Ramsgate Arts Primary School is holding its first literacy festival.
The week-long event celebrates books, stories, the many and varied styles and types of writing, artwork and illustrations, and reinforces creativity and communication skills.
Children’s book illustrator Charlotte Cooke launched the festival with a special assembly on Monday (February 26) and she held a series of creative writing workshops with all year groups throughout the day.
Her storybook The Adventures of The Owl and The Pussycat, inspired by the classic story rhyme by Edward Lear, was central to the workshops with pupils using props to create their own stories and pictures.
The book is the working text for all pupils during for the festival and a selection of the children’s original adventure stories will be read to young children at the end of the week.
Charlotte, from Westgate, said: “Staging a week-long festival to celebrate and encourage the development of literacy is hugely important and it is brilliant that the school is taking this approach.
“Arts subjects are disappearing rapidly from the curriculum nationally which I believe must be addressed. I was delighted to see how the staff and pupils are embracing arts right across the board.”
Charlotte’s props including a pirate outfit, a shark mask, an owl headdress, a pussycat costume, and a treasure map as the children wove their stories from their imagination to the page.
Teacher Steven Todd said: “The pupils reacted so well to Charlotte’s lively workshops which throws them onto a different pathway of thinking and expands their use of language skills. The level of work they are producing in a short time is fascinating and exciting. “
The Ramsgate Arts Primary School Literacy Festival also includes sessions with storyteller Sandra Agard, author Jools Bentley whose works include The Hippopandamouse, a pupil readathon, and a visit from Jubilee Books.
World Book Day on Thursday will see children and staff dressed as their favourite characters from the world of literature, with Friday set aside for whole school sharing day where year groups share their literacy festival experiences with each other.
Head of School Nick Budge said: “We wanted to celebrate our love of literature at RAPS so we decided to hold our own literacy festival as part of our first year since opening last September.
“The use of language is a central part of our learning and the festival is a way to explore so many different avenues for our children. They are learning so much and really enjoying the experience.”