I've spent a lot of time working in schools throughout my life and they're still my favourite places to work. As well as visiting schools I deliver teacher training on behalf of The Prince's Teaching Trust and The Roundhouse in London. I also offer creative writing workshops at a range of music festivals in the summer.
What does a day in school look like?
Action packed and interactive, my sessions are designed to get the most out of your students. I like to start the day with an assembly, followed by a series of workshops with class-sized groups. Sometime Is work with larger groups, sometimes I work with one group for an entire day; it depends on the needs of the school. What stays the same is the quality of the sessions. I pride myself on delivering the best workshops you’ll see, and my repeat (and international) bookings I hope reflects this.
‘So often with poetry there is a huge void between ‘having to’ and ‘wanting to’ study it, but Mark bridges that gap effortlessly. The day was a huge success and the girls left the session having had their perceptions about poetry changed.
Daniel Elsworth, Head of English, Elsmore Girls' School
‘I can’t praise Mark’s workshop with our KS4 pupils enough. From his enthusiastic introduction to his energetic performance to the way in which he engaged and enthralled, Mark held our bunch of usually disaffected youngsters-all boys- for the whole session. The pupils listened attentively to his poetry and, for once, readily put pen to paper under his guidance. We would jump at the chance to have him back in the future.’
Sophie Ullmore, Head of Literacy at South Lewisham Pru
‘Mark was brilliant, the children were inspired to write – children we never expected. I will be recommending Mark at the English Co-Ordinator meeting, he was such an inspiration.’
Mrs Arling, Literacy Co-Ordinator at Werrington Primary School
‘Mark worked with a group of Year 7 students and a group of Year 9 students. The class teachers joined each session but other members of staff, who were free, went along too – simply because they were so keen to hear Mark. They were not disappointed! Mark was really entertaining. At the end of each session, both staff and students were enthusiastic, with many students staying behind to chat to Mark. Some students had worked with Mark at their primary school and eagerly reminisced about the writing that they had done together there. I think it would be true to say that staff and students alike would welcome a return visit.’
Mandy Barfoot, Head of English at the Stanground Academy
'Thank you so much for coming in! The students (and all of the English department) absolutely loved it- they haven't stopped talking about it since. Also, the school's entry for World Book day is now a rap poem and you are mentioned a few times in it! All that staff involved had a really great day too and it was just really lovely to be creative with the kids. We would love for you to come back some time please!'
Bethany Sealey, Head of English at Brine Leas School in Nantwich
My daily rate is £500 plus travel costs, and my half day rate is £350 plus travel. If the school is over an hour and a half's drive from my address (PE1 4DP), then I'll also need a hotel room for the night before.
I also deliver school workshops with my good friend (and professional poet), Ross Sutherland. Ross is an internationally touring artist with three collections of poetry and several award winning Spoken Word shows under his belt. When working together we're able to take on more ambitious projects with larger groups (up to an entire year group) over the course of a day. Ross will even dance, should the students ever refuse to write anything (TBC). Our combined fee for a day in school is £1000 (plus travel costs).
I also offer a range of CPD sessions that I've developed to assist teachers via The Prince's Teaching Trust. These CPD sessions focus on innovate approaches to poetry teaching, as well as ways to develop a more creative culture within the school. If you're interested in me delivering some CPD for your English department feel free to hit me up via the contact tab.