Schools programme

Available to watch live or on catch up, the digitally devised Festival programme is intended to bring authors straight from their homes into your classrooms and even to pupils learninfrom home.

These hand-picked, of the moment authors, were chosen to engage and enthuse your pupils no matter their age group. From Primary to Sixth Form, each key stage package is sure to excite and connect with your class, inspiring them to read more and find joy in the written and spoken word.

Each event will include teaching materials, to help support and encourage further learning.

Primary Programme

4 years – 11 years

Emily Hanna-Grazebrook

Monday 8th February 2021

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Emily HannaGrazebrook has been telling stories since she was very small. She grew up believing there were fairies in the forest, selkies in the sea and banshees at the bainis. As the child of Irish parents, she has a rich background in folk tales, myths, ballads and poems, and a fascination with the ancient art of oral storytelling. Emily has been performing to children and adults in museums, at festivals, community events, private functions and for educational projects for eight years. Now for the REALLY important stuff – she does a pretty good Edith Piaf impersonation; is dreadful on the ukulele but insists on playing; is wife to a wonderful husband and mother to a wonderful son. She loves Brussel sprouts but can’t do bananas. Nope, she can’t even look at them! 

Join Emily on a magical, musical storytelling adventure. Wander into the fairy tree, frolic in the jungle playing hide-and-seek with the animals, escape from greedy trolls and help a little duck to save the day!

Join Emily online on Monday 8th February at 9.30am-10am Reception 10.30am-11am Year 1 and Year 2

Emma Yarlett

Wednesday 10th February 2021

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Emma Yarlett is an award-winning author and illustrator based in Falmouth. From her studio by the sea, Emma creates her distinctive stories and characters. Her books including Dragon Post, Beast Feast, Orion and the Dark and the best-selling Nibbles series have sold around the world, winning numerous awards along the way. Her latest book Santa Post is out now!

Join Emma as she tells the story behind her new book-eating monster adventure. Nibbles is eating his way through our bookshelf of favourite fairy tales… can we catch him? Come and help Nibbles get back to where he belongs.

Join Emma online on Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 10am

Joseph Coelho

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Year 3

Joseph Coelho is a multi-award-winning children’s author and poet. He won the CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015 for his debut collection, Werewolf Club Rules, and has performed his poetry on Blue Peter and Cbeebies. As well as poetry, Joseph also writes picture books. Luna Loves Library Day was voted one of the World Book Day’s top 25 Picture Books to share. Joseph is a staunch supporter of public libraries and a National Poetry Day Ambassador. His latest book Zombierella; Fairy Tales Gone Bad, is out now.

Join Joseph Coelho on a fabulous poetic journey. Find out how he uses memory and the world around him to inspire his poems, and join in with him as he introduces ideas such as rhyme, alliteration and crescendo in a session that will entertain and educate in equal measure.

Join Joseph online on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 at 11.15am-12.15pm

Emma Yarlett

Wednesday 10th February 2021

Year 3 and Year 4

Emma Yarlett is an award-winning author and illustrator based in Falmouth. From her studio by the sea, Emma creates her distinctive stories and characters. Her books including Dragon Post, Beast Feast, Orion and the Dark and the best-selling Nibbles series have sold around the world, winning numerous awards along the way. Her latest book Santa Post is out now!

Join Emma, her fire-breathing friend and collection of Beasts for a monster storytelling session of Dragon Post and Beast Feast.

Join Emma online on Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 11.15am

Rachel Rooney

Thursday 4th February 2021

Year 4

Rachel Rooney is a trained teacher in Primary and Special Education and has taught for many years in a variety of educational settings. RacheI’s first poetry collection The Language of Cat won the CLPE Poetry Award and was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Her other collections My Life as a Goldfish and A Kid in My Class have both been shortlisted for the CLiPPA. She performs at festivals and for The Children’s Bookshow. In 2017 she was the Chair of Judges for the CLiPPA and judged the Betjeman Poetry Prize. Rachel visits schools for workshops and lives in Brighton with her two dogs Woody and Buzz.

Join Rachel as she performs poems from her much-loved collections.

Join Rachel online on Thursday 4th February 2021 at 11.15am

Andy Shepherd

Monday 8th February 2021

Year 4

Andy Shepherd grew up on the Essex coast and spent most of her time scribbling stories and messing about in boats – and mud. She now lives near Cambridge with her husband, two sons and a house full of dragons. She is the author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons series. The final book in the series, The Boy Who Sang With Dragons, is out in January 2021.

Disclaimer – Please note, all dragon-growing is undertaken entirely at the grower’s own risk and Andy cannot be held responsible for any damage your dragon may cause.

Join Andy online on Monday 8th February 2021 at 11.15am

Tom Palmer

Friday 12th February 2021

Year 5

Tom Palmer has written 50 children’s books about history and sport. Born in Leeds he credits his local library’s non-fiction section for feeding his passion for reading and writing. His best-known series are Football AcademyFoul Play and Roy of the Rovers.  In 2019 he won the Children’s Book Award for Armistice Runner, which was also nominated for the Carnegie Prize. His book D-Day Dog won the Children’s Book Award 2020.

Tom will talk to Year 5 pupils about his latest novel, After the War, the story of the Windermere Boys, Jewish children who survived the Holocaust and came as refugees to stay in the Lake District.

Join Tom online on Friday 12th February 2021 at 11.15am

Onjali Q. Raúf

Thursday 11th February 2021

Year 6

Onjali Q. Raúf is a children’s author and human rights activist. She is the founder and CEO of the charity Making Herstory and in her spare time she delivers emergency aid convoys for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk, and supports interfaith projects. Her first novel, The Boy at The Back of The Class, won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story. Her second book, The Star Outside My Window, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards ‘Children’s Fiction Book of The Year’ and she wrote the World Book Day 2020 title The Day We Met The Queen, a follow up to The Boy at The Back of The Class

Join Onjali as she talks about her latest book is The Night Bus Hero which was inspired by Onjali’s own experience of growing up in London and seeing the impact of homelessness on those around her.

Join Onjali online on Thursday 11th February 2021 at 11.15am

Matt Oldfield

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Year 5 and Year 6

Matt Oldfield is the author of Johnny Ball: Accidental Football Genius and Unbelievable Football (Winner of the 2020 Children’s Sports Book of the Year), as well as the co-author of the bestselling Ultimate Football Heroes series. In association with his books, Matt works with schools and organisations such as The National Literacy Trust and The National Football Museum to deliver football-based literacy workshops.

Join Matt as he talks about his award-winning sports book Unbelievable Football: The Most Incredible True Football Stories. Have you heard the one about the physic octopus who can predict results or the dog detective who saved the World Cup trophy? Prepare to be flabbergasted with footie facts from the world’s favourite game.   

Join Matt online on Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 11.15

Anna McNuff

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Year 5 and Year 6

Anna McNuff is an adventurer, speaker, bestselling author and self-confessed mischief-maker. Named by The Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, Condé Nast Traveller included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She is the UK ambassador for Girl Guiding and has run, swum and cycled over 20,000 miles across the globe. She is best known for her most recent adventure, in which she set off to run 2,620 miles (100 marathons) through Great Britain… in bare feet. Her new book is, 100 Adventures To Have Before You Grow Up

Anna will be sharing stories with high energy and exuberance about her awesome adventures, Her high energy and exuberance will certainly inspire and encourage everyone to fly by the seat of their adventure pants! 

Join Anna online on Tuesday 9th February 2pm -3pm

Interested in our primary programme?

Secondary Programme

11 years – 18 years

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Friday 12th February 2021

Year 7

Kiran Millwood Hargrave Since the publication of her debut novel, The Girl of Ink & Stars in 2016, Kiran Millwood Hargrave has proven herself to be one of the most exciting voices in children’s fiction. Her books for children and young adults include the bestselling The Island at the End of Everything, The Way Past Winter, and The Deathless Girls.

Her children’s books have won numerous awards, including Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Historical Association Young Quills Award, and Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year.

Join Kiran as she talks about her new spellbinding new novel A Secret of Birds & Bone and reveals how she weaves magic into her storytelling.

Join Kiran online on Friday 12th February 2021 at 11.15am

Anthony McGowan

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Year 8

Anthony McGowan has written highly acclaimed and award-winning fiction and non-fiction for adults, teenagers and younger children. His work includes the YA novels Hellbent, Henry Tumour, The Knife That Killed Me and the four novellas that make up The Truth of Things, including Rook, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie medal in 2018. He has also written the Bare Bum Gang series for 7-10 year olds, and Einstein’s Underpants (shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2010) and The Donut Diaries series, for 9-12s.

His most recent books are Lark, the conclusion of The Truth of Things quartet, and How to Teach Philosophy to Your Dog, a light-hearted introduction to philosophy. Lark received the 2020 Carnegie Medal.

Anthony was born in Manchester, brought up in Yorkshire, and now lives in London.

Join Anthony as he gives an insight into his journey as writer, talks about and reads from Lark, the tense finale to his Truth of Things series.

Join Anthony online on Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 2pm

Joseph Coelho

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Year 7 and 8

Joseph Coelho grew up in Roehampton and began writing poems at secondary school.   After studying archaeology at university, he spent time working in jobs as varied as a gym instructor, a salesman, a film extra and even a transport planner but he always wrote poetry and plays in his own time. Having attended a performance poetry course run by Apples & Snakes, Joseph started performing his poems in schools and running writing workshops for students.  His first collection, The Werewolf Club Rules was published in 2014 and Joseph has been writing and performing ever since.  His collection Overheard in a Tower Block was longlisted for the 2018 Carnegie and UKLA Book Awards and shortlisted for the 2018 CLIPPA CLPE Poetry Award. Recent books include The Girl Who Turned Into a Tree and A Year of Nature Poems.

Joseph will introduce his most recent book, The Girl Who Became a Tree – a verse novel deploying a wide variety of poetic forms.  He skilfully weaves the ancient myth of Daphne who was turned into a tree to avoid the attention of the god Apollo, with a modern-day story of Daphne who is grieving for the loss of her father.

Join Joseph online on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 at 2pm-3pm

Emily Hanna-Grazebrook

Thursday 4th February 2021

Year 7 and Year 8

Emily Hanna-Grazebrook has been telling stories since she was very small. She grew up believing there were fairies in the forest, selkies in the sea and banshees at the bainis. As the child of Irish parents, she has a rich background in folk tales, myths, ballads and poems, and a fascination with the ancient art of oral storytelling. Emily has been performing to children and adults in museums, at festivals, community events, private functions and for educational projects for eight years.

Join Emily for a spooky story session of spine-tingling, terrifying tales!

Join Emily online on Thursday 4th February at 2pm-3pm

Anna McNuff

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Year 9, Year 10, Year 11

Anna McNuff is an adventurer, speaker, bestselling author and self-confessed mischief maker. Named by The Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time, (italicise Conde Nast?) Condé Nast Traveller included her in a list of the 50 most influential travellers in the world. She is the UK ambassador for Girl Guiding and has run, swum and cycled over 20,000 miles across the globe. She is best known for her most recent adventure, in which she set off to run 2,620 miles (100 marathons) through Great Britain… in bare feet. Her new book is 100 Adventures To Have Before You Grow Up

Anna will be sharing stories about her awesome adventures with high energy and exuberance and is certain to inspire and encourage everyone to fly by the seat of their adventure pants!

Join Anna online on Tuesday 9th February 3.45pm-4.45pm

Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Thursday 4th February 2021

Year 9, Year 10, Year 11

Tom Ellen is an author and journalist from London. He is the co-writer of three critically acclaimed Young Adult novels: Lobsters (which was shortlisted for The Bookseller’s inaugural YA Book Prize in 2015), Never Evers, and Freshers (nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal). His debut solo adult novel, the romantic comedy All About Us, is in bookshops now. His books have been widely translated and are published in 20 countries. He is a regular contributor to Viz comic, and has also written for publications such as Cosmopolitan, Empire, Evening Standard Magazine, The Daily Mash, The i Paper, Glamour, NME, Time Out London, talkSPORT, Stylist and many more.

Join Tom as he discusses his bestselling YA books and processes involved when writing with a co-author.

Lucy Ivison works as a school librarian and English teacher in an all-girls school in central London. She also writes books for young people. Sometimes she writes with her best friend Tom, sometimes she writes on her own. Her next novel, The House of Serendipity comes out in June 2021. She also loves vintage clothes, cats, cake and gossip. 

Join Tom and Lucy as they discuss their bestselling YA books and talk about the processes involved when co-authoring a novel  online on Thursday 4th February at 2:15 – 3:15pm.

Interested in our secondary programme?