PUPILS from primary schools across Swindon took their first steps towards secondary school with a literary-based game-show on the latest stage at the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature.

The Two Steves, Barlow and Skidmore, provided entertainment for year five pupils at The Ridgeway School and Church-field Academy with their I Hero show.

Over at Churchfields, where learning resource centre officer Josie Ikeda was running things, youngsters from Laines-mead Primary School, Lawn Primary School, Oak Tree Primary School and Mountford Manor Primary School attended.

The Two Steves met over 20 years ago when they were both teaching in Nottingham.

Since then they have written more than 150 books together. They have also acted as series editors on numerous reading programmes for several major publishing houses.

The I Hero gameshow is based upon their successful book series by the same name. Children were brought up on stage to participate in an event which ticked a number of boxes for Josie.

“This sort of event gives them a taste of coming into secondary school. It makes it seem less scary when they come up,” she said.

“There were lots of kids involved, with dressing up and putting funny hats on.

“The kids would choose the way the story would go. They would tell a story and the children would vote on what happens next.

“There was lots of screaming, hands shooting up, volunteers to go on stage even though they knew they were going to be laughed at.

“Their line at the end was, if you can take anything away, it should be reading can be fun and writing can be fun.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Rhyme time with Ash Dickinson, whose visit has inspired pupils to get writing

Poet Ash Dickinson was at Nova Hreod on Monday, where he inspired the Year 7s to get creative with their writing.

He said: “Year 7 were a joy – I’d like to thank them for getting so involved. I loved how disappointed they were at not getting the opportunity to read – there were just so many hands. Keep that enthusiasm, and the poems coming.”

Shanniah, one of the pupils at the workshop, said: “I thought that Ash Dickinson was very inspiring. He was funny and really good. If I have a chance I will write more poems. Thank you Ash for inspiring me to try.”

Today marks the busiest in the week’s calendar of events, with no fewer than 10 sessions planned at schools across the borough.

Illustrator Fred Blunt will continue his march through the schools on this year’s billing, as he takes his cartoon masterclass to Churchfields Academy.

Poet Ash Dickinson will visit Churchfields too, followed by a session with pupils at Isambard Community School.

Anna Connomos and Rebecca Hetherington, storytellers, will lead two events, one at Nova Hreod Academy and another at Highworth Warenford School.

More of the primary events led by the Two Steves will take place at Isambard, Common-weal School, Swindon Academy, Dorcan Academy and Kingsdown School.

Authors Jeff Norton, Ali Sparkes and Jeremy Strong will each lead the events.

The headline act is expected at St Joseph’s Catholic College however, where author AG Smith will lead two sessions.