Jennifer came to our school in September 2018. Her presentation to the whole of KS2 was thoroughly engaging and entertaining. Years 4 and 6 received specially tailored writing workshops that got our pupils excited about writing. The Year 6 workshop, in particular, was an innovative look at creating settings and narrative. Many of our pupils took their writing home, feeling incredibly inspired to continue. A large number of our families bought copies of Jennifer’s books for signing.
Jennifer’s visit created a huge buzz around reading and writing in the school, the effects of which are still being felt. Alex Sparrow books are still being devoured, passed around and enjoyed. Jennifer had a hugely positive impact on our school’s reading for pleasure policy and I would thoroughly recommend a visit from her.
Bruce McInnes - Lansdowne Primary
It was a treat to have Jennifer join us for the day at Russell Scott. She delivered four workshops to KS2 classes, signed a stack of books, and delivered a whole-school assembly. And, despite her busy schedule, she was more than happy to chat with the (many, giddy) children that surrounded her after assembly or wanted to chat in the corridors - whether they wanted to tell her about their favourite books, chat about hedgehogs, or provide her with their ideas about what Alex Sparrow should do next!
Jennifer’s whole-school assembly, which celebrated the values of creativity, imagination and resilience, was brilliantly pitched, and every child was able to take something from it. Perhaps the most interesting and inspiring parts of her talk were about the challenges and tribulations involved in the process of getting a book to publication; her honesty and candour about the pains of the editing and drafting process, and her explanation of the levels of determination it took to see it through, really stuck with the pupils. Several weeks on from her visit, pupils and staff are still regularly referencing her talk when going through the re-drafting process with their own writing.
Likewise, Jennifer’s creative writing workshops were well-received by both teachers and pupils, with our Year 4, 5 and 6 classes producing some exceptionally interesting pieces of writing. Crocodiles made from snot, anthropomorphic spray-paint cans and hedgehog-dog hybrids were just some of the wild imaginings that Jennifer’s workshops inspired!
Jennifer was a friendly, articulate and inspiring visitor who created a real buzz throughout school. If you’re looking for an author visit that works for your whole school, then I don’t think you could do much better!
Joe Henthorn - Russell Scott
Jennifer's visit to our school was truly inspiring. She provided an interesting insight into the role of an author and raised the profile of reading. More of our children now want to create their own stories and recognise the resilience needed in the writing process.
Mr Jon Hadley - Rood End Primary School
Jennifer visited our school recently and really brought the children's reading to life. I have received fantastic feedback from the other members of staff about the assembly, which helped children to imagine being a professional author, and included lots of audience participation! She was so encouraging when talking to individual children, asking them all to send her their stories and giving them a real purpose for their writing, and was so generous with her time and attention. I have bumped into quite a few children reading the books as they are walking along the corridor as they really can't put them down. Thank you so much Jennifer it was a lovely day.
Joanne Mason - Baguley Hall Primary School
We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer into our school. She has a warmth and friendliness about her that is apparent from the moment you meet her. She is passionate about writing and her assembly was inspirational for the whole school. She talked openly about what it takes to become an author and the battles that you have to face. The children adored her and responded superbly to her workshops. She had time for everyone and has made a real impact on all the staff and children she came into contact with. Thank you Jennifer
Mr Orchard - Kates Hill Primary School
It was wonderful to welcome Jennifer to our school this year. From the moment she arrived, her enthusiasm and warmth resonated through our school and her presence was a real 'awe and wonder' moment for our children. They were so excited to meet a 'real life' author and her stories of her own perserverance and resilience were a real inspiration for those who would love to become an author in the future. Our pupils loved the workshops and have been inspired to write their own stories and develop their own characters after having worked with Jennifer, which is lovely to see.
Thank you for being so kind, patient and inspirational Jennifer.
Mrs Ashton , Assistant Headteacher - Fairfield Primary School
Jennifer visited our school recently. Her assembly / book talk was funny and engaging. Her workshops were excellent and the children produced some really good work. It was a great day that the children will remember for a long time. Thank you!
Simon Hawley, Headteacher - Colham Manor Primary School
Jennifer’s recent visit to our two campuses has been a huge success. Her wonderful author talks and class-based story writing workshops have inspired our pupils to be creative and begin writing their own stories to enter into the 500 Words competition. Organising dates and other elements was easy to do as Jennifer is very easy to work with and a lovely person in general. The children loved meeting Jennifer, asking her questions about her work and her fantastic story along with receiving personalised copies of The Big Stink. She enthusiastically spoke to each child individually with care and interest, leaving the children buzzing about her. We will definitely be inviting her back to our school again once Furry Fury comes out! Thank you, Jennifer!
Gabriella Ferrufino - Claycots School Partnership
We had the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer to our school for our end of year Speech Day and what a fabulous day it was! From the moment she entered the school she exuded warmth and enthusiasm towards the children and her passion for reading and books was clear.
In the morning she spoke to the whole school about Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink. This was followed by a series of workshops with different age groups. The pupils liked finding out about how to become an author and were totally engaged by her talk. In particular they loved seeing her props and thinking up their own superheroes - especially ones with stinky or slightly gross superpowers. Jennifer provided all of the resources and was well prepared for the activities. She responded well to the pupils’ questions and was not phased by some of the funnier comments from our younger members!
In the afternoon Jennifer agreed to present the awards to our year 6 leavers and other prize winners during our final assembly. Once again her friendliness and connection with the children was evident and whilst she addressed the whole school (and their families) she certainly engaged the whole audience. A number of parents commented on how refreshing it was to have someone at Speech Day who actually spoke to the children, made connections with them and was clearly passionate about their work.
We had pre-ordered a number of books and Jennifer ensured that these arrived promptly and she had personalized them all. She also carried out a small book signing on the day which gave some of the staff a chance to talk to her too. All in all it was the most fabulous end to a very busy term and for me it was certainly a highlight of the year. The children were barely out of the school gates before they were all reading the Big Stink and I can’t wait to hear their reviews when we return in September. Thank you for everything you did Jennifer; I am sure that we will remain in touch for future projects and I am confident that you inspired many of our pupils to read and write over the holidays.
Amy Beck - Prep 4 teacher Magdalene House, Wisbech Grammar School
Thank you Jennifer, for visiting Grange Primary school. The two assemblies that you gave, one to KS1 and the other to KS2, were utterly engaging and breath-taking. When asked about the experience, many of the children replied that she made becoming an author, real and possible. The idea that you were a normal person, who liked Star Wars and tried for years to realise your dream, was an inspiration to our children. Children in KS1 created hats for Alex which fed into their maths and art topic of geometry, texture and materials.
The workshops were a perfect stimulus for the creative writing that stemmed from it. It was beneficial to have the workshops as the children were able to work with you in a class group. Your enthusiasm was infectious and as a result, children in two of the three classes wrote stories as a direct consequence of our workshop. The boys in my class were asking if they could write the story! Of course I obliged, since I was so thrilled by the vim and vigour.
The children really loved the book signing part of your day. Many children commented that they felt special and lucky to have a personalised book from an author they had met and started to know. It was delightful to see the warmth with which they had embraced you and your ideas. Many have been ‘caught reading’ your books walking around the corridors and lots of children have pledged to buy your new book.
Thank you so much for visiting Grange Primary school. It was truly memorable and has helped the school to foster a ‘love of reading’ throughout the school.
Mrs Monique Johnson - Year 4 Class Teacher - British Values and Pupil Voice Lead - Grange Primary School
Jennifer Killick visited our school on World Book Day, delivering an interactive assembly and follow-up workshops which delighted and enthused our children. Jennifer took the children on a journey, detailing how she came up with her characters, how her story's plot lines were developed and the struggles she encountered along the way to becoming a successful author. Her message to our children is that writing takes courage, dedication and perseverance, but can be hugely rewarding.
Elaine D'Souza - Headteacher, Hermitage Primary School
We were lucky enough to welcome Jennifer Killick to Shepherd Primary School for the day on Monday 19th June. Jennifer's whole school assembly was totally inspiring as she (honestly!) explained how she became an author and where the ideas for her debut novel 'Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink' came from. The children (and staff!) were all enthralled as she spoke animatedly to her audience, sharing out some top tips to anyone keen to become a writer too. During her visit, Jennifer worked with every Key Stage 2 class, carrying out highly-organised workshops in which the children were encouraged to 'become' authors and plan their own story characters. The children responded really well and Jennifer really took the time to listen to each child's opinion and ideas.
Shepherd Primary School
We had a fantastic day with Jennifer Killick. We found her assembly to be interesting and engaging. She pitched her talk appropriately for the children including her long road to being published. This was inspiring but also humorous!
She followed the assembly with well considered workshops. Jennifer was very personable and shared that these had been her own year 6 classrooms! She was well prepared with all the resources needed and the children were motivated throughout. Jennifer took the time to speak with each child individually about their ideas, during the workshop. The children were inspired to use their ideas in further English lessons to create their own stories.
Hillingdon Primary School