Primary pupils won praise for their reading skills when popular children’s authors visited the Ormsgill Book Festival this week.
More than 600 children enjoyed meeting and quizzing the authors who included Vashti Hardy, Chris Mould, Tom Palmer, Peter Bently and Dan Worsley in the event hosted by Ormsgill School and Nursery.
Vashti, a rising star in children’s literature and Blue Peter book award winner, said she had been really impressed by the pupils’ questions and their obvious love of reading.
“The questions were great, they were so knowledgeable and full of interest and you can tell the pupils are keen to learn and excited by stories,” she said.
“I think it is important that the pupils can see themselves as writers so meeting us and hearing about our experiences as children and knowing we are just people like them makes it reachable.
“You can always tell when you come into a school like this that there are teachers who promote reading. There are also ripples for the rest of the school because reading and writing radiates to all areas of the curriculum so once you have their interest about reading you cannot help but have a positive impact on everything they do in school.”
The authors shared tips on writing and other ways to create stories, including through drawings and maps, as a different route into writing and expressing their imagination to write about things that they love. Chris Mould who illustrated A Boy Called Christmas, which was turned into a hit festive movie on Netflix, led a workshop on design showing the young people how he is inspired to create his characters.
Year 6 pupil Nyal said: “It was honestly so good and I enjoyed it a lot. I think I most enjoyed the fact that I got to see the authors in person and I am a really big fan of Tom Palmer and his books so that felt great.”
The event, held at Ormsgill School, is organised by Year 3 teacher Laura Reid who is the school’s lead for maths and ICT, and shares her passion for literature to inspire all her students to read.
“It has gone so well,” she said. “The school has been buzzing, the authors have been amazing and the pupils have behaved perfectly. I’ve been trying to get Vashti into school for four years, she is a superstar and in those four years her profile has just rocketed.”
Pupils from Ormsgill Primary and Nursery, which joins South Cumbria Multi Academy Trust in September, were joined by pupils from current SCMAT school Chetwynde alongside pupils from Cambridge School, Sacred Heart, St George’s, South Walney Infants, South Walney Juniors and Victoria Academy.
Representatives from Barrow Library were also on hand to talk to the pupils about the Cumbria Libraries upcoming summer reading challenge, where children are tasked to read six books of their own choice in the school holidays and can receive certificates and prizes for their achievements.