You might, therefore, be surprised to learn that many schools do not have a library or a librarian – which seems a contradiction in terms.
A few facts. Last year almost 70% of 16 year olds achieved at least 5 GCSE passes with grades A*-C. And 58% of GCSE sitters got 5 good passes including English and maths.
Let me put my cards on the table. I am firmly in the camp which believes that television damages children and that the less they see the better.
The best possible training for any sort of writing is to read as many examples of the genre written by experienced people as you can. That way you absorb the conventions and possible approaches. You won’t write, say, a decent novel, play or poem unless you’ve read plenty of novels, plays or poems. And exactly the same principle applies to theatre reviewing.
Children’s non-fiction, or “Educational Writing”, is often seen as the poor cousin of children’s fiction (unless, of course, you’re Terry Deary) – it’s time we started paying it better attention.
Next week something rather unusual is happening at Unicorn Theatre in Tooley Street. Having taken over its new state-of-the-art building in 2005, Unicorn was, and is, London’s first and only purpose-built theatre for young audiences. Today it caters for ages 2-21.
Unicorn formally launches its “Greeks” season on 1st May, after some preview performances – as [...]
This week The Peacock Theatre, part of the Sadler’s Wells complex near London’s Angel underground station, soared to the sound of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent, evocative, tuneful Sleeping Beauty music – one of his three great ballets.
The Carnegie shortlist is announced today, and could be the perfect opportunity to get children reading and making recommendations of their own.
The underlying and valid concern is that the cultural experience of children and young people is alarmingly hit and miss. Far too many never see live theatre, hear/make music or visit museums, galleries or places of historical interest. Henley’s brief was to make some concrete, preferably inexpensive, suggestions for ways of making cultural education an entitlement for all children.
Sitting on a train last week were two children, a girl of perhaps 11 and her younger brother who was about 9. They were being escorted home to parents after a half term jaunt, I inferred, by their grandmother. After a bit they were ready to settle. Both asked Granny for their Kindles which they then read with total absorption until the train reached St Pancras station 45 minutes later.
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