Inflatable planetarium launched Readers and Writers Festival

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The annual Readers and Writers Festival got off to an inspirational start at Concord with the installation of an inflatable planetarium for the first day. The whole of the Lower School as well as some of the sixth form visited the planetarium for half hour presentations on the theme of ‘Exploration and Discovery.’

The presentations featured the night sky and a 360 degree film about exploring space. As a result, students have been invited to submit words, photographs and artwork for a book on their reflections of the theme.

The book, which will be available to buy on line, is expected to be completed after half term.

A director of Immersive Theatres, Mario Di Maggio, visited the Acton Burnell-based college to set up the inflatable planetarium and deliver the presentations to the students.

Following on from that, popular writer Paul Dowswell delivered a number of workshops to Form 3 and 4 students on where writers get their ideas and how they create characters.

Paul  is a British writer of non-fiction and fiction, writing mainly for children and young adults. He has written over 60 books, mostly with history as the subject, but also about geography, natural history and science.

He was followed by Katie Steckles, a mathematician based inManchester, who gave a series of maths talks to students in forms 4, 5 and 6.

‘Mathematic Magic’ was the theme for form 4, ‘Domino Computers’ for Form 5 and 6.1 students wishing to study Computer Science at university and ‘Fractals’ for sixth formers thinking of studying mathematics and further mathematics at A level.

Following completion of her PhD in 2011, Katie has given talks about maths in schools, at science and music festivals and on BBC Radio.

Deb Alma, Emergency Poet, visited the college with her ambulance to prescribe poems for all ailments.  Students climbed into her ambulance and she answered questions as well as sending them on their way with a poem to cure all.

Jenny Gunning was the festival’s final visiting speaker and she spent two days providing printing workshops that marked the new printing facility in the college art block.

 Art students, working from images they found during an exploratory walk around campus, had the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of materials and printing techniques.

Jenny studied atCheltenhamUniversitywhere she obtained a BA Honours degree in specialist printing making and went on to open a specialist printmaking and framing business, Ironbridge Fine Arts and Framing.

Having lived and worked in Ironbridge for over a decade she an impressive collection of work aboutShropshire. Her love of the Gorge and its history go together with the traditional printmaking techniques Jenny uses to create her artwork.

Said Concord’s Head of English Phil Woods:  “The theme was exploration and discovery and the events looked at different ways of seeing and writing about the world around us.

“This was from looking at the night sky to venturing into the world of maths and from an insight into the world of a fiction writer to exploring the world through printing… the week had something for everyone.”

Concord College, Acton Burnell Hall, Acton Burnell,
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY5 7PF, England.

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