Education

I run poetry workshops in schools (primary and junior schools, secondary schools, special schools) colleges, through art education and with adults (writing groups, libraries etc). If you are interested in organising a poetry workshop or booking me please contact me at: mail@ashdickinson.com or fill out the form on my contact page. I am happy to provide details of costs and potential lesson plans, and i can also tailor a workshop to any ideas you may wish to explore. I am on a crusade to make poetry accessible and relevant, to engage and enthuse, and to encourage students to have fun with words and language.

I have been invited to showcase my workshops at secondary school heads of English conferences in Hertfordshire, Devon, Cheshire, Hull and to the Rugby Group; my poetry workshops were a case study in the Bloomsbury published classroom aid, ‘Making Poetry Happen'(2015). I have been flown abroad to run poetry workshops (Spain, Jordan, Czech Republic) and I am one of the most in-demand and repeatedly booked poets in education. But don’t take my word for it…

SCHOOL TESTIMONIALS


“Ash was an inspiration to staff and pupils alike. I will certainly be inviting Ash back- attitudes towards poetry need a good shake-up and Ash is the man for the job” – Reigate Grammar, Surrey


“What’s great about Ash is that he gets kids and he gets poetry. If you want a visiting poet that can entertain, educate and inspire all in one quirky package- get Ash!”
– Bradon Forest School, Wiltshire


“Ash is great working in an educational environment. The kids think he’s cool, we all love his poetry and he’s really flexible and proactive. We intend having him back for a third straight year- if he’s available!”
– St Mary’s Catholic School, Hertfordshire


“Ash’s workshops were pitched perfectly for our youngest learners and left even our Foundation children in awe! Our Year 1 and Year 2 loved his quirky raps, poems and jokes and he left them inspired and confident to give writing and performing poetry a go. Days later we’re still all talking about him!”
– Glastonbury Thorn Primary, Buckinghamshire


“We invited Ash to help revise multicultural poetry. Boring? Ash wasn’t. He lead the students into subtle relationships with the poems, was a natural teacher and had an excellent rapport with the students.”
– Broadland High School, Norfolk


“I would heartily recommend Ash to any Special School- he has a special talent and a generous attitude; the students really warmed to him. The morning assembly was incredible- I’ve never seen a stampede or witnessed a wave of excitement spread across the assembly hall in quite that way!”
– Falconer Special School, Hertfordshire


“Ash was inspirational- he has the ability to bring words to life. His poetry was both thought-provoking and humorous and he really caught the attention of the pupils. They thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and the opportunity to put forward their own ideas. I have already recommended Ash to a couple of schools back in the UK.”
International Community School, Amman, Jordan


“It is amazing what new ideas, new perspectives and a new face can do to really change what we think about poetry. I felt that Ash’s workshops enlivened not only the pupils approach and understanding of poetry, but teachers’ too. His encouragement, energy and engagement inspired us all.”
– Sandbach High School for Girls, Cheshire


“What’s startling about Ash is the way he instantly engages an audience of teenagers and makes poetry cool. His energy wasn’t just in his own presentation, he engaged with the writing groups he set up and encouraged individual performance. Our students talked about him and poetry for days afterwards”
– Eyemouth High School, Eyemouth


“Ash worked with Year 1 to 6 following a recommendation from my daughter who’d raved about his time at her school! The children (and staff!) loved every moment. As one Year 1 child said: “Can he come every day?” A fantastic day which thoroughly engaged all our children in poetry writing.”
– Sutton on Sea Primary, Lincolnshire


“Ash delved into the subconscious of our eager students to help them lift their words from the page and express them through colour and emotion. His witty performances and sassy style were a force to be reckoned with, and throughly enjoyed by staff and students alike!”
– King’s College, Alicante, Spain


“It isn’t easy to convince a hall full of 9-12 year olds that poetry is cool, but somehow Ash Dickinson managed it. Through his high energy performance poetry and genuine empathy with the kids, Ash really enthused the pupils to get involved and have a go at writing their own poems. He knows exactly what is going to appeal to kids and they know their ideas are respected and taken seriously. Ash spent three hours at our school and managed to engage and enthral us all for the whole time he was there, generating a genuine enthusiasm, which we have been able to tap into in our lessons. Where he gets his energy from I do not know! We can’t wait for Ash to come back and inspire us again”
– St Margaret’s School, Hertfordshire


“Ash was funny, engaging, relevant and worked really with the P5-P7 pupils. He was very encouraging and motivating, his workshop was fast-paced and really grasped the pupils’ attention! A lot achieved in a short space of time!”
– Castleton Primary, Glasgow


“Ash was a source of energy, delight and inspiration for our children. His assembly was throughly entertaining, varied and interesting and his workshops made poetry exciting and accessible for all. We will definitely be asking him to make a return visit”
– Cringleford Primary, Norfolk


“Ash Dickinson came into our school with a unique burst of energy and talent that wowed both teachers and students alike. Refreshingly unconventional and a brilliant poet, Ash’s writing exercises invited participation and enthusiasm from even the most quiet of students, boosting their confidence. A wonderful day of poetry and performance”
– St Leonard’s, Fife


“Ash was an inspiration to our pupils- it was a heart-warming experience and one that will live in the memories of those that took part for a long time to come. If you want to make poetry cool, Ash is your man”
– Oakmeeds Community College, West Sussex


“Ash was a pleasure to work with. The students were inspired by his work and thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. If you are looking for a poet who can enthuse and motivate students to write, play with language and perform in front of others, book him soon before the waiting list gets too long!”
– Treviglas Community College, Cornwall


“Ash is engaging, inspirational and very ‘cool’! His energy and enthusiasm for poetry gripped our pupils; to get even the most reluctant writing poetry and enthusing about it is phenomenal. Ash had an instant rapport with the pupils encouraging them to think out of the box. I thoroughly recommend Ash to any school, he brings poetry to life and passes on his enthusiasm to all!”
– Forres Academy, Moray


“Ash is all his website promises and more! After giving a lively performance in Assembly to 600 pupils and staff, he worked throughout the day with tireless patience and generosity, inspiring and encouraging our Year 7 pupils. We would thoroughly recommend him as a visiting speaker/workshop leader”
– Tormead School, Surrey


“The workshops sessions with Ash left the children realising that poetry is not boring and uninteresting but COOL! This was obvious in the work the children produced later in the day. Brilliant!”
– Bruntsfield Primary, Edinburgh


“Ash inspired us poetically from an assembly through a day or workshops. He delivered a balance between inspiration and structure. He had a range of activities to get students started, adjusting his material to suit the group and treated students from a wide range of backgrounds with respect and enthusiasm”
– International Community School, London


“Ash galvanised our Year 11 classes, he engaged them immediately. His performance was electrifying; he was witty and charming and also surprised us by his ability to analyse the poems which our pupils are studying for GCSE English in a technical sense. The group work which he set up was particularly effective – we will definitely book him again”
– Abbey College, Cambridgeshire


“The assembly was brilliant, the kids’ laughing and clapping at the excellent delivery of Ash’s entertaining and clever poetry. The children worked diligently on ‘space’ poetry under Ash’s inspirational guidance. One girl glowed with pride about her beautiful poem and overcame nerves to perform it, with Ash’s enthusiasm and encouragement. Ash was excellent at making them believe they could do it and celebrating their successes with them. Do not hesitate to invite him into your school”
– St Paul’s Primary, Warwickshire


“Ash hit Nova Hreod on turbo power, sweeping our students and staff along with him into the depths and delirium of words and poetry. Ash’s natural ability to relate to the students at their level was rewarded with students enthusiastically creating lines of poetry and strings of words. The comment “love to do something like this again” has been ricocheting around the College”
– Nova Hreod College, Wiltshire


“Ash brought his enthusiasm to our Year 6 pupils (and teachers!) leaving them with a newly discovered passion for poetry. His workshops truly engaged the pupils- the pride they took in performing finished poems was wonderful to see and I believe many have developed an interest in poetry that will stay with them”
– Two Mile Ash School, Buckinghamshire


“Ash’s readings and spin-off activities kept all the students, from years 7 through to 13- and indeed the teachers too!- totally engaged. Living proof that poetry is accessible, thriving and above all, can be fun! A thoroughly enjoyable and valuable experience which we will definitely repeat. Highly recommended”
– Lincoln Christs Hospital School, Lincolnshire


“The pupils were transfixed throughout the session and it was exciting for me to witness and enjoy the creativity that was overflowing in the room. A great success”
– Wallace High School, Stirling


“Ash did a fantastic job- students who find poetry difficult to access were instantly engaged and experimented for themselves. I was impressed that his approach worked across the range of ages and abilities. We will be in touch soon to book a return visit!”
– Budmouth Technology College, Dorset


“Ash performed funny and exciting poems which really captured the children’s imagination. As a result, they were inspired to write their own poetry. Ash provided excellent value for money- a full day of super workshops that catered for different age groups, at a very reasonable price. We would hihgly recommend him for a primary school visit
-Westwoodside Primary, Lincolnshirer


“Working with Ash was inspirational and exciting. So many children think poetry is boring and conventional; Ash breathed new life and excitement into it and both our students and the primary pupils had the time of their lives. Ash’s performances, humour and boundless creativity made the two days a joy!”
– Newland School for Girls, East Yorkshire


“Ash’s passion for poetry was evident throughout and the activities he incorporated made a fantastic foundation for further work in class. My Year 5 pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
– Belmont School, Middlesex


“Converting 400 students to poetry really can really feel like mission impossible. It was great to see our Year 11 students asking questions about poetry and have our Year 8 students laughing and giggling at Ash’s great wordplay. Mission accomplished!”
– Magnus School, Nottinghamshire


“Our children were inspired and thoroughly motivated to write some amazing pieces of poetry. The session with Ash was upbeat, fun and accessible for everyone.”
– Sidmouth Primary School, East Yorkshire


“Clearly comfortable working with young people, Ash’s infectious enthusiasm had all our students, regardless of age, laughing, composing and performing- some even wanted to share their creativity in assembly the following day!”
– Rudheath Community High School, Cheshire


“Ash’s visit was a huge success. His witty and refreshing approach to poetry inspired even the most cynical among our students and unearthed some real creative talent. We will certainly be booking him to visit us again!”
– All Saints School, North Yorkshire


“Our students were left with lots of inspiration following Ash’s visit and a new perspective towards approaching poetry. Importantly, many of our students who normally put up barriers to poetry went away after Ash’s visit and wrote some truly fantastic verse!”
– Bromfords School, Essex


“Bursting with energy and enthusiasm, Ash inspired our children from Reception to Year 6. Each session was carefully crafted to engage and challenge each year group. His poetry was witty, fun and thought-provoking and he mesmerised from the outset. Highly recommended.”
– Caversham Primary, Berkshire


“Sceptics were won over quickly by the energy and rhythms of Ash’s performance. He convinced all present that poetry need not be dry, academic study but can provide lively, amusing entertainment. He persuaded the audience that they too might succumb to the magic of poetry and find their lives transformed for the better”
– Stowe School, Buckinghamshire


“Ash was reliable, organised and brought his and the students’ poetry to life in a way that is hard for teachers to do. He tailored his sessions to our needs and brought out the best in our students. He was great to work with.”
– Redhill School, Nottinghamshire


“The creative work inspired by Ash’s visit showed a liveliness and sense of audience which students wouldn’t have used without seeing Ash perform. Ash’s visit was a highlight of the term and students are still talking about it. We would most definitely invite him back again”
– William Farr School, Lincolnshire


“Ash was incredible- the pupils were inspired, his delivery was very entertaining and we’ve unearthed some unlikely but gifted poets amongst our Year 9 pupils!”
– Priory Academy, Lincolnshire


“Our students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed Ash’s visit! His performances were excellent and the students were fully engaged. Ash provided them with the confidence and enthusiasm to write their own masterpieces in lively workshop sessions – a real buzz! We’re definitely looking forward to a repeat performance!”
– Hertswood School, Hertfordshire


“Ash was great; the students responded to him warmly and found his performance engaging and funny. They found the workshop inspiring and it gave them a fresh perspective on poetry. Highly recommended”
– High Storrs, South Yorkshire


“Ash Dickinson delivered a highly entertaining and educational workshop, including performances of his own poems. Ash introduced the startled (and amused!) Year 8s to the beauty of language, resulting in some great original poetry from the pupils”
– School Newsletter, Clere School, Berkshire


“Ash was a breath of fresh air. His poetry was fantastic and the workshops were enjoyed by pupils and staff alike. We can’t wait for a return visit”
– Long Stretton High School, Norfolk


“Ash’s poems and activities fed into our work on rhythm, rhyme and repetition perfectly. Everyone felt comfortable, and the most unlikely of students got up to perform. A fun, funny and diverting day!”
– Samworth Enterprise Academy, Leicestershire


“Ash really had the wow factor with our students. Pacy, cunning and punning, students were talking about his performance for days afterwards. He changed a lot of students’ perceptions and left many keen to have a go themselves”
– Tytherington High School, Cheshire


“There has been a lot of very positive, enthusiastic feedback from Years 7 and 10, the pupils really enjoyed the day, and the teachers too! We would certainly hope to have Ash back in the future”
– Wetherby High School, West Yorkshire


“It was a pleasure to have Ash into the school. I certainly don’t think any of the students think poetry is boring anymore!”
– Ranelagh School, Berkshire


“Ash visited our school and worked with our Year 7s. It was a really fun and productive day. The pupils were engaged and students of all abilities produced some truly excellent writing”
– The Foulstone School, South Yorkshire


“Ash entertained and inspired our Year 8 and 9 pupils all morning with anecdotes about poetry writing interspersed with striking performances of his own poetry”
– Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, Bristol


“Since Ash Dickinson came to our school, I have developed a passion for poetry. Poetry is awesome. I can get out my feelings about life, family, politics and it’s so good for writing lyrics. Ash Dickinson is my saviour”
– an online blog


“My son came home utterly enthused and excited about poetry- I think what you are doing is fantastic- more power to you and keep up the great work”
– Parent (posted to Facebook)


“Today was amazing, your poetry was amazing”
– Student, Salisbury High School, Wiltshire (posted to Facebook)


“Your poetry was amazing, and funny! I think your trip to my school was brilliant, and you might like to know I have started writing poetry- I’ve written 2 already! You are a true inspiration!”
– Student, Thurston Community College, Suffolk (posted to Facebook)


“Thanks for coming to BGS, love your poetry, you think you’ll be able to come back next year? You were truly great 🙂
– Student, Bradford Grammar School, West Yorkshire (posted to Facebook)


“Since you visited a local school, my daughter has been writing poems constantly. This is what is missing in modern education…FUN. Thank you for bringing her creative side out”
– Parent (posted to Facebook)


“You made me rethink what I thought about poetry- the way you do it makes it fun”
– Student (posted to Facebook)


“Amazing…your poems were unique and interesting…I’ve never met a funny poet before!”
– Student, International Community School, Amman, Jordan


“You came to my school last week. I thought you were really inspirational! I loved listening to your poetry!”
– Student, William Farr (posted to Myspace)


“I didn’t really enjoy poems before today but now that I have learned a new way of writing and listening to them they sound so much more interesting to me!”
– Student, The Wildern School, Hampshire (posted to Facebook)


“I thought you were ace…you inspired…you are a bit of a genius if you don’t mind me saying so”
– Student, Lincoln Christs Hospital School (posted to Myspace)


“You were so good I couldn’t believe it”
– Student, Selston Arts College, Nottinghamshire (emailed to my website)


“You’re amazing, I love your poems”
– Student, Knights Templar School, Hertfordshire (posted to Facebook)


“I never knew poetry could be so interesting!”
– Student, Abbot’s Hill School, Hertfordshire (emailed to my website)


“Thank you for the great poetry workshop you organised for us on Monday, it was amazing. It inspired us all to do a lot more poetry”
– Student, Settle Middle School, North Yorkshire (emailed to my website)


“I would just like to thank you for your help. I didn’t think I could write poems but I was really proud of my end result.”
– Student, Peele Community College, Lincolnshire (posted to Facebook)


“You are by far my favourite poet”
– Student (posted to Facebook)


“Ash, you’re so funny and cool, I love your poems”
– Student, Robert Pattinson School, Lincolnshire (posted to Facebook)


“Hi, just writing to say how much I enjoyed the poetry lesson at the Minster School. I thought your poems were great. I don’t usually like poetry but your lesson was fun.”
– Student, Minster School, Nottinghamshire (emailed to my website)


“I really enjoyed it when you came to my school the other day, you are a really good poet”
– Student, Penryn College, Cornwall (posted to Facebook)


“I saw this guy perform at Clevedon sixth form and he was top notch”
– Student, Clevedon School, Somerset (Myspace comment)


“Thanks so much for coming. I have never been a big fan of poetry but you have inspired me to write it now. Fab!”
– Student, Priory Academy, Lincolnshire (emailed to my website)