LitFest

14 November 2019


LitFest

This year, Kingsdown school had the privilege of welcoming two talented and established authors to talk to our students about the world of reading and writing. On Monday 11th November, Karen Gregory, who is originally from Swindon and author of 3 books, presented her work and life as a writer to our year 7’s. She spoke about the challenges of being a writer and the need for perseverance, including dealing with rejections – her first book ‘Countless’ was rejected 20 times before being picked up by Bloomsbury publishing. Karen used the ‘potato challenge’ to demonstrate this concept. 4 year 7 volunteers stood in front of the stage with a straw in one hand and a potato in the other. They then had to get the flimsy straw all the way through the potato and out the other side. Their straws bent and buckled under the pressure, and just as they were about to give up – success! One student managed to work out how to do it (you’ll have to work it out for yourself). The message was received loud and clear – perseverance is the key to success. Karen then spent 2 hours in Kingsdown’s library working with a group of year 8 and 9’s getting them to think about empathy – what it is and why it’s an important tool, not only for a writer but for life. The students wrote short stories from the perspective of their chosen animal and came up with some amazing work, which Karen was extremely impressed by.

On Tuesday 12th November, Mark Lowery – the part time primary school teacher and author of children’s books such as ‘The Jam Doughnut that ruined my life’, came to Kingsdown school to give an unforgettable performance to students from our local primary schools. The students (and staff) looked on with curious and excited eyes as Mark revealed a locked safe, which he explained would make sense by the end of the performance. Mark had the students out of their seats, cheering and laughing as he channelled the energy and humour found throughout his books for all to be a part of. Students volunteered and took part in exercises that demonstrated to the audience how a writer can create, make or even break their characters by setting them challenges – one of which was walking blindfolded whilst balancing a ping pong ball on the end of a spatula. During the performance Mark also had his volunteers take part in some maths and card tricks before ramping up the energy and excitement towards the end with the big reveal… the combination to the safe – which had subtly been given to the audience on numerous occasions from the start! Inside the safe was … a lion (the emblem of Kingsdown school).

Beats - Challenge
Beats - Pride
Beats - Ambition
Beats - Stretch
Beats - Respect
Beats - Responsibilities