About Me

In the classroom

I’m a writer, poet, performer and musician. My work is funny, fast-moving, hip, accessible, rhythmic and relevant. I have run many workshops in all sorts of schools, prisons, youth centres – even on a bus! In 2008 I was poet for Brent and ran workshops in the New Wembley Stadium. Over many years I have run workshops with Michael Rosen and many other acclaimed creative writing leaders. I have been poet in residence at numerous primary and secondary schools. I have worked closely with Creative Partnerships, undergoing their ‘Agent of change programme’ and also their ‘artists in reflective conversations’ programmes. I bring to the classroom my real writing techniques, sharing the ideas that I use as a real writer. Drawing and modelling my workshops on my own poems, helping children and young people bring alive their own experiences and lives. I believe in making my workshops fun and accessible to all, I am often called in to be a positive role model for boys. Many of the workshops/residencies run by me have lead to the publishing of some wonderful school anthologies. please feel free to contact me about these and any specific aims you have. In 2012 I ran a poetry workshop in the Arsenal Stadium which lead to a performance in the Dressing Room!

“His high quality performance skills means he is particulary adept at engaging the focus and attention of the class. His dynamism and enthusiasm means he has a great capacity to entertain and isnpire young learners. His ability to help draw on their own interests when writing, has lead to the production of brilliantly original and thoughtful pieces of poetry”.

Em Fairburn Kings Cross Academy, London.

“Paul did a whole school assembly and a series of creative writing and poetry workshops with children from all year groups as part of our book week. The children were instantly engaged by Paul’s enthusiastic delivery and his poetry had the children laughing, thinking and performing like true poets. The workshops were fun and lively: The teachers from Reception class up to Year 6 felt that Paul really connected with their classes and he had them producing fantastic outcomes in a very short space of time. As a result from Paul’s input I had children from my own class writing (in their own time at home) and bringing in their own, creative free verse poetry to show to me and to perform to the class. I would thoroughly recommend Paul to any school – he is highly engaging, adaptable, creative and a very very nice man”.

Diarmuid Skehan Deputy Head/YR 6 Teacher St Boniface R.C. Primary School, South London.
Paul inspires 90 year 4 pupils
@ Holbeach Primary

“Every Teacher loved his work and laughed along with the pupils. Children were inspired to write their own poems using clever devices provided by Paul. He was equally inspiring for all age groups and his work was accessible to all children. Not only did he perform but he listened to the children too.”

Helen Ham Literacy Coordinator, William Patten School, London.

“His energetic, humorous style and the way he was able to slip effortlessly from poem to anecdote to another poem had his audience from pre-prep children to teachers transfixed…Paul worked with years 6,7,8 and 9 throughout the day. he was very good at judging what type of material should be covered in the workshop. He was able to involve all the pupils in the process of writing poems, taking on and refining their ideas…The pupils were really inspired by Paul and produced some great work.”

Laura Andrade, Duke of Kent School. Surrey

“I just wanted to say how much the children enjoyed your visit today. Staff and children alike were involved and excited by your storytelling and poems! Each workshop was pitched at the correct level for the children from Nursery up and they were screaming with laughter and enjoyment all the way through! They loved every minute! Many thanks”.

Karlie Walsh KS1 co-ordinator Assistant head, Morden Mount Primary, Lewisham London
Paul & Michael Rosen on stage
with yr 5 pupils

Re. Visit to The Skinners’ School, Tunbridge Wells – Dear Mr. Lyalls

Following your recent visit to The Skinners’ School on September 27th, 2009, I was keen to write to thank you for such an engaging and stimulating experience. It is clear in my mind that our students have greatly benefited from the sessions that you ran.

As I mentioned to you at the time, our KS3 students were looking for inspiration and confidence to aid them in the completion of an entry to this year’s Young Writers’ Poetry competition. Following your visit, in our boys, I have noticed a clear development of confidence and a consideration of alternative stylistic and thematic ideas in their poetry writing – I have every confidence these will be well received by the judges!

As a personal reflection, I was particularly impressed with the way you were able to adapt your delivery, material and activities for each class and age group. Engaging both Year 7 and Year 12 students alike, you consistently maintained your unique, fresh and personable style of delivery. With just the right blend of recitals, recollections, writing and speaking & listening based tasks, it is clear in my mind that you whipped up a very high level of enthusiasm in all our boys.

I have no hesitation in recommending you to other schools, and very much look forward to seeing you again next year.
Yours sincerely Chris Johnson Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator, English

Hi Paul, Just wanted to say a huge thank you for coming into our school a few weeks back. The staff and children have given me some excellent feedback regarding your workshops and said that the children were really motivated and did lots of follow up work afterwards. I’d love to work with you in key Stage 2.

Ms Wilson, Pyrford Primary, Sussex, March 2013

‘Paul went down a storm with the performance. I am told that great work was produced and Paul is happy to read these when completed. We shared the performance with ICT and Science staff so the literacy bit was also pushed school wide. Staff loved their “cover” lesson! The sessions Raised the profile of boys literacy esp. He was an excellent role model for them. Paul’s relaxed manner, the way he engaged them, because he has huge charisma and charm-all added to the enjoyment. New HOE/AHOE may approach you with regard to booking Paul for 09 NPD. Paul was incredibly positive about the children and staff; he was really understanding about our literacy crisis and knew almost all the writers and poets we have had at ETC. His performance was spot on and the workshops highly praised by the staff who worked with the students’.

Eastbourne Technical College – re National Poetry Day extravaganza!
150 year 7s and then 2 workshops for 20 students
Pennie ETC Head of Literacy