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Pupils delight at Potter and pottery…

Submitted by on February 11, 2015 – 6:10 am |


Birches Head Academy has embraced its literary links with the Hot Air Festival to produce a survey of pupils’ favourite authors. The school was approached by festival trustee Emma Bridgewater who wanted to know which writers the children would most like to see at the next event.Birches Head Academy in Stoke-on-Trent has embraced its literary links with the Hot Air Festival to produce a survey of pupils’ favourite authors. The school was approached by local pottery legend and festival trustee Emma Bridgewater who wanted to know which writers the children would most like to see at the next event, running between June 12-14, 2015.

Amongst top picks were Dame Jacqueline Wilson, David Walliams and J. K. Rowling – big names that would draw quite a crowd at Stoke-on-Trent’s second literary festival.

Reading Champions of Birches Head Academy, that is, students who have been specially selected to promote reading to their classmates, surveyed every pupil in study group time. The answers were then collated into a graph that contained 26 different authors.

To thank the Reading Champions for their help towards the next literary festival, Emma Bridgwater rewarded each and every one of them with a handmade, hand-decorated mug.

Popular with the students were authors of current literary hits such as The Hunger Games trilogy and The Fault in Our Stars, which has sold just under eleven million copies to date. However, modern children’s classics were not forgotten. Number six on the list was a name that is synonymous with capturing the imagination of children and adults alike: Roald Dahl, the author of iconic books like Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“Our students are incredibly proactive when it comes to reading,” explained Roisin Maguire, head teacher at Birches Head Academy. “Pupils are actively involved in purchasing books for the school library and the National Literary Trust Reading Champions project has been taken up with aplomb.

“When the opportunity to help develop the next Hot Air literary festival came about, the children were overjoyed. The survey has been enlightening from our perspective and the students cannot wait for the festival in the summer.”

In addition to the top authors survey conducted by the pupils of Birches Head Academy, the librarian – Jo Lawton and lead teacher for English – Janet Beard are currently working with Emma Bridgewater to develop the literary festival’s schools offer.


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