All About Andy Seed
Andy Seed is the author of the bestselling All Teachers series of memoirs for adults, described by the Daily Mail as ‘heartwarming and hilarious’, as well as numerous acclaimed non-fiction books and poems for children. His great passion is encouraging children to read for pleasure.
Andy was a primary school teacher and deputy head for 17 years before becoming a full-time writer in 2000 when he had his first children’s poems published and wrote for the web. In 2004 his first children’s non-fiction book was bought by Hodder. It was a humorous miscellany with the strange title of How to Spot a Hadrosaur in a Bus Queue and was chosen by the School Library Association in 2007 as one of their top 100 books to encourage boys to read as part of the government’s Boys into Books programme.
Since then Andy Seed has written over 25 books and recently branched out into memoirs for adults. The first of these, the bestselling All Teachers Great and Small, about his days as a calamity-prone teacher in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1980’s was published by Hodder Headline after he appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show in 2009.
He now specialises in fun interactive poetry days and encouraging children to read for pleasure, something he believes is hugely important.
Andy’s School Visits
Andy works from reception/foundation classes to Y6 in primary. As well as occasionally working with Y7/8 in secondary schools although his books are mostly aimed at younger children.
A typical KS1 session for ages 5-7:
The focus is on interactive poetry and wordplay.
This involves performing fun poems which the children can join in with in various ways, eg through speaking, repeating, sounds, actions, mimes and movement.
As children perform he helps them to understand how simple poems are constructed so that they can develop their own versions of them.
There is a lot of emphasis on speaking and listening: all children get a chance to join in.
Andy typically starts a session by telling a story to settle children and get them listening, then moves on to interactive poems before he shows the children some of his books and helps them to understand what an author does.
All children will learn a poem!
A typical KS2 poetry-based session for ages 7-11:
Depending on time available Andy likes to begin the session with a dramatic story telling.
He usually then moves on to performing interactive poems. These are poems specially written for children to join in with at each age group. They respond by repeating, filling in gaps, actions, gestures, sound effects and more: great fun and an excellent way for children to understand the rhythms, rhymes and structure of different kinds of poems.
After some of the poems he will help children to deconstruct them in a simple, enjoyable way so that they can understand how they were written and how variations can easily be made. This inspires children to write their own poems.
Andy will show children his poetry book Razzle Dazzle and read some poems then explain how he became a writer. He then shows some of his non-fiction books.
With Y5/6 children Andy likes to end the session with some group performances of poems by the children. He will bring a class set of poetry books for them to use for this. During the performances Andy will help the children develop their performing/speaking/drama skills.
A typical KS2 session based on encouraging reading for pleasure:
Andy begins by telling a dramatic story (or start of a story) then shows the children the book it’s based on and also mentions some similar books.
He usually borrows a collection of 30-40 brand new books from the North Yorkshire Library HQ and takes these in, shows them to the children and enthuses about them. The secret of success is the range of books he shows, so that there’s something for each gender, age, ability and interest: novels, exciting info books, puzzles, joke books, graphic novels, miscellanies/list books, funny poetry, activity books, myths/legends and quiz books.
To break up the session and make it interactive he performs poems which the children can join in with, reads extracts, asks quiz questions, tells jokes and gets the children to make interesting lists, eg 5 things you can’t buy.
Andy will also show some of his own books and briefly talk about what it’s like to be an author – why it’s such a great job.
He will tell the children why reading for pleasure is so important, how it can unlock doors for them in their futures and open exciting opportunities. He will tell them how libraries give you free books.
Next he will unleash the books he has brought along (including some of his favourite children’s books by other authors), letting children read, share, talk, show, ask, enjoy and become enthusiastic about reading!
The poetry sessions above include lots of ideas for writing and tips for how to make poems work but he leaves the actual writing part to the teacher to do after the session.
Andy generally works with single classes for encouraging reading for pleasure. Poetry sessions are fine with double class sized groups in the hall. He is also happy to carry out big group presentations using a combination of selected activities from the above lists which are suitable, eg storytelling, readings, performing poems, showing books, talking about the importance of reading, discussing the author’s role and Q&A.
Aims and Objectives
For poetry sessions:
For children to become excited and positive about poetry
For children to listen to and perform a range of poems
For children to learn a poem
For children to understand some different ways that poems can be constructed so that they can write their own successful poems
For children to improve their presentation/performance/drama skills and develop the ability to speak well in front of an audience.
For reading for pleasure sessions:
For children to become enthusiastic about books and reading
For children to find out what kinds of books they would really like to read
For children to understand the huge range of types of book out there
For children to enjoy extracts, readings, poems, facts, snippets and illustrations from good quality books so that they are keen to read them themselves.
For children to grasp why reading for pleasure is important: that it makes you clever, grows the brain, opens up opportunities, helps you succeed at school and beyond and gives you enjoyment and understanding of many things.
For children to know where they can get books.
Materials/facilities required: Very few. A whiteboard or flipchart and a table to put books on are all he needs. Poetry sessions for younger children (aged 4/5/6) are best done in the hall so that they can move around.
Short listed for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2015 as one of three books in the Best Book with Facts category.
This laugh-out-loud book is bursting with lists, facts, jokes and funny true stories all about silly people, silly animals, silly inventions, silly names and much more. Discover The Great Stink, the man who ate a bike, a girl really called Lorna Mower and a sofa that can do 101mph.
Find out about famous pranks, crazy festivals, nutty cats, gross foods, epic sports fails, ludicrously silly words and really rubbish predictions.
Razzle Dazzle (poetry book for ages 8-13)
Wacky wordplay at its best: take a trip through 60 rib-tickling poems about cheese, chocolate, giant gorillas, bionic grannies, bogeymen and much, much more from one of the funniest poets around. Razzle Dazzle will make you giggle, chortle and snort all the way!
How to Spot a Hadrosaur in a Bus Queue (a miscellany for ages 8-13)
A fantastic miscellany of fascinating information, nutty humour, lists, strange facts, amazing figures, funny nuggets and much more. Chosen by the School Library Association as one of their top 100 books to encourage boys to read.
A cool & colourful information book aimed at reluctant readers of 9-14. With limited, carefully-chosen text and exciting illustrations it explains how animation is made.
Reviews and Recommendations
‘The boys who came back from the workshops were buzzing!’ Lindsay Miller, North Yorkshire English Adviser
‘Brilliant start to the celebrations in school for World Book Day … Andy was just as good with all the classes and managed to keep it interactive even when he worked with 2 classes at a time!’ English co-ordinator, Scholes J&I School
‘Brilliant, excellent and great fun.’ Children from Thornton Dale Primary School
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Andy Seed, 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
Further information on Andy Seed is available from his website:http://www.andyseed.com