Word Play 2023 Secondary Schools

A round up of our pilot secondary school Word Play prog

In Nov 13th-15th we ran a pilot programme for Word Play in secondary schools, we took 3 amazing authors to 4 secondary schools in Birmingham, here’s a brief round up of what took place:

Hiba Noor Khan brought her fascinating and timely story Safiyyah’s War, building on historical events in occupied Paris in which the founder of the Grand Mosque helped to give refuge to members of the Jewish community, creating false ID’s to help them escape persecution. Hiba’s story see’s the title character at the heart of this rescue mission, when her father is arrested by Nazis and she has to step up and run dangerous errands around the city.

Jeffrey Boakye treated us to a 90’s quiz (I did reasonably well) providing a brilliant setting to talk about his book Kofi & The Rap Battle Summer, set in the 90’s offering a peak into a not too distant past where mobile phones weren’t in everyones hands and we didn’t have immediate access to the internet. Everyone at Kofi’s school is obsessed with music but Smash Hits aren’t featuring the acts they’re interested in, his best friend Kelvin’s photographic memory and his business acumen see’s them set up their own fanzine featuring all the latest hip-hop and RnB artists lyrics. Making creative use of the schools resources and a new friend throw a spanner in the works and see Kofi’s loyalties tested.

Gita Raleigh had all the students building their own fictional worlds, working through 3 tips for world building, a fascinating insight into the creation of her book The Destiny of Minou Moonshine, set in an alternative / fictional India where fierce orphan Minou, has to battle to find the missing black diamond that protects the city and save it from a new tyrannical ruler.

Thank you to all three brilliant authors for giving their time and making the sessions full of fun.

This programme was a pilot to see how we can bring a curated / shared programme of authors to a secondary schools, a huge thank you to all of the schools involved, in particular the English / Reading leads and the amazing librarians!! Who worked so hard to help us pull it together.
Fingers crossed we’ll be back next year!!

Word Play has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
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