This started off as a pun on the name of a fairly damp and uninspiring town in the UK, known for its vast music festival every August. Once I had noticed the potential hilarity behind this pun, nothing could stop me beavering away on this poster for a fairly embriotic Reading Festival in my school in the autumn term.
Now I have my title, and my poster, it's time to start thinking about what a reading festival would actually consist of. A festival suggest chaotic life and many activities occurring simultaneously. This can be hard to arrange in the strict environs of a secondary school. However, I am now responsible for primary transition and recruitment in English, with close working links with several primaries, so I see potential there for something really quite large scale.
What would be the aim of a reading festival? Well, primarily it has to be a celebration of books and the joys of reading and learning from fiction. Every teacher knows the pitfalls here, and the sadness that encroaches on us when students fail to share our enthusiasm, so I must tread carefully. Reading challenges and competitions are a staple of such affairs, and I will endeavour to include many of these crowd-pleasers. Public readings are vital too - potentially from teachers in role, masquerading as Dickens, Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This would lend a sense of Horrible-Histories excitement to proceedings. Tutor time activities and lunchtime diversions are a must, for the whole week (or two days, depending on my energy levels), and some kind of grand finale is required.
I am going to sit and ponder ideas that will be added to this blogpost, but in the meantime, if you have a cool idea please let me know. Similarly, if you've attempted anything similar and have stories to share, I'll be happy to add them to this blog!