A Big Thank You!


Kensington School year 6 with class teacher Miss Jubin (2)The Arty Tardy Pilot scheme has now come to an end. In a way I feel sad because I met and worked with some amazing people who I will miss especially are the fabulous children from Kensington, Godwin and Ad-Deen Primary SchoMyself and Ms Omoleols.

The project was originally set to run for 6 weeks but it was extended to 3 months and I was a great success. It has been a lot of hard work, not only for me as it was the first project of that magnitude I have ever attempted but also for the school staff involved.

I also have to thank my publicity campagin manager Anthony Harvison for his continual and unwavering support throughout the campaign – whilst I tried to juggle my PGCE and the pilot scheme, he was the calm voice of sanity and reassurance as well as another tireless worker who managed to secure heaps of positive publicity for the scheme and book.

Arty Tardy was entered in numerous national competitions and recently received a lovely review in AuKids magazine which you can read here http://www.aukids.co.uk/np68.shtml

Here is some of the amazing feedback I have received:

Ammenah Murray-Khalifa (Early Years Co-ordinator, Reception Teacher) Ad-Deen Primary School

It gave me the opportunity to realise just how approachable teaching children at such a young age about the lives, dilemmas and disabilities others face. The reception children at Ad-Deen Primary School embraced this topic with such enthusiasm for what is often a difficult and unapproachable area. The lessons allowed the opportunity for children as young as four and five to express their opinions and experiences and reflect on their behaviour towards others in various circumstances.
The positive impact this project has been so profound. The children have become more aware of themselves and others, self-monitoring their own behaviour, being more considerate and tolerant, acknowledging and beginning to understand that we are all different but deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.
I feel honoured to have had the experience of working alongside Kitty in delivering this wonderful topic and seeing how it can successfully be incorporated into so many different areas of learning.

Ben Levinson (Deputy Headteacher), Kensington Primary School

TKensington School with both Deputy Headteachers Mr Levinson and Ms Omole (2)hanks very much for this. It is very exciting and I am delighted for you that it is getting so much well deserved attention. I know the children in Y6 enjoyed it greatly and, later this year, I’d like to further explore how we can integrate it into our regular curriculum so it is a core text that children study during their time at KPS. We have a considerable number of ASD children and I know this will be a significant issue for the school. Developing all children’s understanding of the challenges faced by these children will be essential in creating a harmonious, positive atmosphere at KPS.

Alison Lines (Parent Liason Officer), Godwin Primary School

Godwin School with Headteacher Mrs Philips and class teacher Ms Dodd I just wanted to say before the end of the school year what a pleasure it has been having you get involved here at Godwin Primary School, Dagenham. Not only have you allowed us to get to know Arty Tardy but you have also been a great inspiration to the parents here. They and I have really enjoyed your visits; your sharing of how you started writing and why; listening to you read pieces of your work and answer questions about them; and for also supporting them in venturing into their own writing. Staff, parents and children alike have enjoyed reading Arty Tardy and have seen how he relates to real people they know on the Autistic spectrum. Several parents have said how elements of the book remind them of their own child and hope that other readers will be able to better understand what it is like to be autistic. We are looking forward to the next book in the series and hope you will keep in touch. Thank you.

Godwin School - year 6 class    Year 3-4 class at Ad-Deen Myself in Year 3-4 class at Ad-Deen

Parent, Godwin School

I am writing to you to thank you for writing this book. It has been such an inspiration to my son and has helped him control his autism a lot better and has helped me understand what he goes through on a daily basis. So once again I thank you and can’t wait for your next book.

Kensington School year 6 (3)

Parent, Godwin School

Just thought I would let you know that the kids have been fighting over the book and who gets to read it in reading choice time. Also, my boy with autism has started to read it (first book this year!!!) and is laughing at all the jokes and saying “I do that too!”. Mum is reading it at home and they are going to finish it over the holidays. I will let you know his final thoughts.

Laura Suter (Teaching Assistant), Kensington PrimaryKensington School year 6 with class teacher Miss Jubin

I honestly love the way you’re introducing children to special needs and how they think, feel and react. Very insightful for them. Arty Tardy was comical and enticing and I’m really looking forward to the release of Bonnie Bonny!!

Joanne Campbell (Parent), Godwin SchoolGodwin School year 6 class - myself and Mrs Philips

I am writing to you to thank you for writing this book. It has been such an inspiration to my son and has helped him control his autism a lot better and has helped me understand what he goes through on a daily basis. So once again I thank you and can’t wait for your next book.

The National Autistic Society also reviewed the book and said:

AAd-Deen Headteacher Mr Ruhul Ahmed and myself (2)rty Tardy provides another useful resource for mainstream schools. Bullying often occurs when children don’t understand why people behave differently, and Arty Tardy invites both children and adults to step into the shoes of Tardy, the main character who has autism. Written through a fun narrative, the book explores sensitive issues and key features of autism, such as inflexibility, sensory differences and social misinterpretation.

This pilot has the potential to explain autism to primary school children inGodwin School - year 6 pupil a novel way, by using Arty Tardy to support creative elements of the school curriculum. It will also provide an opportunity to trial the teaching resources, particularly to ensure they are used sensitively with children in the class who have autism, as well as to develop a greater understanding and empathy amongst their peers.

I am currently finalising the teaching resource book that will accompany Arty Tardy – it will be out soon! In there will be a special Acknowledgement secArty Tardytion to all those involved in the scheme – thank you again!

In the meantime I am adding a new page on my website http://www.kittyclairmont.com entitled – Arty Tardy Scheme – it will be filled with information on how to run the scheme in your own school and lots of pics that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Lovereading review of ARTY TARDY

What a wonderful review!!! 

“The book isn’t preachy, and nor is it moralistic. It does, however, pack a powerful message: That schools must do more to facilitate the inclusion of SEN children. It also identifies the single-most important point of mainstream education – that no children, with and without SEN, are “mainstream” at all. All children need the support of their peers and teaching staff to thrive.”

lovereading logo

http://blog.lovereading.co.uk/2015/03/lovereading-book-review-arty-tardy-by-kitty-clairmont/#.VQbfX_6sXUu

Earlham Primary School reading ARTY TARDY!

This afternoon I had a lovely ⅵsit to Earlham Primary School where I used to work as a Teaching Assistant.  Head Teacher Laura Hewer was so warm and welcoming and it was great to see the staff and children who still remembered me! Even better is the fact that the teacher I used to work with  –  Miss Kirby – my hero and role model is going to be reading ARTY TARDY with a Year 6 class!

What a wonderful afternoon!

Arty Tardy

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.

Arty Tardy Review!!!

Here’s another new review – I’m so pleased:

Arty Tardy is a journey rather than a story. The author, Kitty Clairmont has a wonderful way of captivating her audience and addressing what are sometimes ‘delicate’ issues – in this case SEN; in particular a boy named David (Tardy) with aspergers.

This book takes you through David’s dilemmas of daily life and allows you to see through his perception just how menial things for you and I, are often life altering when dealing with aspergers.

Kitty Clairmont’s clever use of language not only allows you the capability of envisaging David’s story and the vision through young eyes, but also opens your heart and mind to the many obstacles with which as adults we take for granted.

This is a must read for all; being young, old, for pleasure or educational purposes.

A pause for thought for us all:
“My school is like a horse chestnut tree. the branches are the teachers and the flowers are the children. Some of us have blotches of different colours and are different sizes and shapes but we are really all the same.” (P.117)

New Website Page for Children’s Reviews

Why a whole page for children’s reviews? Well, children are the most honest of critics I have ever encountered. If something is rubbish they’ll tell you straight and if they love something you’ll get a resounding cheer – there’s no need to read between the lines with them!

Obviously as the author I like my book, after all I wrote it! But what I really want to know is  whether I’ve hit the mark or not – Arty Tardy was written with primary school children in mind and I want to know whether the story had hit home with them. How do they feel about David?  Do they understand his different perspective? Did the story touch them? Was it funny? What message did they get? Do they want more?

Also it still surprises me how much children like my poetry book – Angelic Poetry: Little Pills of Comfort. So I want to find out which poems they like best – because – here’s a little secret – I want to write another one just for them!

I value all the feedback I get and every day I am more and more humbled at the effect my writing has had on people of all ages – young and not so young.

Please feel free to have a look at the page – there is more on the way from local schools who are currently reading my books. I await with bated breath!

KITTY’S WEBSITE:    http://www.kittyclairmont.com/index.asp?pageid=603505

Arty Tardy  Little Pills of Comfort

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!