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Chris White - Piles of Poems and Oodles of Doodles Workshop

Chris White, author, illustrator and poet ran a workshop at The Grammar School at Leeds in the library which was broadcast live via Zoom to over 2000 pupils from 35 primary schools in Yorkshire to classrooms and homes, if they were still online learning.  Chris had a Year 5 class from GSAL Primary as his live audience. Pupils contributed to create a unique animal and then had a go at drawing their own and writing poems.


To share excellent literary experiences with other primary schools in a convenient and accessible way.

To increase engagement with local primary schools.

To provide engaging and educational added value to school day for primary pupils. 

Critical factors for success: 




Beneficiaries: Pupils who attended. Wider community - the recording was shared with other schools who were unable to attend and via GSAL Presents with children in the wider community.


Authors abroad has provided authors for in person events for GSAL pre-pandemic. 

GSAL identified the opportunity and outsourced the filming so multiple cameras could be used. This event replicated a previous one, Marty Jopson's Zap! Show in November 2020.



Event planning and management.

Zoom webinar package required by host school (GSAL).

Videographer required for mulitple camera angles.

Schools need access to Zoom/internet in the classroom. One device and whiteboard per classroom.

Teachers required in the class to supervise and co-ordinate questions and responses to the author.

45 minutes in length.

GSAL funded the event. 



Qualitative: positive feedback by email, tweets and poems written by the participants received post-event.

Quantitative: Attendance remained constant for duration of event. 35+ schools. 2000 pupils.

Indirect benefit of raising awareness of GSAL for Year 7 entry.

Pupil Involvement

35 schools took part; 2 were independent.

Pupils Y3 to 6.

Mixed gender.


A single event but part of GSAL Presents school outreach programme. 

Events are held approx every 3 months. The next one is scheduled for 5 May for Reception/Year 1 pupils.

Post pandemic we will continue to run virtual events as we can make a bigger impact, reach more pupils in addition to inviting pupils to GSAL.