My experience of working in education has been in both primary and secondary schools over the last ten years
for which I was given an award by South Cambridgeshire.
I enjoy running poetry workshops within other subjects such as history and science. As a drama specialist I have enabled primary children to perform their own poems
at Arts and Village Festivals, in Ely Cathedral, and for a celebration of the Life of Charles Darwin at Cambridge University. I have also worked extensively
for MIND and within communities with adults on poetry
and pieces for performance
Landscapes. Redbeck Press (1996)
Silent Reading (A Sequence)Pharos Press/Scintilla (1999)
Going Back. Firewater (2002)
The Shell Notebook Poems. Shoestring (2004)
Fen Song A Ballad of the Fen. Poetry and music with Penni Mclaren Walker and Bryan Causton. (Essex Literature Festival,Creative Arts East, Arts in Cambridge on tour)
The Shape of Us 2010 Poetry Shoestring Press
Projects in the Community
What Lies Underneath Poem for three voices Start Arts and Fen Edge Association.
Wondering with Darwin. Children's Poetry Pamphlet.
I have had the pleasure of working with Clare for several years at Cottenham Village College. She has organised several Intergenerational Writing projects as part of our annual Words Week, bringing together Key Stage 3 students and older members of the local community to share experiences and produce poetry based on the dialogue. This has always been a valuable experience; students have appreciated being able to work with a practising poet and the adults have enjoyed the opportunity to share their reminiscences with the younger generation.
The poems produced by the students this year are soon to be published in book form, and in previous years many of the poems have been selected as prize winners in national poetry competitions. None of this would have been possible without Clare's expertise and enthusiasm.
In working with the students she is supportive and encouraging, introducing them to a range of writing techniques and inspiring them to rise to a challenge.
I would not hesitate in recommending Clare as a facilitator for any type of writing project, and we will certainly be calling on her expertise again next year.
Cottenham Village College, Cambridge
Clare recently spent a short period in school as Writer in Residence after we won a grant from The Booktrust. She spent four mornings in school working with an older and a younger Key Stage 2 class on a poetry project based on the theme of journeys. The workshops that she ran led to an evening of children's poetry performance in the school hall, which was well attended by parents.
Clare had a good sense of what she wanted to achieve in the short period of time available and negotiated the constraints imposed by a very busy school summer timetable which often cut across her sessions. Having not worked with this group of children before, she wisely presented a variety of writing activities that could be accessed by all children regardless of ability and which more able writers could explore in greater depth. She provided the children with a variety of stimuli including well chosen 'springboard' poems, a range of artefacts and secret boxes.
The children responded enthusiastically to her sessions and many produced some fine work. She maintained a very pacy approach to her lessons and offered the children homework activities to which a large number of children responded very well.
Given the contraints against her, I felt that Clare led some good stimulating sessions and communicated her enthusiasm for writing to the children very well. I feel sure that in a longer residency Clare could achieve some very good results indeed.
Meldreth Primary School, Hertfordshire
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