Matt Goodfellow
Matt Goodfellow

All About Matt Goodfellow

Matt is a poet and primary school teacher from Manchester. His poems have been published in magazines and anthologies worldwide and he was recently on the longlist for the inaugural Manchester Writing for Children Prize. Since embarking on his poetry career, Matt’s high-energy performances and workshops have delighted, excited and enthused thousands of children in schools, libraries and bookshops across the UK. Matt still works part-time as a teacher in primary schools and so is ideally placed to be able to link his visits in with the new National Curriculum. Matt’s performances and workshops are fun, creative and interactive – leaving children (and adults!) engaged, energised and eager to write and perform their own work.

Matt’s School Visits

Matt can tailor his visits to meet the needs of the school/classes he will be working with but a typical day might look like this:

KS2 performance – 45 mins – Matt’s unique performance style means that children will be engaged from the moment he begins. Witty, warm and humorous, Matt’s performances allow children to join in with and memorise some of his poems – and are guaranteed to do it with a smile on their face! He will also talk about the writing process and will leave time for a Q&A session at the end of the performance.

KS1/FS performance – 25 mins – Matt will engage the children in action rhymes and they will memorise and perform some of his poems. Children will be able to pick different poems to learn and perform from ‘Matt’s Poetry Bag.’ He will also talk about the writing process and will leave time for a Q&A session at the end of the performance.

Matt will then provide up to 4 workshop sessions (depending on time), for class-sized groups, lasting about 50 minutes each. He is also happy to work with one group of children for the duration of the day.

The focus of these workshops can either be performance or writing.

Performance Workshops

Matt will perform some of his poems and discuss with children the techniques needed to create successful performances. The children will work together in small groups to put these techniques into practice by deciding on how best to perform poems – discussing rhythm, use of voice, expression, actions etc. The outcome of the sessions will be children will have memorised and performed their own version of one of Matt’s poems – everything that the new National Curriculum expects your children to be able to do! These sessions are also great for schools to continue to develop their performance poetry by setting up termly poetry assemblies where each year group performs their poems, allowing children to demonstrate their learning!

Writing Workshops

Matt begins sessions by playing warm up games that get children into a ‘poetic frame of mind.’ The children will write a class poem together and will then go on to innovate on a model poem which Matt provides, ending the session with a brand-new piece of writing that can continue to be developed with the class teacher. As the sessions progress, Matt will provide the teacher with hints and tips as to how to integrate poetry into the classroom in an interesting and engaging way. Children will have the chance to perform their work at the end of the session.

The techniques that Matt teaches during the writing sessions are adaptable and means that children (and teachers!) will be able to apply the skills learnt to any topic they are studying – cross-curricular writing is easy with poetry!

Matt has lots of experience working with gifted and talented children and can easily devise sessions to suit groups of children with differing abilities.

The aims of any workshop Matt provides are:

– Children have fun

– Children produce a poem or performance that is new, innovative and personal to them

– Children are engaged and enthused by writing, reading and performing

– Children’s self-confidence is increased

– Children learn some poems by heart and are exposed to a wide range of different styles of poem

– Children work together, increasing their confidence in talking about poetry, writing and reading

Samples of Matt’s Poetry

Frustrated Magician

Wherever I go, whatever I do,
I always end up at the back of a queue.
I queue for the circus, I queue at the till,
I queue at the doctors to tell him I’m ill.
I queue at the sweetshop, I queue for new shoes,
I queue for the dodgems and queue for the loos.
I queue at the football, I queue for my chips,
I queue for the coach when we go on school trips.
I queue up so often, I’m learning a trick
to get to the front of the line double-quick:
I itch and I scratch and start jumping around,
shout, ‘Goodness! You’ll never believe what I found!
I’m covered! They’re biting! ENORMOUS BLACK FLEAS!
Help me! Oh, help me! Won’t somebody, please?’
In under a minute, there’s nobody there…
And that’s how to make all your queues disappear!

When I Swing

When I swing
I seem
to forget
everything,
I wash
my mind
in the sky.
Feet first
I burst
this blur
of world
and
fly
fly
fly.

Reviews and Recommendations

“Matt Goodfellow is a fresh voice on the children’s poetry scene. He values words, crafting the language and never patronises his readers. His writing is sensitive and powerful. Matt celebrates experience with a sharp eye, transforming the world under the microscope of poetic language.” – Pie Corbett

“Matt is a children’s poetry enthusiast and is, in my opinion, one of the children’s poets who will carry the flag in future years. In a genre that is currently lacking in younger writers, Matt can make children smile with his word play, but he can also make them think and wonder.” – Brian Moses

“There is a true stroke of originality and brightness about Matt’s work.” – Wes Magee

“Matt is a brilliantly engaging performer who enthuses and inspires children.” –Rachel Jacques, Head Teacher, Bowker Vale Primary School, Manchester

“Matt was funny! He showed us that we are all poets – come back soon!” – Y6 child, Meadowbank Primary School, Stockport

“Matt was awesome because he jumped around like a monkey banging his tambourine! He fired up my imagination and inspired me to write.” – Y5 child, Altrincham CE Primary

“Matt’s performances and workshops were fantastic! His humour and warmth inspired boys and girls across both Key Stages. We look forward to his next visit!” –Literacy Co-ordinator, The Willows Primary School, Wythenshawe

“Matt’s session really enthused the children and gave them the confidence to perform (even in a whole school assembly!) All children in the session were able to succeed.” – Year 4 Teacher, All Saints Primary School, Gorton

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Matt Goodfellow, 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 trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk