Cheltenham Prep is full of inspired poets and wordsmiths, aspiring novelists, illustrators and story-tellers after boys and girls from all Year groups visited the world-renowned Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Year 3 visited to meet to Phil Earle, the author of Demolition Dad and Superhero Street. Phil explained how writing stories is like an extended playtime; you can go anywhere, be anyone and do anything in your imagination! When talking about Superhero Street, Phil needed a volunteer to dress up. Our very own Jack Evans bravely climbed onto the stage and put on a penguin towel, a furry hat and some swimming goggles. The transformation was complete: Jack the Superhero!
Seven lucky Year 4 pupils were invited to join poet, Rachel Rooney for a workshop on writing poetry. She shared some of her poems and then the pupils turned their eyes into ‘mystical eyes’, which could see magical things! The pupils wrote and performed so well that Rooney then personally invited them to attend her talk to lots of other schools, with some pupils lucky enough to perform on stage during her poem about a goldfish!
More Year 4 pupils went to see Pamela Butchart at the Literature festival. She was full of energy and truly inspired the pupils to pick up any book and read. She has written several stories set in schools, such as My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat, and even entertained the audience with ideas for creating stories, including using crisps to find characters!
Middle School joined the festival action as Year 5 headed off to be inspired by Abi Elphinstone. They consumed her words about travel and making stories from what you see around you and rushed back to School: everyone explored Forest School, the lake and the playground to draw inspiration for maps and stories! It was a really inspiring talk and the pupils left feeling inspired and enthusiastic about their writing.
There were many other visits, with Year 6 exploring the passion and dreamy midsummer nights of Shakespeare with Fiona Ross, or becoming fully-fledged philosophers with Peter Worley, recognised TEDx speaker and champion of philosophy in schools. As always, it has been a great week at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which has allowed pupils to become inspired in their writing, adventurous in their reading and enthusiastic about what story-telling can bring to their lives, as well as to their learning.