It doesn’t matter where you go a picture paints a thousand words – in any language.
Reading is important and having lots of books to experience can enrich a child’s learning. For an author, it can be very special to meet and to share books with children. It is always great to be able to answer questions and to inspire them in their reading and their writing.
The old Tudor House in the High Street of East Grinstead is a haven for book lovers.
During a recent weeks visit to a school with Year 6, I was able to fill a few gaps with snippets of information about buses, books and rain-sticks. This got the children’s attention and they asked questions and listen to my tales.
It's always great to hear the comments from author visits:
Redhill Library, (November 2018)
Whenever you visit us here at Redhill Library you make the building buzz and it transforms the place. We have had 'grown ups' our regulars that have pasted positive comments such as 'lovely to see the children so engaged' and ' I sneaked a look into the Children's Library to see what was going on and saw drawing, talking and lots of happy faces'.
It's worth all the hard work in organising such events just to see our Library being used as a Library: lots of children firstly being spellbound by a 'real' author and then to be given an opportunity to spend time talking with an author, it makes for a special time to remember and believe me children do remember such times.
It also gives the children time to browse our wonderful shelves that are packed with volumes of pure imagination; a place to explore or a new experience to feel or even to make an enlightening discovery that might make for great content in a project piece for school.
There have been many occasions when speaking with teaching staff that they have expressed their thanks when we have class visits to our Library, it offers another tangent and teaching resource and shows local partnerships for the good of our community, without which families would not know what a terrific place of information their local Library is.
But really, to have authors that avail themselves to a Library Service and the public beyond is a wonderful experience for everyone, and as for reading there is a saying: ' You're never alone when you're reading a book'.
So, thank heavens for authors and Libraries as they make the world a far less lonely and hostile place.
Tina Campey LDC
Redhill Library, (November 2017)
'Your visit goes to show that when we engage with these young readers they soak up much more than we imagine.
One of the most important things and an utter joy for the children to experience, is that they have met the person that wrote a book that they have enjoyed. My observations are that children take on an ownership of an author that they have met personally; it's very special indeed and the author is their new best friend.
Your books are out virtually all the time and on checking their status today, all of Redhill's six copies are on Junior Library cards with two reservations outstanding on them.
Tina Campey LDC,
Redhill Library, School visit Surrey
The visit was calm and welcoming. The author was ready and it was good to hear an author talk about their stories.
Lynn Caswell (Yr 2 -59 pupils)
We really enjoyed the time looking at books and doing an activity linked to the session. The author was great she was engaging for the children. We enjoyed it very much especially the author talk and story.
Megan Gizzi (Year 1 – 51 pupils)
Mr Skuse (Year 1)
St. Peter’s C of E, Ardingly (February/2018)
Class teacher Reception class
I loved your passion for the playbus and could see that your beautiful books have been drawn from a rich experience of providing a great location for children to play. The stories you tell of the bus are captivating and pull you in quickly.
Phoebe Mohamad (Red Ink Publishing)
National Playbus Association
Sue, thanks for keeping the Playbus dream alive! X
EHCPA Ex. Playbus Chair BOD
School visit, St. Matthews Primary School. (March/2018)
Thank you for coming to spend the afternoon with our writers! The children very much enjoyed the experience and couldn't wait to take their designs and writing home to show their parents at the end of the day.
St. John’s C of E Primary School, (March/2018)
Thank you so much for such a wonderful day with us. The children were really inspired by your stories, fascinating take on local history and loved the fact that they see you teaching in school with us. They would love you to come back next Book Week again. Staff were all very impressed with your enthusiasm.
Jacky Fyson (Deputy Head))
St.John’s C of E School, (November/2017)
Jill Webber, Reading Lead
St. Peter’s C.E Primary School, (Feb 2018)
Sue Wickstead, author of ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, shared her journey as an author in worship, followed by reading her books and answering questions for children from reception to year4. The children were fascinated to learn that ‘Jay-Jay’ was inspired by her work with a children’s charity, a ‘Playbus’.
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Author and story-telling visits
“Meeting an author, illustrator, poet or storyteller in real life and hearing them convey their passion for their work can fundamentally alter a child or young person's relationship to books and ignite a life-long love of reading. An author visit can contribute to the recommendations in the 'Moving English Forward' OFSTED report. This encourages schools to develop policies to promote reading for enjoyment."
(Prices on request.)
School Author Visits
Sue offers author visits, storytelling, and creative workshops. Author visits encourage reading and writing for pleasure and help to encourage children to have aspirations whether as future readers, writers, illustrators, librarians or editors. Enthusing the children with her love of words, books and writing,
The sessions can be adapted to suit the needs of the age group. (ages 3 -8)
The sessions can cover
- How she became an author
- Her writing processes from Fact to Fiction.
- Book readings
- Question and Answer
Children are able to buy their own signed copy of any of her books on request.
A scheme of work, together with worksheet ideas to support the books, is also available on request.
What badge would you make?
Children always love the excitement of making their own unique badge.
This is a popular activity at school fairs and events.
The children are able to: -
- design their own badge
- colour a pre-designed badge
- make it themselves.
I have made so many badges ove the years for many events including : comic relief; children in need; birthdays ; book events.
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Friday 5th December Balcombe Primary School
‘Sue Wickstead has been a regular supply teacher at Balcombe over the years. The children have enjoyed sharing her ideas for her children’s stories and learning about the process of writing a book. Sue has now very excitedly published her children’s story book ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, she visited the classes to show her book and talk about her experiences of writing and publishing it’.
Book signing events have been set up at both K2 and Squires Garden Centre in Crawley. Both venues were happy to support the book as a local project.
St Francis of Assissi Southgate Crawley. 23rd 24th October.
In my capacity as a supply teacher I had been booked by a local school to teach in year 3. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the school was celebrating a book week and had visitors and events going on all week.
'Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus', visits schools!
Sue Wickstead Reporting from the O2 on Sky News HD.
Jay-Jay the supersonic bus told in a childrens's picture story book has finally been release and is driving off the shelves.
Design a bright and colourful bus
Everyone loves to draw a bus, but how can you make your bus stand out differently?
With a powerpoint full of examples of colourful buses children are invited to design their own version.
they are given a 2D or 3D template to use. they are also encouraged to draw and label their own 2D bus idea.
A Playbus is bright, colourful and certainly different.
I always leave a free book in every school I visit as a Supply Teacher.
‘Surely it is me who should say thank you for being rescued and being able to meet so many different children.’
The writing prompt was 'Giraffe speedboat! Hmm!
Playing and sorting out the Lego gave me the inspiration.
A Carnival parade of bright and colourful Lego Playbus.
After several months of planning and preparation the author booking came along, Kennington Primary Academy. Mr Newland, the teacher organising the event, had been busy with lots of teacher things too, such as OFSTED, Moderation and planning. I am sure the event had been tricky to sort out but finally the day was here.
World book day this year was certainly very different.
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