All About Stan Cullimore
Stan Cullimore played guitar, between 1983 and 1988, for the Hull based indie rock band called The Housemartins. He answered a local newspaper advert placed by Paul Heaton that said Trombonist seeks street musicians around the city! So really he started life as a pop star in The Housemartins. He then became a children’s author with over 120 books published in over 32 countries. These books vary from picture books all the way up to teenage novels. He also writes and appears in TV shows for children in the UK.
Stan lives in Bristol with his wife and Mabel the dog. He has enjoyed several international top ten hits with The Housemartins. Including the No. 1 single – Caravan of Love. A legacy that continues to delight people of all ages right up to the present day.
Stan then became a father and wrote the Henrietta books for his children. These books were published to wide acclaim. He spent several years working with educational publishers such as Pearson, Longman, Heinemann and OUP writing books for schools that have been used in classrooms all around the world. These days he tends to concentrate on books for reluctant readers.
In recent years Stan has also moved into television. Writing, producing, directing and appearing in a whole host of children’s TV shows, including Angelina Ballerina, Driver Dan’s Story Train, The Bopps and he can presently be seen on air in the UK in CITV’s ‘Bottom Knocker Street,’ where he wears a host of weird and wonderful disguises.
Stan says; “When I go into a school to work with children we might be writing poems, songs, books or a TV show. I tell them it doesn’t matter what form creative writing takes, the emotional heart of the process is always the same. We’re telling a story. Our job is to engage with the audience, entertain them and draw them into the fun so they want to join in. Of course, the same is true with the students I’m working with.”
Stan Cullimore’s School Visits
Stan works mainly with children from year 1 to year 6. Though he is also happy to work with groups of students up to year 13.
During visits he covers all aspects of his work, drawing on his experiences as a musician, author, TV writer, actor and journalist.
With secondary school students Stan is keen to focus on the needs of the class and teachers by tailoring his workshops to specific areas of interest. So he can deliver a workshop on writing songs, books or TV shows whichever is most relevant.
Primary School Visits
Stan starts the day by doing a 40 minute(ish) presentation to the whole school. This involves him playing the ukulele, singing songs (silly ones!) and getting everyone to join in with the singing and the actions. He also mentions the various jobs he has had in his career.
Stan will then spend the day giving workshops to individual classes, which are tailored to meet the needs of each class and age group.
With younger children, Stan will get them to help him write and perform a poem which they will then turn into a song. This can then be sung and performed with or without musical instruments.
With year 3 or 4 upwards, Stan is happy to either give workshops on lyric and song writing, or on the joys of writing stories. Depending on the needs or wishes of the teacher.
If the workshop is based on songs, Stan explains how songs are put together and then working with the students writes a song about a subject that is relevant to the class. In the past he has written songs about the Aztecs, African animals, Fossils and school dinners, amongst other things. These songs are left ‘open ended’ so that the class can continue work on them after Stan has left.
If the workshop is based on writing stories, Stan will discuss how he goes about writing a book and then get the class to help him invent some characters. The group will use drama techniques to enhance the story writing process. They will find a plot for the characters and then put together the building blocks for a story. Again, these characters and stories can be continued after Stan has left.
‘TV show in a Day’ workshop – If required Stan can spend a whole day taking a group of Year 4, 5 or 6 students through the process of making a TV show. Starting at the ideas stage, writing storylines and dialogue, casting actors and (if the school has access to filming equipment) can take the students up to the process of filming and give advice on editing the finished product.
Secondary School Visits.
Stan will come into the school and give workshops to individual classes or year groups on any aspect of creative writing that is required. A normal workshop is around 40 mins to an hour and can cover writing stories, songs or coming up with ideas for TV shows.
‘TV show in a Day’ workshop – If required Stan can spend a whole day taking students through the process of making a TV show. Starting at the ideas stage, writing storylines and dialogue, casting actors and (if the school has access to filming equipment) can take the students up to the process of filming and give advice on editing the finished product.
Double Act – Paul Cookson and Stan Cullimore
Most of the songs Stan uses in his school visits are based around poems that have been written by Paul Cookson, world famous performance poet (according to Paul) and editor of The Works – Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need at School. Stan and Paul often work together in Primary Schools as a double act. Performing poems and songs together in assembly, then spending the day leading separate poetry and song writing workshops. They also give evening performances for parents, who are able to come along and see what their children have achieved.
Please ask for details if you would like them to come to your school.
What facilities will Stan need when he visits your school?
For song or story workshops, Stan will need flip charts and pens in each classroom and the occasional willing volunteer who will write down the lyrics of songs as they are created.
For TV workshops, Stan will need the school to provide access to a laptop or similar so that he can show some short clips of shows he has worked on. This laptop will also be needed to write scripts on. Stan will also need to be able to print out these scripts.
If the school wish to film a short section of the TV show idea, with the students acting and taking part, the school will need to provide filming equipment – (an iphone or ipad or similar with video facility is usually enough.)The school will also need to have teachers on hand who understand how to use these devices as Stan is rubbish at that sort of thing! Same with editing, Stan can give advice on editing but can’t work the devices himself.
He also likes tea and is not against biscuits.
Psst.. Don’t tell anyone..
Every teacher has a drawer, packed full of top secret, totally brilliant, super stuff. And they don’t want YOU to know about it.
But don’t worry. This book will tell you EVERYTHING.
It will also make you giggle and laugh and learn that sometimes.. it is OK to tell dirty, filthy lies.
Warning! If you like chocolate, sweets, cakes and ice cream, you will LOVE this book.
To purchase Stan’s books, click here.
Reviews and Recommendations
“I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide you with some feedback following the visit of the children’s author Stan Cullimore to my primary school, Rabbsfarm, on the 22nd and 23rd October. Stan’s performance as an author/entertainer exceeded our expectations. He truly inspired our pupils with his knowledge of language, his charm and his sense of fun. He has an amazing ability to engage an audience and, working with some quite challenging pupils, he got the best out of them. The smiles both on the children’s and the teachers’ faces were a delight to see.
One teacher, our Advanced Skills Teacher remarked:” I can’t believe what he has got out of my class. He’s really good!”
One pupil, a year 3 boy, asked: “Can he be my teacher every day?”
In a business sense, Stan was great value for money and he provided a memorable experience for our pupils. They took away songs, poems and stories that he created with them, that they can cherish. On a personal note, Stan was a good communicator (emails prior to visit) and he had a flexible approach to the days he was with us – so necessary in a primary school. I will be recommending him to others!” – Paul Hazell, Deputy Headteacher, Rabbsfarm Primary School
“The children loved you!! They are all telling me about the books they’ve read. Really sorry I didn’t manage to say Goodbye, it was a manic day .” – Sarah Pope, Deputy Head
“Thank you so much for visiting us today. Fantastic! Already looking forward to the next time.” – Daniel Webster – Deputy Head
“Thanks for another brilliant session. A.U.N.T.Y a personal fave, recommend these 2 to anyone. – Steve Billan – Assistant Head and Year 6 teacher
“Superb Song Writing today with Stan Cullimore. Performance, writing & laughter!” –Claire Wills – Year 5 teacher
“What a double act! We all had a brilliant day working with you both yesterday.” –Thurlbear School
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Stan Cullimore, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org