Arden Anglican School staff and students celebrated all things literary during the School’s recent Readers’ Festival and Book Week celebrations. This year’s special guest was John Heffernan, an Australian author of children’s books catering to pre-schoolers through to young adults. John spent two days instructing Years 7 – 12 students in the art of creative writing. The students benefited from the opportunity of interacting directly with an accomplished author. For example, the Year 7 Ad Altissima English class enjoyed the challenge of writing a response in five minutes to the term “I remember”, after hearing the valuable insights and advice John shared with them about the world of writing. John was also the guest of honour at the Senior School book character dress-up Morning Tea for staff which celebrated all things great about literature.
The annual Literary Breakfast proved popular with Pre-School – Year 12 students, with John Heffernan sharing his journey as a writer and storyteller. Mrs Lynette Pellizzon, Arden’s Head of Information Services, explained: “John spoke about what inspires him in his writings. Lots of wonderful stories about the process of researching for his novels and writing. He finished off the breakfast with a rap that he is working on and completely enthralled all who were present at the breakfast.”
Meanwhile, Junior School students enjoyed celebrating the wonderful world of books and storytelling as part of the National Book Week celebrations. Students enjoyed various activities including a Library Treasure Hunt, taking part in a Book Guessing Competition and take ‘Shelfies’ in the Library (a photo of students with their favourite book). All Primary students also took part in Author visits. Mrs Maren de Rijk, Arden’s Junior School Librarian, reported: “Aura Parker enthralled our Kindergarten – Year 2 students with her gorgeous gentle picture book, Twig, which tells the story of Heidi (a stick insect) and her experiences on her very first day of school. Students loved it especially when they were invited to draw with Aura and so each went home with their very own illustration. After meeting several live stick insects which Aura had brought with her, a little Twig yoga helped students to imagine themselves as a stick insect!” Meanwhile author Jacqueline Harvey inspired Year 3 – 6 students. Mrs de Rijk explained: “Jacqueline shared how she finds her ideas and how actual events and people she met somehow managed to make it into her stories. She encouraged students to keep their story writing interesting by not revealing everything straight away and to just persevere!”
This year’s celebrations proved valuable in emphasising the importance of literacy to Arden students, with Mrs De Rijk concluding: “Our three wonderful authors reminded us about the immense treasures which can be discovered through books and storytelling.”