John of Gaunt Literature Festival celebrates the written and spoken

STUDENTS from a high school in Trowbridge took part in a literature festival designed to celebrate the written and spoken word.

The festival, called The Word, was held last week at the John of Gaunt School and celebrated the joy of speaking and writing across age groups with a mix of major events and Additional activities.

The students enjoyed headline sessions with slam champion Ash Dickinson and Carnegie shortlisted writer Chris Vick.

The morale of some 200 grade 8 students was boosted by Ash Dickinson’s energetic poetic performances of Page Against The Machine; Mango, The Reading Retriever and Shadow Boxing Snowflakes.

Using the Spanish Shadorma format, he then trained children to create poems ranging from England’s defeat to euros, unusual pets and plastic in our oceans.

Prizes were given to those who showed courage to read their poems and to those who achieved the most inspired work.

Mr Dickinson said: “This was only my ninth face-to-face visit since the pandemic struck – under normal circumstances I could have done it in a fortnight.

“As a result, I was as happy to see them as Year 8 seemed to be to see me. They certainly used the catharsis of poetry to soothe the sorrow of England’s Euro defeat. previous night!

“Great poems have been written in a short time.” Chris Vick has given captivating author talks to 7th and 9th grade students.

Covering his life as a writer and his love of surfing, Cornwall and Morocco, he guided students on the essential ingredients of stories.

Students asked a range of questions, from finding inspiration to publishing. Many Year 7s had copies of the famous Girl. Boy. Wed for Chris to sign.

In addition, 45 grade 10 students came to the Theater Royal in Bath to see the ghostly thriller The Woman in Black.

Trip planner Dr Stephanie Clayton said: “After the theaters had been closed for a long time, it was heartwarming to see our students literally on the edge of their seats, fully engrossed in a live performance.”

The final event of the festival was a late celebration of World Book Day with the staff dressed in literary costumes.

With 300 almost new teen books donated, a book and take out were also organized in the school library.

Ulrika Bruton, Head of Educational Resources and The Queen of Hearts, said: “We hope students will be inspired to continue reading over the summer, especially those who may not have access to many. books at home.

A central activity of the festival was a competition for students to write 100 words about the falcon – the school’s majestic icon and royal badge historically linked to John of Ghent. Up to £ 35 in vouchers for each group of years were given to the strongest participants.

Director Paul Skipp said: “It was fantastic to see our students engage so well with the guest writers and poets.

“I thank Garston Vets, Tymbark Supermarket and We Love Pets Trowbridge for sponsoring The Word. I hope the festival grows year after year.”

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Adam Gray

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