Join us from 23-30 October 2021

Join us from 23-30 October 2021

Join us from 23-30 October 2021

Schools Programme


Our festival programme for schools features talks and interactive events by a range of authors who provide fascinating insights into the world of books and celebrate the joy of reading and writing. Past authors include : Mini Grey, Sarah Outen, Jo Cotterel and Julia Golding.

Designed to inspire and motivate pupils and students from Key Stages 1 to 4 our schools programme is free for local schools as part of our commitment to young people and the community.

Pupils, students and their teachers have the opportunity to meet amazing writers from a wide range of genres.

We also fund the annual Sir Christopher Ricks lecture which is held in conjunction with King Alfred’s, our local secondary school. Sir Christopher, an alumnus of King Alfred’s School, is a world renowned academic and authority on Milton, Tennyson and Bob Dylan. Past speakers are Sir Chris Ricks, Dr. Janina Ramirez and Sir Jon Mitchimson.

The lectures are designed to inspire the school’s students to a love of literature, regardless of their chosen academic path.

In addition to the above, in 2018 the Festival team in collaboration with the Vale & Downland Museum, ran a ‘Family, Friendly and Free, Roald Dahl Themed Activity Day’, along with a ‘200 Words’ competition. Photos of our 2018 winners, along with the overall winner’s entry ‘Odd Ones Out’ by Camilla Kirk can be found below.

Odd Ones Out

There is a girl around fifteen
who wants to join the tennis team.
She is extremely good they say,
but they just will not let her play.

There is a boy: when it comes to chess,
everyone knows that he's the best
but the chess club are not welcoming,
for no one wants to play with him.

There is a young boy wearing "girls" clothes,
dressed in frilly pink from head to toe.
He's kind to anyone that he sees
but others treat him like stinging bees.

There is a girl with very short hair
who treats everyone with great care.
She always wears a smile on her face
but people think she’s a disgrace.

It seems that there are two groups in this world:
the ones that are, and the ones that aren't heard.
The perfect ones, and the odd ones out.
Some are called beautiful, some are called “trout”.

Someone who is truly beautiful can be found in a blindfold conversation.
One thing everyone should know is that nobody likes discrimination.

Camilla Kirk
Age 10
Drayton Community Primary School, Drayton

If you are interested in taking part in our schools’ outreach, please do get in touch!


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