Kjartan Poskitt's Author Appearances & Maths Shows

"A stand-up maths routine has children and teachers in fits of laughter... maths has never been so much fun."
See the write up from The TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

"Today's talk ranks as the most entertaining event we have ever had!"
Victoria Nemeth, maths coordinator, Highgate Junior School

"Wellfield have never laughed and learnt so much at the same time ... a fantastic afternoon had by all!"
Hayley McElderry, Wellfield Middle School, Whitley Bay.

Ooh...freaky!

Thank you for finding this page!

You can find all the general information regarding my events below.
To find out what I can best do for you, please use one of the following links:

Booking Enquiries

Please click the appropriate link below.

CONFERENCES - FESTIVALS - TEACHER DAYS
For all events that don't involve hundreds of kids in a school.

SECONDARY or MIDDLE SCHOOLS
For school years 5-8, and possibly older groups. (KS 2-3)

PRIMARY SCHOOLS
For school years 3-6 and also your younger children. (KS 1-2)

SPECIAL MATHS GROUPS
For GCSE, G&T or specialist maths groups. (KS 2-3-4)

What do I do?
MURDEROUS MATHS:
Shows for schools,
family or teacher events
Awards nights - Quizmaster
Maths of Music Talk
Space Talk
Isacc Newton
Author Q&A Sessions

List of
confirmed
dates

Details Requirements, travel, suitable venues etc.

Booking Enquiries Festivals - Teacher Events - Secondary Schools - Primary Schools - G&T groups

References

My C.V. This includes details which you may use for publicity.

Photos for publicity

The story so far...

  • 20 years appearing all over the UK and Ireland
  • 2,500 maths and author events
  • 200,000 + people!

In the past years I've appeared at theatres, festivals, colleges, conference centres, schools, libraries and bookshops. I've done regular appearances for G&T groups, STEM events, teaching conferences, Ireland Maths Week, and I've done special events at The London Science Museum, The Bradford National Photographic and Cinema Museum, London Olympia (BETT), The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge....
...and many thanks to everyone involved for booking me.


AUTHORS LIVE: clips from a Murderous Maths event filmed at BBC Scotland and streamed to schools across the UK.
Watch the full 40 minute show here.
BBC Breakfast tv 6/6/2008 Providing puzzles for an adult numeracy discussion on BBC Breakfast
The maths prize day at King Edward's School, Birmingham June 2016
Alnwick Castle Pavillion April 2011
Being upstaged by the fabulous water falls at Alnwick Castle, April 2011
The Poisoned Chocolate Game!
Playing the Poisoned Chocolate Game in Norwich, June 2013

What Can I Do For You?

Maths sessions - Music - Space - Newton

Author Q&A - Awards evenings - Quizmaster

You choose what kind of event you want. Everything has plenty of audience participation and (hopefully) we'll have some good laughs. Although my books are generally aimed at intelligent kids aged 10-12, I find that at festivals I'm usually playing to as many mums, dads and grannies as children. I've also done GCSE groups, primary schools and teaching conferences. There's no limit to audience size - I've done audiences of well over 1000.

SCHOOLS: you'll find suggestions for what I can best do for you when you go to Booking Enquiries.

TES review 12/11/04
Click HERE to see the full TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT review
  • MURDEROUS MATHS

    Appearing live on CBBC's "XChange" 12/1/05
    Hay-On-Wye May 2011
    A volunteer joins me in front of 400 kids at the
    Hay-On-Wye book festival May 2011
    Dragon Curves on powerpoint
    Showing how Dragon Curves are generated at
    Longcroft School, Beverley, May 2012
    I perform a variety of features from my Murderous Maths books including flexagons, magic squares, strange number facts, knots, tricks, amazing number predictions and so on. I tend to adjust the complexity and content of what I do to suit the ability of the audience I'm in front of. These are the sessions I've been doing constantly for the last 20 years, which involve lots of general participation and bringing volunteers on stage.

    I use a pen and flip chart to do number tricks, and I mix those in with some big colourful features on powerpoint. The content changes but generally it includes some of the following:

    * a pile of pennies that goes past the sun
    * light years / the speed of light
    * calculator tricks
    * flexagons
    * the importance of zero (place values)
    * magic squares
    * dragon curves (fractals!)
    * the Fibonacci series
    * how to cut something in half and keep it one piece (Mobius strips)
    * nets
    * monster stars and the size of space
    * massive numbers
    * the magic dodecahedron

    REQUIREMENTS:
    * a projector and screen for my laptop
    * a flip chart with paper, or non-electronic white board

  • MATHS SESSIONS (40 - 75 minutes as required)
    Suitable for schools/events that need sessions to different audiences.

  • MATHS QUIZ (30- 90 minutes)
    Suitable for top primary classes (ages 9-11). Kids solve multiple choice questions and puzzles on powerpoint, and see some practical demos. I can run it as a competition for lots of small teams sitting at tables (up to 90 mins with a break), or it can be informal with kids running round a hall (30 mins). Perfect end to a maths day!

  • MATHS SHOW (45 minutes + 45 minutes)
    I can do two different sessions which you could present as a "show" with an interval. Longer shows with an interval are only suitable for selected school audiences (e.g. mathematically Gifted and Talented kids), or family functions such as library openings or festivals. Obviously I'd be delighted to sign books during the interval or afterwards.

  • TWO MATHS SHOWS I can do two separate 60 minute shows on different themes: Murderous Maths Magic and Murderous Maths Numbers

  • TEACHERS MATHS SESSION (After-school sesssions 30-60 minutes, or conference sessions up to 100 minutes.)
    I do a full selection of everything I know including tricks (and how I do them!), trivia and powerpoint features including Fibonacci to give ideas for classroom activities and lessons. You can find accompanying notes, resources and follow-up ideas here: Murderous Maths Teacher Resources .

    * A fully captioned version of my powerpoint presentation for the Fibonacci Series plus a few other tricks is available as a teacher resource. If you bring a memory stick to the session, I'll be glad to put it on for you.

    MURDEROUS MATHS: These are some of the animated powerpoint images I use.

SCHOOLS: you'll find suggestions for what I can best do for you when you go to Booking Enquiries.

  • MAYHEM WITH MATHS AND MUSIC! (60 minutes)

    This talk was originally devised for and presented at
    The Cheltenham Music Festival on 2nd July 2011

    * How do numbers make sound into music?
    * How did Pythagoras invent the guitar?
    * Why do musical notes depend on multiplying fractions?
    * Why do some notes sound nice together but others don't?
    * How do different instruments make their notes?
    * How many different tunes can you play on a piano?
    * Why can a keyboard never be exactly in tune?
    Suitable for ages 10-12, or G&T groups or family audiences.
    Please note: this talk is quite specialised, it is not a musical workshop!

    REQUIREMENTS:
    * a projector and screen for my laptop
    * a sound system to plug my laptop through (I may be able to bring something suitable.)
    * a reasonable piano, if available!

    MATHS of MUSIC TALK: These are some of the animated powerpoint images I use.

  • THE SPACE TALK (30 - 60 minutes depending on time available)
    * What's the difference between moons, planets, stars, comets and meteors?
    * How far away are the other planets and the stars?
    * Why does the moon seem to change shape, and when does it turn orange?
    * What are lunar and solar eclipses?
    * What would it be like to visit all the different planets?
    * How can we stop an asteroid wiping us all out?
    * How big are supergiant and red giant stars?

    Lots of questions for the audience to think about, suitable for ages 8-12. (The same audience could see this talk and a maths session in a day.)

    REQUIREMENTS: space talks require a projector and screen for my laptop.

    SPACE TALKS: These are some of the animated powerpoint images I use.

  • ISAAC NEWTON and his FALLING APPLE (30-60 minutes)

    NEWTON TALK: These are some of the animated powerpoint images I use.

    This talk was originally devised for and presented at
    The Isaac Newton Institute for
    Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge

    on 24th March 2012

    It tells how Newton came up with...
    * Gravity
    * The dreaded Calculus!
    * The Reflecting Telescope
    * Colour
    * The Laws of Motion
    ... and why did he try to poke his own eye out?

    Suitable for ages 10-12, or G&T groups or family audiences.
    The standard talk is quite light-hearted and does not go too deeply into the maths. However I'm happy to go into more detail of what calculus is if you think your audience would like it!

    REQUIREMENTS:
    * a projector and screen for my laptop
    * flip chart and paper if I'm doing the maths stuff

Walthamstow School for Girls May 2010
Making too much noise in the library at Walthamstow School for Girls!

"Thank you so much for all your hard work yesterday. It was fantastic to have a question master who could do such a good job of making the event go well, you were extremely entertaining and efficient. We felt we couldn't have chosen a better person than you and loads of people have commented on how good you were!"

Kirstine Roth, Librarian, St Aidan's School, Harrogate

  • AUTHOR Q&A (20-60 mins depending on how well-prepared the kids are)
    I do an introduction talking generally about how I got started writing books (both fiction and non-fiction), plays, tv scripts (and comics!) and then it works best if I continue by answering questions. Therefore the kids should have suitable questions prepared beforehand!
    I can talk about the unexpected bonuses and pitfalls of the job, and give advice on getting started and a few guidelines on how to write. Please note that like most authors, my academic training had little to do with writing (I was an engineer) so everything I talk about is purely from my own experience. Although I don't put a maximum audience on any of my events, author talks are better suited to more intimate groups (e.g. max 50 kids).
  • SPEECHES (for award evenings, prize givings or other functions):
    I'm happy to bring out a few visual tricks including flexagons or predictor cards and do a speech to open your library or start your festival!
  • QUIZMASTER/COMPARE I've hosted hundreds of events ranging from quiz nights to variety shows, from prize givings to auctions - so don't be scared to ask. (I spent many years as a pub entertainer, and as a consultant on BBC game shows.)
  • A MIXTURE I'm quite happy to do a couple of maths sessions and maybe an informal author library session over lunch, or perhaps a school session then an after-school teacher session, or any other selection that suits you. My only stipultation is that I'm not supposed to push my voice for more than about 3 hours in the day.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES

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Scarborough July 2001
    Filming for BBC Schools TV on a bus in Scarborough
    First shown on BBC2 March 2002
    "The Maths Channel" .... winner of the 2002 R.T.S. Award
    for best science/maths/ICT programme.
Details

Suitable venues       Where are you?       Requirements       Book sales       Fees/Availability      

SUITABLE VENUES:

Any theatre, hall, drama studio etc. is suitable. No limit to audience size providing they can all see me working on a flip chart and hear what I'm saying (see REQUIREMENTS below). If I'm on a high stage, stairs will be needed for volunteers.

Generally sports halls are unsuitable because of the acoustics.

Maesteg, Wales, May 2003
This is what 500 kids looked like at Exmouth
WHERE ARE YOU?

I'm based in YORK. Single day visits are usually practical if travelling time is less than three hours each way.

If I need to travel more than 3 hours to reach you, then either you could organise one big early afternoon show, or it may be possible to co-ordinate with other people in your area to make a 2-3 day visit worthwhile.

REQUIREMENTS:

Reading, April 2005
Flexagons on the big screen at Reading
  • Projector/Screen
    I do powerpoint presentations from my own laptop, so a VGA lead/connection is required. Otherwise I can use your computer and bring files on a USB stick.
  • Flip Chart with Paper (maths sessions only)
    Otherwise an old-fashioned wipe-clean board with pens is ok.
  • P.A. System
    Unless your venue is small and quiet, I may need some sort of amplifier set up.
  • Staff
    An adequate number of responsible staff MUST be present at all times.

Hull, June 2004
With 350 kids and 10 teachers at Wolfreton School, Hull in June 2004
BOOK SALES / SIGNING: I don't bring my own books for sale but if you want to organise this yourself, I'm very happy to sign. You can usually get copies on a sale/return basis from a local bookshop, or I can tell you how to get books via my publishers.

PUBLICITY/POSTERS: There are various images which you're welcome to use on websites or posters to publicise events here: Publicity and Poster Photos. You can also use any details you like from my C.V..

FEES... will depend on where you are and what you want. In addition, rail fares can vary enormously depending on what time of day you need me! Please see BOOKING ENQUIRIES.

AVAILABLILITY
The list of dates gives some indication of when I'm already booked, although I have numerous other commitments not listed.

Maesteg, Wales, May 2003
Utterly failing to impress anyone with my fluent Welsh
Maesteg, Wales

CONFIRMATION OF BOOKING Once we've agreed plans for an event, we'll send you details of what we need from you in terms of written confirmation. It's usually just a letter on headed paper plus any forms you might need us to fill in.

VIDEO/PHOTOS Help yourself. If you get a nice picture, I'd be glad to put it on this site!

 

BOOKING ENQUIRIES

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Booking Enquiries

Please click the appropriate link below.

CONFERENCES - FESTIVALS - TEACHER DAYS For all events that don't involve hundreds of kids in a school.

SECONDARY or MIDDLE SCHOOLS For school years 5-8, and possibly older groups. (KS 2-3)

PRIMARY SCHOOLS For school years 3-6 and possibly younger children. (KS 1-2)

SPECIAL MATHS GROUPS For GCSE, G&T or specialist maths groups. (KS 2-3-4)

"It was sooo cool, you wouldn't believe
what you can do with numbers!"

Megan, year 7, Bourne Grammar School.

"...will you becoming in to St.Augustine's more often because you make learning fun ... I have baffled my brother with some of the tricks you showed me ... it was the best day I had at school when you came in to my school."

Morgan, year 5, St Augustine's School, Burnley

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, March 2012
Doing my Isaac Newton talk for the 20th anniversary of the
Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, March 2012
Prize giving at King Edward's School, Birmingham June 2015
Sophisticated mathematical comedy at the North East Maths Fair
Sophisticated mathematical comedy at the North East Maths Fair
Audience assembling at Newcastle Discovery Museum

LINKS

To Kjartan Poskitt Home Page.

To my Book Page.

To my C.V. (This includes details which you may use in programmes or other publicity.)



** Thanks to Kay Bennett, Frank Laughton, John Grundon, Dyfrig Ellis, Liz Hurley, Heather Sims, Colette Murphy, Patricia Sharkey, Liz Cook and David Ash for the photos on this page **

Edinburgh Book Festival 1999
Explaining the solar eclipse and asteroids at the
Edinburgh Book Festival 1999
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REFERENCES

"A stand-up maths routine has children and teachers in fits of laughter... maths has never been so much fun."
See the write up from The TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT 12/11/04

"It was very funny, interesting, and changed the way I think about maths!"
See the write up from The YORKSHIRE POST 21/2/2014

"A cheeky cross between Jasper Carrott and Dennis the Menace...Poskitt makes even the most geeky number facts sound gripping!"
See the write up from The DAILY TELEGRAPH 31/3/12

"It is not often that you see a grown maths teacher cry with laughter..."
See the write up from The Western Gazette Oct 06

"Pupils were absorbing knowledge and opening their minds ... an extremely innovative and amusing way to learn."
See the write up from The Oldham Evening Chronicle Dec 2012

"The kids went wild, they absolutely loved it..."
See the write up from The Worthing Gazette May 05

"Headteacher Barry Winter said it was a stroke of genius
inviting the quick-witted author to open the resource centre"
See the write up from The Stockton Evening Gazette 28/9/01

"Those who have experienced Poskitt "live" will recognise his
commitment to getting readers involved with the learning process"
See the review of the GCSE book in the Guardian Nov 6th 2001

"...charismatic..."
See the write up from The York Evening Press 5/3/03

"...he possesses a prodigious gift of the (Yorkshire) gab, appears to be incapable of not enjoying himself, and plays his audience with the finesse of a maestro.
Maths will never seem the same again."
CAROUSEL issue 16 (the guide to children's books)

Ysgol Cynwyd Sant, Maesteg, May 2003
This headmistress is about to lose £5

Here are a few of the kind remarks that came by e-mail:

    Letter from Caitlin (age 11) of Greenock.

    ... we were expecting an old man who would go on about times tables and boring maths...

    ...after five minutes there was water in my eyes from laughing so much...

    E-mail to "Pongo McWhiffy" of the Murderous Maths books

    Hello Pongo,
    I think you are cool and I love the pearson who wrote the books that you where in because he came to Brough primary school today and he made me cry with laughter.

    Love Annabelle xxxx

  • I want to say a massive thank you as it was brilliant this morning, the students (and staff) really enjoyed it and it was really good to raise the profile of maths! It really was fantastic and I hope you'd consider returning to Boston Spa in the future. Cath Jespers (head of maths), Boston Spa School
  • What can I say? You were fantastic yesterday, and managed to captivate and enthuse our KS4 G & T students. They are still talking about your visit, and they’re taking lots of sneaky peaks at your books – a great success! Alison Vanes, LRC Manager, David Young Academy, Leeds
  • Year 7 had the 'best time' last Tuesday at your Maths Show. In their words you were "mint", "wicked", "fantastic"; your amazing ability to keep the children so enthralled throughout the show, and the endless energy and contagious enthusiasm was a marvel to watch. The other teachers have been saying " we've got to have him back" and for me Tuesday afternoons will never be the same again... Mrs Zeenat Abbas, Mortimer School, South Shields
  • How can I thank you for such a wonderful day...if any schools would like verification of their value for money, just point them our way.... this was one day that we will talk about for a long time to come... Jane Scott (librarian), Hilbre High School, The Wirral
  • Thank you for your brilliant performances during our Book Week. I think the students and staff will be talking about it (and reading!) for a long time to come. Our Head of Maths is delighted - her son who isn't keen on reading is well into "Murderous Maths" now! Morag Thorne (librarian), Kirk Hallam Tech College, Derbyshire
  • Thank you so much for your afternoon. Everyone thought you were brilliant - children and adults alike. It was wonderful to watch a professional entertainer at work, and you were worth every penny.... Linda Calvert, Pickering Summer School, Hull.
  • Thank you sincerely for yesterday - you were terrific and genuinely "took the place by storm" in the nicest possible way. I have had many comments from staff, students and parents all enthusing about the way the Awards Afternoon left them feeling upbeat and optimistic... and your books are selling like hot cakes! Jeff Bower (Headmaster), Pocklington.
  • Thanks for this morning Kjartan. 50 people of all ages went home feeling good and well entertained even though they'd been engaging with 2 hours of mathematics. Mike Cooper, Humberside Maths Association.

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