Hay Festival Unveils Free Programme for Schools and new Beacons Project workshops :: NEWS
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Hay Festival Unveils Free Programme for Schools and new Beacons Project workshops

31 March 2021 Share


Hay Festival has revealed its free Programme for Schools for this spring’s edition, bringing writers and young people together online for a series of inspiring interactive activities and workshops between 24th and 28th May 2021, ahead of the main programme which will run from the 26th May to 6th June. 

Five sessions will be broadcast daily for pupils across KS1-4, with each event accompanied by free teaching materials and active learning activities, available to view live or on replay throughout, along with the Festival’s full Programme for Schools archive, part-funded by Hay Festival Foundation. 

Pupils across different key stages can expect to enjoy appearances from Joseph Coelho, Matt Lucas, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Adam Kay, Konnie Huq, Patrick Ness and many more.

The Festival has also released two digital Beacons Project workshops aimed at emerging writers aged 16-18. These feature a pair of acclaimed creatives: Bafta, Olivier and Tony award-winning screenwriter and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne discusses the adaptation of Phillip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials, while acclaimed Welsh poet, author and playwright Owen Sheers leads students through a creative writing workshop inspired by and filmed in the landscape of Wales. 

Aine Venables, Hay Festival Education Manager, said: “In a year of enormous challenges for young people and schools all around the UK, we’re pleased that our new digital formats enable us to bring writers and young people together in sessions that can inspire and entertain. Our free Programme for Schools and Beacons Project workshops aim to meet that need with vibrancy and joy. Everyone is welcome.”

While the main Festival programme will not be announced until the end of April, plans include an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, kicking off with the inaugural Hay Festival Opening Night Gala on Wednesday 26 May. Over the 11 days that follow, more than 200 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction and interrogating some of the biggest issues of our time; from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy. 

Parents, teachers and young people can register for the free Programme for Schools sessions here. 

Details of the digital Beacons Project workshops can be found here.