I’ve spent the last three days as one of the guest speakers at a primary school on the other side of town. It was a festival celebrating the ocean. I was doing storywriting workshops with groups of children, each group containing all primary ages from prep to year 6 students.

Speakers/presenters included a soundscape artist, a dancer, a paper sculptor, an environmental artist, specialists in ocean ecology and conservation. There were also puppet-making sessions and cooking activities. Music performances happened in the breaks and there was an ice sculpted dolphin and a life-size inflatable whale.

Intense, exhilarating, exhausting. An enormous organisational challenge for the school coordinating everything, but it seemed to go swimmingly (sorry).

The festival finished with a ‘closing ceremony’ where many of the workshop activities were shared with the greater school body. It was really interesting to see how others worked with the children and to see other approaches to telling the ‘story’ of the ocean.

Fantastic stuff. I used my soon-to-be-released ‘There Was An Old Sailor’ in the workshops as well as my bollard Sailor.

I also managed to slip in a couple of readings of ‘Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate’. Both books are in their ‘undressed’ state, but the children didn’t seem to mind too much.

Great fun.