Polly's background is in children's education. Originally training as a primary school teacher she made a transition to focussing her career on working within the field of Special Educational Needs - specifically teaching children and young people that were permanently excluded from their mainstream schools.
Polly managed a team of Primary Behaviour Support Specialists, working with over 90 primary schools to support children with a wide range of differing social, emotional and behavioural needs, before taking a break to parent her two young daughters. It was through Polly's experiences of working with children and young people exhibiting complex emotional and behavioural difficulties that she developed a strong desire to produce a piece of fun, age appropriate literature focusing on self esteem and identity.
She was hopeful that her first publication: "Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and their Troublesome Transformation'' might be used as an aid to promote discussion with children about feelings of self worth, self esteem, diversity, and possibly as a school resource to support both guided reading and the teaching of PSHE/SMSC. Polly is now fulfilling her wish and regularly visits schools and educational settings to carry out author led activities and talks with these themes strongly at the forefront.
Alongside her author pursuits Polly works as a freelance SEN Mediator, resolving conflict between parents, schools and Local Authorities. She also blogs about adventures in the life of a children's author and from time to time she also blogs for the Huffington Post.
"We were very lucky to have Polly Walker, Author of 'Worm, Slug, Maggot & Leech and their Troublesome Transformation!' come to our School, Victoria Nursery and Infant School, in Berkhamsted onMonday 9th March as part of our Book Week. Polly Walker is a local author who has considerable experience in the field of education. Her book tackles the sensitive topic of self-image and impact on self-esteem. Polly impressed the children with her thought provoking story and the beautiful illustrations of her book. She spent half an hour with each one of our classes, talking to the children and reading her delightful story. Her book provided the vehicle to talk about some tricky self-esteem issues. I look forward to reading Polly’s future publications and hope she tackles more of these sensitive issues for children. I would recommend her as an excellent public speaker with a warm and engaging style. We hope she can visit our school again next year! Thank you Polly!"– Mrs Jenny McEntee, Reception Teacher and SLT, Victoria C of E Infant and Nursery School
"The children of Dundale Primary school thoroughly enjoyed their author visit. Polly Walker shared her inspiring story 'Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech.' It fits beautifully into the PSHE curriculum and helps to promote confidence and self esteem. The main theme being 'you are beautiful just the way you are' supports teachers with this increasingly challenging concept. Polly answered questions about her book and the exciting life of being an author. She encouraged children to develop their passion and love for reading and literature. We would highly recommend her."– Tanya Adams, Literacy Co Ordinator, Dundale Primary School
"Polly Walker visited our school in March 2015 to as one of our World Book Day activities. She introduced her book ‘Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and their Troublesome Transformation!’ to the children and spoke briefly about her work as an author and illustrator. Polly talked about her love of reading, story writing and illustrating as a child, and the children were particularly delighted to see some of the work she had produced when she was younger.
Before reading her book to the class, Polly talked with the children about some of the things that she was good at and also about things that she found more difficult. This linked well, not only with the theme of the book, but also with our SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) theme, ‘Good to be Me’.
Polly read her book and the children were engaged with the story and the illustrations. Following the reading, Polly led an excellent discussion with the class, linking the actions of the characters in the story to the children’s own experiences. The discussion culminated in the creation of a large class certificate, celebrating all the things that the children were good at. We were then able to create a class display around the certificate and further learning in SEAL lessons built on the work Polly had led with the class. Polly’s work with the class was invaluable; the children were engaged and motivated to participate and be involved. We hope she will be able to come back and speak with our children again!"– Mrs Sarah Stewart SENCO, St Mary’s C of E Primary School
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