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Severn Vale School English Department @ Cheltenham Literature Festival

Over the course of a week and a half over 100 of our students had the opportunity to attend and perform at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

1. Friday 5th October: First story @ The Young Writers Showcase

The Cheltenham Festivals First Story group took their professionally published anthology of writing ‘The Scattered Illusions of Us’ to the Literature Festival.

The students showcased their talents by performing a piece of their writing from the anthology to the Festival goers. The students were fantastic and the quality of their writing is exceptional.


2. Friday 5th October: Words That Burn @ The Young Writers Showcase

Eight students from years 8 and 9 who had written poetry as part of the Words That Burn project performed their poetry to a paying audience. Words That Burn is a partnership between Amnesty International and Cheltenham Festivals which explores human rights through poetry. The student’s poems were inspired by real life human rights violations across the world and copies of these poems have been sent to the people who inspired them.


3. Monday 8th Year 8 Author Visit to Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

A group of 30 year 8 students went to hear authors Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan talk about their book ‘We Come Apart’, a contemporary story of star-crossed lovers. The students all got their copies of the book signed by the authors.


4. Wednesday 10th October: The Monster of Monsters Book Debate

Over the last 5 months, a group of 20 students have been reading and reviewing a number of Monster reads. At the end of last term, we picked our favourite, ‘The Bone Sparrow’ by Zana Fraillon’. During the festival, we attended an event to champion our chosen book in a panel debate hosted by the author Emma Carroll. Daniel Walton in Year 8 represented ‘The Bone Sparrow’ against speakers from four other schools. Although we didn’t win, Daniel did us proud.


5. Wednesday 10th October: Creative Writing with Paula Rawsthorne

15 year 9 students attended a creative writing workshop with the author, Paula Rawsthorne, who has wrote the highly acclaimed young adult book, ‘Shell’. Students wrote letters to their favourite parts of their bodies and imagined how it would be to wake up in a body that wasn’t their own.



6. Friday 12th October: Year 7 Author Visit to Elizabeth Laird

40 year 7 students went to hear Elizabeth laird, the author of ‘Welcome to Nowhere,’ ‘Oranges in No-Man’s Land’ and ‘Song of the Dolphin Boy’ and many other novels, talk about her incredible life and adventures around the world as well as her fantastic books. The students all got their copies of ‘Welcome to Nowhere’ signed by the author and she spoke to all of the students individually.


All in a truly exceptional week for the English department and our students.


Miss Cooksley
Head of English