Scroll to content

Corinium Education Trust

Get in touch

YOuR Book Festival - We are ALL readers

Friday 8 March 2024 marked a very special and heart-warming chapter in our ‘Year of Reading’ (YOR) as it unfolded its pages and held its very own book festival. This special event encouraged ALL children to be readers, breaking down barriers and fostering the love of literature within our YOR community.

Our festival included two inspiring workshops led by local children’s authors: Tracey Corderoy and Steve Skinley. They introduced their characters and took our children on exciting journeys through their well-loved stories.

In the morning, children from Key Stage 1 made their way to The Barn Theatre in Cirencester to meet Tracey Corderoy. The auditorium filled with excitement as she stepped onto the stage, hooking the children into the adventures of her famous characters, ‘Shifty and Sam’. The children, sitting on the edge of their seats, were eager to learn more about the characters and the mischief they got up to throughout her stories.

In response to the childrens’ exit poll, 100% enjoyed the morning session, with many saying how much they enjoyed the ‘Robbing Game’!

‘The morning was very engaging and fun for the children!’ Sophie Cooksley, KS1 teacher Rodmarton Primary School. 


Tracey Corderoy also enjoyed the event. On leaving she reflected, ‘It was a wonderful atmosphere celebrating the magic of stories. Such a valuable event to be a part of.’

In the afternoon, Steve Skinley, a local author to Cirencester, shared his new book ‘The Otherlands’ with children in Key Stage 2. Steve creates memorable characters within his stories that take the children on incredible adventures. In his initial slide show, he communicated a strong sense of place. This was conjured up from his own childhood memories. It was illustrated with photos of the local area which many in the audience instantly recognised. Everyone listened attentively to Steve’s readings from his novel ‘The Otherlands’ and enjoyed meeting the ‘Pigman’ and ‘The Trolls’.

Steve invited the children to explore the wonders of Cirencester and create their own characters with curious back stories! Grace, a pupil in Year 6 at Chesterton Primary School, used his example as a model and created an incredible figment of her own imagination, ‘Red Fluff Man’ which she then went up on stage to read out aloud to everyone.

‘I love it, his work is so imaginative - like me! I will use his book as inspiration for the book I am writing.’ Grace.


Similarly, in response to the childrens’ exit poll, 100% enjoyed the afternoon session and some pupils even brought their parents back in to buy them a copy of ‘The Otherlands’ and have it signed by Steve.


Both authors offered book signings for the children after their engaging workshops. The children loved the opportunity to meet the authors behind the stories. Not only did the authors sign each book, but they took the time to learn a little about each child and their reading interests and habits.


‘It has been a privilege to see schools coming together to explore ways in which we can overcome common challenges by working collaboratively. Our ‘Year of Reading’ focuses on engaging the most reluctant readers, equipping them with the skills necessary and inspiring them to be even better readers. I am grateful to Rachael Scott who is co-ordinating the project and for her extraordinary and incredibly supportive networks! Thank you all.’ Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead (CEO), Corinium Education Trust.

The event was very kindly hosted at The Barn Theatre, Cirencester. We extend our gratitude to them for, once again, lending us their wonderful space for the festival. Their commitment to hosting our ‘Year of Reading’ enrichment events within our community has been instrumental. The collaboration with the Barn Theatre, not only enriched the festival, but also gave children the opportunity to visit their local theatre.   


Most importantly, this event would not have been possible without the support of the Winstone Charitable Trust who have generously funded the enrichment activities within our ‘Year of Reading’.

Our thanks also go to the Yellow Lighted Bookshop. They helped us find Steve Skinley as our guest author for Key Stage 2 and provided us with the books to sell at our event.

We also thank Read for Good. They generously donated 400 books. This enabled us to ensure that every child at the festival received a free book to take home. This thoughtful contribution has provided further reading opportunities for our children, helping to foster that love for literature. We deeply appreciate Read for Good's commitment to promoting literacy for all and their support with our ‘Year of Reading’.


‘I am very grateful for all the support we have received for our ‘Year of Reading’. This, and the commitment of teachers in all the schools involved, have contributed to making this event possible.  Our project remains dedicated to making reading accessible to all, and this event served as a testament to the positive influence that books can have on every reader, regardless of their circumstances.’ Rachael Scott, School Improvement Lead (Primary), Corinium Education Trust.


‘Both Tracey Corderoy and Steve Skinley captured the children's imaginations with their enthusiasm and entertaining presence. Our pupils came away from both events inspired to read the author's books and to recommend them to others.’ Emma Morrogh-Ryan, Headteacher, Kemble Primary School.


With thanks to:


For more information about the Year of Reading Project, please contact Rachael Scott, School Improvement Lead (CET) Visit us at on X @YearOfReading23