At St Gregory’s, we believe in the power of the written word. For that reason, we decided to pull all stops with our first KS3 Lit Fest! We opened our Festival on Monday 2nd October with Patrice Lawrence (Orangeboy, Indigo Donut) pictured below, who met our students in Year 9 and left some of us ready to grab our pens and start writing our own stories.

On Tuesday 3rd, a group of forty talented readers in Year 7 attended an event with Kiran Millwood Hargrave (The Girl of Ink and Stars, The Island at the End of Everything) at the Guildhall in Bath.

Kiran gave an insight into how she creates the magical worlds in her books and explained how an idea for a story can come from lots of unusual places such as caves and forests she comes across on holiday! Kiran explained how she takes inspiration from people she knows or has met on her travels to create her characters – her husband being the inspiration behind her lead character in The Island at the End of Everything (despite her being an 11 year old girl!) We all left the talk with great ideas for creating our own stories and were lucky enough to stay behind to meet Kiran and get copies of our books signed!

We followed this event with our very own Josephine Corcoran (The Misplaced House, The Song That Houses Sing) who is running a series of writing workshops on Wednesdays with students in KS3.

On Thursday 5th we were visited by the inspirational Alex Wheatle (Straight Outta Croughton, Brixton Rock) pictured below, who had our Year 8 students mesmerised with his account of how he became a writer.

Alex spoke to Year 8 students about his upbringing and how that has influenced his writing. We were all captivated as he took us on a journey through his childhood and told us about his tough time in the care system and how school never really worked out for him. His passion and energy came through and we were sad to hear his stories but also laughing along with at him at some of the unfortunate situations he has found himself in! Alex gave us an insight into how he uses his experiences to shape his writing and that writing poetry and songs can be an excellent way of expressing your emotions. He has certainly left a lasting impression on all of us at St Gregory’s and many staff and pupils have now bought his books and are thoroughly enjoying reading them.

We will be closing our Lit Fest on Thursday with Angie Sage (Starchaser) who will be with our Year 7 students to present her next instalment in her saga. We can’t wait for this last event in our festival to which we have invited students from two of our primary school partners: St John’s and St Mary’s (Weston). It has been very exciting so far and we are already looking forward our next Lit Fest!

Miss G Culleton Teacher of English / Aspire Leader
Mrs V Thompson Teacher and KS3 Co-ordinator of English