mb-testimonial
I have been visiting schools to deliver poetry shows and creative writing workshops for many years now. I am CRB Enhanced and have insurance cover as a member of NAWE. (I also play the ukulele and often wear a hat.)


I have several set workshops for both KS1 and KS2, and KS3, but I am always happy to consider new commissions or to deliver content to address specific needs within a school. All of my poetry shows can be adapted to any group of students, and appeal to all ages within KS1 and KS2.

I have experience of all primary years, including early years, and I have also worked with special groups within high schools - including both reluctant readers and writers, boys, and higher achievers, such as Gifted and Talented pupils.

Indeed, I was a long-standing contributor to Redcar & Cleveland's SPACE programme for gifted and talented pupils.

The following testimonial is in response to my English language worDshop, 'Unpicking The Dictionary' delivered at Sacred Heart School, Redcar:

'Hello Mike,
 
I would just like to offer you our thanks again for the workshop on Friday; we appreciate the work that you did with our students who thoroughly enjoyed the day.  I don't think they realised that dictionary work could be so much fun!  We would love to have you back to work with more of our students.'


I also worked for three months in 2011 as a Creative Practitioner at Sirius Academy in Hull, delivering bespoke day-long courses combining English, Maths and Science to their Year 8 G & T pupils. (Feedback from this experimental project was amazing. As one pupil said: 'How do we improve teaching at this school? Simple. Get 20 Mikes'.)

For primary schools I offer very entertaining and enthusiastic performances of my own material - including songs, jokes and music- intended to encourage and excite pupils and get them writing.

These include:

'Highly Sprung' - my very silly music and poetry show all about Spring, high on audience interaction and participation.

'Hi Summer!' - a similar feast of fun, music and poetry - about Summer.

'Awesome Autumn!' - an autumnal show, complete with conkers, rockets and Halloween! (NB This was delivered to schools throughout North Yorkshire during my time as comic poet in residence for the Ripon International Festival, 2011 - including a two day residency at UNESCO World heritage site, Fountains Abbey).

'Verse Noel' - my Christmas show.

All of the above performances last about 60' - 75'.

In summer 2012, I also co-wrote and presented the Oh-Lympics! Show with fellow writer Andy Seed. With this we toured 30 primary schools across North Yorkshire.

In addition to these shows, I can also offer 'Mike Barfield's Big Wind-Up!' - a unique circus of clockwork toys that fits perfectly into the KS1 module for history looking at the development of toys. This a fun and very funny cavalcade of my own tinplate toys, delivered as a 75' performance. It was recently booked by the world-renowned Edinburgh Museum of Childhood as part of their inaugural Scotland History Festival.

Nr.017 Mike Barfield, Mike Barfield's Big Wind-up, Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

For secondary schools I offer two main workshops, 'Unpicking The Dictionary' - a day long fun investigation of the origins of words - and 'The Name's The Game' - exploring the nature of names for people, places and things and the effect they have on us and our attitudes towards them.

These workshops always meet with huge approval from students, who start off thinking they are going to be as dry as dust, then swiftly realise that that they are both entertaining and engaging, as well as educational and stretching.

Given such a variety of offerings, costs for these vary. They vary according to whether you are booking a performance or a workshop, and whether it is for a day or a half-day. There may also be travel expenses for any distances beyond 25 miles of where I am based (just outside York) and I am VAT registered.
The best thing is just to get in touch, and take it from there!