and love is rarely straightforward. But for all the brutality of our times, life can be beautiful too.

POETRY WORKSHOPS. Cat explores her belief that poetry should be an expression of emotion. Through guided imagery, students will identify the emotion they are feeling then express it through writing verse.

 

Fees & Availability

Cat offers great value for money, based on twenty years professional experience as a performer, writer and artist in education. She is based near Stratford Upon Avon in the West Midlands, so a HUGE part of the country is readily accessible for day visits.  Cat is happy to travel further (she frequently works in Sussex, for example) though travel and/or an accommodation fee  might be added. 

Half day visits are possible in local areas.

Storytelling in Libraries

Cat does a great deal of work in libraries as both a storyteller and an author.

Age 3 – 7: Cat happily works with children as young as three, making her a popular choice for Bookstart sessions. She combines age-appropriate stories with action rhymes, music, singing, hand puppets and physical objects to create lively, interactive and entertaining sessions for little listeners.

Storytelling
Cat in action – storytelling

Age 7 – 12: Cat can offer either storytelling sessions or Meet the Author book sessions (or a combination of both!)

Cat tells WORLD TALES in her junior sessions, choosing age-appropriate stories that will engage and challenge her audience. Years 3 and 4 love magic and humour, for example, but older children often feel they have outgrown such fanciful fare, so Cat will give them problem-solving stories, lateral thinking and word play.

MEET THE AUTHOR book sessions. Author events can be quite dry, but Cat includes all her characteristic flourishes – a high energy performance style, music, fairy lights and plenty of audience interaction – to create lively, entertaining programmes that really bring her books to life. All sessions include Q & A and inspirational talk about writing and being an author.

Family Sessions

These are always available to complement book weeks, summer reading schemes, etc. Beautiful full-colour A4 posters can be supplied free of charge to help to publicise your event.

Performance poster

 

Young Writers Workshops

Cat has worked with many of the Young Writing Squads in Wales. She has a selection of one-hour and two-hour creative writing workshops suitable for juniors (7 – 12) and seniors (12 – 16).

 

Adult Workshops

Cat frequently leads training sessions for librarians.  She also welcomes any opportunity to work with the Over 65s. This age group is frequently overlooked and underfunded, which is a great shame because they are wonderful listeners and always keen to find ways to occupy their time. Afternoon events for this age group can be enormously popular. Both story sessions and reminiscence sessions are possible – please contact Cat for a chat.

Fees

Cat offers great value for money, based on twenty years professional experience as a performer, writer and artist in education. Please ask!

Cat is based in the West Midlands, two minutes from junction 4 of the M5. This makes travelling very easy, and Cat works nationwide.