Harper Green School to host Bolton's first literacy festival

Jordan Greenhalgh and Claire Chadwick find plenty to read at Harper Green School

Jordan Greenhalgh and Claire Chadwick find plenty to read at Harper Green School

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

HARPER Green School is set to hold the town’s first literacy festival.

Acclaimed authors will be in town and there will be events for the whole community to get involved in.

The literacy festival has been born out of the school’s annual arts festival — and pupils’ love of reading.

Headteacher Andrew Foster said: “Harper Green’s Arts Fest is a fantastic addition to our proud tradition of promoting the arts in the school and local community.

“Our focus this year is literacy and we hope to give a real buzz to everything about reading and writing.

“Well known children’s authors Anne Fine and Gareth P Jones will be in school, working with both Harper Green pupils and invited pupils from local primary schools.

“Other planned events include a ‘Revolting Rhymes’ competition and ‘Extreme Reading’ challenge, as well as dance, drama and music performances based on characters and events taken from favourite children’s novels.”

The idea of the festival is to promote reading in Bolton.

Mr Foster said: “Another key part of the day for us is to work with parents on how they can help children with reading and writing.

"Workshops will be organised by English teachers to share with mums and dads some practical tips for supporting children.

“Above all, our Arts Fest this year is dedicated to promoting the love of reading so that children are inspired to jump into a good book.

“This is not only fantastic fun but it’s also about growing both as readers and as people.

“Reading gives insights into ourselves and others and gives young people the words and knowledge to bridge their way into a better future.”

The school has a big focus on literacy and encourages children to develop good reading habits for pleasure and schoolwork — with the library displaying the latest titles to entice pupils in during breaks and lunchtimes.

School librarian Angela Wilkinson says even the most reluctant readers enjoy picking up a book if their interests are tapped into.

She added: “Reading forms the basis of the curriculum. It enables pupils to access any area of the curriculum. It is about finding pleasure in reading, rather than it being a chore.

“We have a busy library and we talk to each other about books, with pupils asking for recommendations and if the latest in the series of the books they are reading is in.”

Kindles have proved a big hit with the pupils and the school has provided some to local primary schools to help younger children developing the reading habit earlier.

Special events are organised to promote literacy, including inviting actors to come into school to read out loud from the classics.

Young people at Harper Green School say they are excited about the festival and want to share their love of reading with the town.

Claire Chadwick, aged 14, said: “Reading is a form of escapism and I enjoy reading, especially when books are turned into films. I like to read the book and watch the film to compare.”

Jordan Greenhalgh, aged 13, added: “I really enjoy reading and have been reading since I was in year two.

“Books allow you to be anything you want and, in the library, we talk about what we are reading and ask for recommendations.”

The literacy festival takes place on Saturday, July 5.

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