School Visit – Our Lady’s Primary School, Hitchin
On Wednesday I did a school visit at Our Lady’s Primary in Hitchin. What was extra-exciting about this was that I actually used to go to this school. However, none of the teachers from my time were still there, so the school didn’t know this until I told them. It was really cool seeing all the old classrooms, and what had changed and what stayed the same. It always surprises me when you go to a primary school and see how tiny everything is, especially when you remember it seeming really big.
Visiting the whole school
In the picture above, I’m standing in front of the lovely painted mural they have by the entrance. As you can see, my daughter Celestine came along for her first school visit as our childcare plans for the day fell through. She spent most of the day strapped to Henry’s chest and we barely heard a peep out of her. She’s such a well-behaved baby – perhaps she was worried about getting a detention!
Over the day I saw all seven classes, from Reception up to Year 6, so it was pretty exhausting even though it was fun. All the children loved it when I said I’d been to the very same school they were in. They also loved it when I showed them a couple of my sets from I am a Witch’s Cat, which makes me think I should get together a miniature Isadora Moon diorama…
Of course, Isadora Moon was the focus of the day. Some of the classes had already read some of Goes to School, while I got to introduce her to other classes for the first time. For the younger classes we did a game involving a child pulling Isadora’s favourite things out of a bag. They had to guess what it was in front of the class before opening their eyes. The classes found it hilarious if a boy happened to pull out Isadora’s sparkly black tutu or her shiny tiara.
Expanding the theme of a vampire-fairy hybrid, the younger classes also loved coming up with their own hybrid characters. Below is the Year One character, Lily, who has a raccoon’s eyes, a cat’s mouth, gorilla arms, and bird legs. We then came up with a story for the characters they created. My favourite was Reception’s Mr. Elephant, whose main desire in life was to eat soil. Unfortunately, his garden was covered over with concrete. The solution? He went to his front garden instead.
For the older classes, we did a drawing workshop; I took them through step-by-step how to draw Buttons the Bat, Pink Rabbit, and the dragon from Isadora Moon Gets in Trouble. I was surprised by the high quality of many of the drawings the children did, especially with the tricky-to-draw dragon. If only I’d thought to take a few snaps of their work to put up – I’ll make sure to at my next school visit!
School visits next term
We finished up with a whole school assembly where members of each class explained what they had enjoyed. All in all it was a wonderful day, and it was great to see my old school again. I’ve got a bit of a break from school visits now that the summer holidays are coming up (though I still have several bookshop events coming up – check them out on my events page), so that gives me some time to think how I can make them even better.
In the mean-time, let me know if you’d like me to visit your school. You can read more about my school visits here, or contact my events coordinator to ask about availability and fees here.