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Book festival

This year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, to be held from 9-25 August, promises to be bigger and better than ever. Here, the SEJ looks at some of the highlights of the RBS Schools Programme, which features a host of events specially designed for children and teachers to enjoy. The EIS supports the Book Festival through our sponsorship of the arts programme. A copy of the RBS Schools Programme was recently sent to all schools with the EIS Representatives’ Bulletin.

A festival of

learning and fun T

he Edinburgh International Book Festival’s programme for children and families offers some of the biggest and brightest names in children’s and teenage literature. But did you know they also produce a programme of events specially for schools which regularly attracts thousands of pupils from schools across Scotland?

The RBS Schools Programme spans five days, featuring author events and workshops designed for both primary and secondary students. All events take place in a tented village in the heart of Edinburgh’s west end, which provides a safe and fun environment where pupils can enjoy themselves freely.

Highlights for kids

Stobhill Primary School, Gorebridge

‘Excellent way to get kids reading and to create a ‘buzz’ about books at the start of the new term.’

Highlights for younger pupils in the RBS Schools Programme this year include Julia Donaldson’s interactive Songbirds show, a visit from Edinburgh’s favourite kitten Maisie and her creator Aileen Paterson and a run through some of the best poetry written for children, both silly and serious, with

12 Scottish Educational Journal May 08

Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen. An outstanding line-up of authors for teenagers includes Graham Marks and Sophie McKenzie talking about catching the writing bug, and Kevin Brooks and Catherine Forde discussing the relationship between song and story writing. Pupils can learn the ancient Mexican art of papel picado (punched paper), discover how to create a killer story with Catherine MacPhail, make a book inspired by the icebergs and glaciers of the Antarctic and explore the issues surrounding freedom of expression in an exciting range of workshops.

Highlights for teachers

But teachers don’t go unnoticed. The RBS Schools Programme also boasts events designed for teachers and education professionals, led by top experts in the field of education. Catch Brian Boyd for an inspiring event on how to improve the effectiveness of schools and learning for all; Bea Ferguson will help you to improve your storytelling skills; let Sergio Della Sala take you on an engaging and accessible journey into the inner workings of the human brain;

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