A PUBLISHED children's poet paid a visit to Altrincham Preparatory School recently to inspire pupils to create their own rhyming masterpieces.

David Horner, the former head of English at Great Sankey High School and Cheshire's representative on the National Oracy Project, spent two days with the boys as part of a poetry workshop.

He said: "The purpose of my workshops is to energise kids about language and make the process of writing exciting and challenging.

"Though we live in an image soaked world, language is our first and most important means of communication and exchange. I often end up telling children to write less but to think more carefully about what they are writing and how each word fits together with others.

"That message is more important now then ever before because with so much to distract anyone's attention writers have to grab their audience quickly and then do everything they can to keep them interested."

The prolific poet has written and published 10 volumes of poetry for children and visited more than 1,000 schools.

He is also attempting to compile the longest poem in the world at www.davidhorner.com and the youngsters at Altrincham Prep were able to log on and add their own lines.

Headmaster Andrew Potts said: "David is an accomplished wordsmith and teacher who captivates his audience from the moment he starts speaking. He has an important message which the children fully appreciate."