Stalham school pupils celebrate the world of words in literacy festival

Students at a North Norfolk school have been immersing themselves in the world of words as part their annual literacy festival.

Now in its third year, the aim of the three day event at Stalham High School is to help improve literacy by bringing in outside writers and artists to look at different kinds of writing and story-telling from how to write newspaper stories, to composing poetry raps, comedy writing, beat boxing, art, drama, and calligraphy.

Pupils were also taught about the art of paper making from members of the Black Knight Historical group.

Youngsters had the chance to chance to learn about the writers' craft first-hand from authors Alex Scarrow, Alan Gibbons, Hayley Long, and poets Tom Warner, Paul Cookson, and comedian Dave Smith, hip-hop poet Mister Gee, and journalist Shaun Lowthorpe.

London-based beat boxer Hobbit and rapper Charlie Blue also wowed the audience during a performance on Tuesday.

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Alex Scarrow, who spoke about his books and also did a history quiz, said he liked to help promote reading particularly for boys.

'I love it,' he said. 'I've been to more than 85 schools and I have a really good time.'

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Norwich-based poet, Tom Warner, who was running workshops both during the day and after school, said: 'It's gone really well and I've had a lot of interesting work from students.'

Year 10 pupil Eric Pike, 15, said: 'I have really enjoyed it, it's a really good way of looking at other aspects of work. It's been exciting and a change from the normal curriculum.

Robyn Sjoerdsma, 14, said: 'I liked the chance to do something that isn't academic but is still enriching.'

Esther Jillett, festival organiser, said: 'It's been a really inspiring week to watch the students grow in confidence and perform. We wanted to get the students to be completely creative. A lot of people not normally confident during academic lessons found that their creative talents.

We really tried for a lot of variety this year and watching students step up and perform was a real highlight.'

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