Teaching Resource Book

My aim is to enable children to enrich their experience of the deeper themes from the main novel Arty Tardy.

The activities and workshops are easily adaptable for use both in KS1 and KS2 and employ a cross-curricular approach which combines Literacy, PHSE and A.R.T.S.

The Arty Tardy Pilot Scheme was first introduced in East London with participating schools in Newham, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.

I hope this teaching resource will inspire many more people to have lively and meaningful interactions and that the outcomes will be positive and enlightening.Teaching Resource cover.png

ARTY TARDY Photo Shoot Success

What a bArty Tardyusy week it has been! I visited the three schools participating in my pilot scheme. Each class read ARTY TARDY and we analysed it together. I got some really good constructive feedback and they told how much they are enjoying it. I’m so pleased that it has already helped so many adults and children alike to understand life from the perspective of a child with autism for that was the aim of the book. It’s good that it has provoked so much thinking and already it is the favourite book of two autistic children in the schools I am working in. I am truly humbled – and delighted.

My son, the budding photographer and also the book cover designer was on hand to take photographs and did a great job. The story will be going to press shortly.

There has also been interest in the book from educational press and establishments and the book itself is going to be offered in various competitions – I will keep you posted!

If anyone wants a taster – pop along to my website and listed to the first two chapters! I hope you enjoy!

Questions about being an author

Just answered some questions on Goodreads about being an author:
  • How do you deal with writer’s block?
  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?
  • What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
  • What are you currently working on?
  • How do you get inspired to write?
  • Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
There’s no such thing as writer’s block – it is simply a period where you need to seek inspiration from anywhere other than your paper or computer. Inspiration is a funny thing – I think when your mind is going down the wrong path your brain just – stops – inspiration can hit from the most unlikeliest places – the park, television or a conversation. All of a sudden it will come to you.
You have to be patient – just like cooking – certain elements need to be harmony. I have spent a week even more waiting for ‘it all to fit into place’ – then a movie starts playing in my head and I TALK to the computer through typing. I don’t care about spelling or grammar I just let it spill out. Often I produce more during that intense period of writing than at any other time when I have tried to ‘force’ it.
Go with the flow – do anything but think about what you’re stuck on – it will come.
The freedom to put all my thoughts onto paper/computer and sharing it with others.
I am often moved to tears and certainly have a lump in my throat when someone tells me how much my writing means to them – how it has changed their outlook on life – how they feel that they are no longer ‘alone’.
It never changes, I am always humbled to have touched another’s soul in that way.
 Do it!!! don’t let anyone put you off. If you are tired of getting nowhere – self publish – it’s not as taboo as it once was. If you believe in it, then others will too. Get as much feedback as you can – especially to gauge whether your message has gotten across. Be prepared to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again.
Write about what gets you excited, personal experiences are always a good starting point. Tap into your passion and forget about what it’s supposed to look like. Get it down – there’s plenty of time later to edit.
If you don’t enjoy writing then there’s no point. If you love it – then don’t let anything stand in your way!
I am busy trying to finish book two in my children’s series: Bonny Bonnie. It follows my first called ‘Arty Tardy’ which is told through the eyes of a child with Asperges.
‘Bonny Bonnie’ is about a child with Downs Syndrome.
I am also currently writing a teaching resource to accompany ‘Arty Tardy’ which will include workshops featuring art and drama.
From unusual sources! watching TV, whilst swimming, walking in the park seems to spark ideas, current news items and generally the most mundane activities such as shopping or just chatting to a friend will trigger an idea which I scribble down on whatever is at hand!I always keep a notebook with me – just in case!
From a collection of memories and experiences working with SEN children – some sad, some hilarious but all touched my heart deeply.‘Reality, Bits, Bytes and Chips’ was an opportunity to address adult issues through poetry, short stories, pod casts and a play: East End Spices – which is a journey through a typical East London high street – all the different characters you will meet as they go about their daily lives: reggae tunes mixed with Hindi and every example of colour,creed and culture you could find – all in one area.

KS1 Literacy, Art and Healthy Eating

I was asked to design a workshop for KS1  incorporating my poems and an aspect of their curriculum so I decided to use my poem ‘Living Rainbow’ and tie it to Healthy raimbowEating!

Glad to say it has been enthusiastically approved and I can’t wait for the event. It will rolled out to Early Years first and we are in the midst of sorting out all the technicalities such as what fruit and vegetables we are going to use and how we are going to tailor the workshop specifically to suit Reception.

I am very exited about our ‘Living Rainbow’ and can’t wait to make it as tasty as possible. I will post examples of their written work and pictures as the school has said that it will be fine with them.

I’ll keep you posted!!!

Another Great Review!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1183975526?book_show_action=false&page=1

Kitty’s analogy between Tardy and David defeating Goliath is very apt and I love the unlikely and even Arty Tardycovert friendship between Tardy (the main character) and Jermaine.
One of my favourite characters is Tardy (I have a few) and Kitty shows real insight into the emotional and mental challenges of a boy, who as a ten year old, knows he will never grow up; but is learning tough life skills every day.
Colour is used in lots of ways: to paint (of course), to calm the soul, to relieve and show frustration, gain joy…. and my favourite…to describe how Miss Robinson “feels” to Tardy – Excellent!!
The characters personalities are very real and I found myself getting lost in this up-to-date, funny, thought provoking and heart-felt story. I laughed out loud (lol), jumped and cheered and shed a tear or twenty!
This is a fantastic book, to be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and definitely one my four kids and I will thoroughly enjoy over and over again!

ARTY TARDY Workshop

Arty Tardy

The ARTY TARDY workshop weaves Literacy and Art together. If you’ve read the book then you know what I mean.

Inspired by elements of Picasso and Hockney it celebrates the fact that  ‘Every Child is an Artist’ [Pablo Picasso].

We explore fun new words found in the book with practical application – that is – we play with paint and paintbrushes! But it is so much more than that! We compare each other’s ideas which always differs from person to person and can produce some visually exciting stuff I can tell you!

We explore famous painters and look at different representations of an element from the book  (could be a fruit or a tree…) which have been selected to illustrate the scope of different techniques and perspectives – the children delight it the ones that simply do not conform to ‘traditional’ ideas! So armed  – off we go and produce our own!  

Ground rules incorporating  the FOUR C’s form the nexus of the workshop that values every child’s contribution, viewpoint and  level of ability and ensures that they have fun whilst learning collaboratively.

All in all it celebrates diversity and self expression – with a good dose of humour and fun!