Berwick Literary Festival
Schools’ and Young People's Programme

From the outset, our work with local schools has always been a very important aspect of the Festival. Each year we aim to provide a range of projects and events to engage young people and enrich the curriculum. The Schools' and Young People's Programming Group talk to teachers about what would be useful and feasible activities to enhance the schools' curriculum activities.

We welcome authors and workshop leaders of diverse backgrounds, cultures, nationalities and genres to inspire our children. We are delighted to involve over 800 children each year in our activities and in 2024 we are increasing engagement to include Eyemouth High School and North Northumberland EOTAS (Education other than at School) pupils.T

This year a very special storyteller will be visiting The Grove School and performing for first schools at the Guildhall. Author Janis Mackay will be working with middle school pupils and we have an eclectic mix of speakers lined up for our high school pupils. And additionally, we are delighted to be including two new projects to extend our children’s love of reading and writing:
Local Storyteller Chris Adriaanse is working with students at Berwick Academy on a new Commission funded by Create Berwick’s Living Heritage fund called Difficult Conversations.

The idea for this project was sparked by an inconspicuous plaque near the old bridge that claims the parliaments of both England and Scotland met at this point to settle the boundary dispute between the two countries. This plaque will be used as a starting point to work with school pupils at Berwick Academy to explore in their own lives the themes of difficult conversations.

Contributions in many forms (e.g. prose, poetry, fiction, real-life, imagery) will be carefully curated to create an art worked book, illustrating snippets from the lives and imaginations of pupils.

The book will include a short history of the plaque and what may have transpired at the meetings, along with the pupils’ contributions, and will be launched at the Berwick Literary Festival in October 2024.

The Book Recommendation Scheme is a new venture whereby students from Berwick Academy and Eyemouth High school will write cards recommending books they’ve enjoyed to be displayed in the school libraries. This project will also involve Berwick & Eyemouth libraries. The project will kick start this year’s Festival when recommendation cards will be available to view from Saturday 5 October.

We know from our experience and direct feedback from young people, teachers and parents, that the benefits of encounters and activities through Berwick Literary Festival are wide and include:

• Improved literacy
• More positive attitude to learning
• Tolerance of others through teamwork and shared experience
• A new understanding of the rewards for hard work and determination to achieve.

"Always a pleasure to work with the coordinators who always put the school’s needs first." (Head of English, Berwick Academy)

"As a school, we really appreciate the efforts that you and your team put into the Festival. It is very appreciated" (English Teacher, Berwick Middle School)

“This was a truly wonderful experience for our pupils. The cast of the show were amazing, so inclusive and brilliant with our children. We are so grateful to them and the Berwick Literary Festival for including us.” Head Teacher, The Grove Special School.

On the Saturday of the Festival, Berwick library also will be hosting activities for both pre-school ages and young adults. Details of these shows and workshops will be available shortly.

We would like to thank our sponsors and donors, whose generosity makes the Berwick Literary Festival Schools’ Programme possible.