Interactive talks, readings, and creative writing workshops for children of all ages - reception to six form - and teachers, and residential courses for adults interested in writing for children. Next course in France in April 2008 (see website or email for details).
I have written over sixty books for children of all ages - from picture books to young adult thrillers. I write in many different genres - comedy, mystery, sport, horror, school story to name but a few. My recent titles include the picture books Always and Forever and Burger Boy; the novelty titles Dear Tooth Fairy and Dear Father Christmas; the junior fiction story Gameboy; and the young adult thriller The Ring of Truth. I also write poetry and have had poems published in several anthologies.
Alan Durant has worked with Pembrokeshire Education Authority over the last five years on a number of projects. These have included Year 6 Boys' Underachieving Writing Squads and Year 7 Secondary Underachieving Squads, where the aim has been to motivate pupils to write and raise the profile of writing generally, culminating in an anthology of their work. Alan's approach has been very successful, and although pupils might wonder why they have been selected for the squad and show initial reluctance, by the end of the week their attitude is transformed: they are enthusiastic, more open to critical appraisal and far more prepared to take risks with their writing. Most noticeable is the rise in their self-esteem.
The atmosphere established by Alan during the course of the week is stimulating and thought-provoking, encouraging the writers to reflect on their own learning. He provides a wide range of achievable writing tasks and gives time to each pupil, considering their work in a fair and objective manner which provides a very positive working environment. Pupils learn from his modelling how to respond constructively to the work of their peers.
His writing extends across all key stages and abilities and he is accessible to all age ranges. I feel, with his breadth of experience, that he would be a valuable addition to the Artscape website.
Advisory Teacher for Literacy
Pembrokeshire County Council
Alan Durant has worked with all the schools in our EiC Action Zone during a series of visits in the last four years.
The Ealing EiC Action Zone includes ten schools, two secondary, six primary and two special. Northolt is an economically deprived area with many underachieving students from white, Asian, African-Caribbean and other ethnic groups.
We have had a major focus on raising achievement in writing and on raising aspiration and confidence in students, particularly boys and particularly in the age range from Year 5 - Year 8.
Alan has run workshops with students of all abilities. He has taken many different focuses for writing - from producing a shark's tooth for each student to write about to building on Greek myths or Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' as inspiration. He has introduced students to the ways a writer develops a story or the process of getting his book produced.
The quality of the writing that students have produced through working with Alan is always exciting and unusual. Alan has a deceptively quiet manner but is highly successful with boys (as well as girls, of course), encouraging a level of engagement which the teachers are always delighted to see.
We have often run final showcases at which students have presented their writing, reading poems and stories aloud to an audience of up to 250 other students aged 9-13. Alan encourages students to feel confident in doing this and plays an active role in promoting these varied events.
We have been lucky to have such a long association with Alan!
North West Ealing Partnership, EiC Action Zone
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