Year of Reading: Cheltenham Literature Festival
Following the soft launch of our 'Year of Reading' in May 2023, we have secured funding for reading enrichment opportunities (read more...). These will help our children to develop a love of reading, allowing them to become considered readers who read for pleasure. Standing by its mission statement, the ‘Year of Reading’ believes we are ALL readers!
As part of this enrichment offer, our collaborative project took pupils from local primary schools near Cirencester to the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Monday 9 October 2023.
Here, we took part in Pamela Butchart's author workshop - the author instantly captivated everyone's attention with her enthusiasm and humour! Throughout her performance, we learnt about the source of her ideas and inspiration. Matt Smith, the Headteacher at Rodmarton Primary School, was involved on stage by dressing up as a 'demon dinner lady'!
"As part of the Year of Reading initiative, our Year 5 students had a great time at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. They got to see Pamela Butchart's enthusiasm for story writing, which inspired them with creative ideas for writing and left them eager to read more about Izzy's school adventures. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity." Matt Smith, Headteacher at Rodmarton Primary School.
The children took part in exploring some of the characters they could be within a story and how they might behave. They learnt that reading is never boring - you just need to find the right book! It was a great opportunity for them to learn more about Pamela Butchart's work - on the journey back they spoke of their eagerness to read her books.
In addition to this, we were able to provide e-tickets to virtual events led by Cheltenham Literature Festival to our ‘Year of Reading’ schools. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 were able to join the workshop of Janelle McCurdy and Natasha Farrant from the comfort of their classrooms.
A pupil who participated in Janelle McCurdy’s workshop on Lightcasters said "I loved drawing my own Umbra. I thought it was good because she liked Pokémon like me." "I was inspired that I can write stories about my own experiences, especially at school" said Elaina from Down Ampney CofE Primary School.
These enrichment opportunities would not have been possible without the generosity of The Winstone Charitable Trust. The funding they provided enabled children to be transported to the festival and experience these fantastic author workshops. We are very grateful for their support and look forward to more reading events as we progress throughout the year.
We are also grateful to the local schools and teachers who are taking part in our project; dedicating time to enrich reading opportunities for all pupils within their schools.
Rachael Scott, School Improvement Lead, Corinium Education Trust