It was wonderful to welcome the author of October, October, Katya Balen, into School, in the month of October, to teach a writing workshop for pupils in Years 5 and 6 from Cokethorpe and from Combe Primary School (one of our Corinthian Partnership schools). She spoke about her life as a writer, explained how she writes, and shared insights into what inspires her remarkable imagination.
In her workshop, she first challenged the pupils to practise Free Writing before giving each child a lemon sherbet as a stimulus for a live immersion experience. She asked them to set about describing the full experience of the sweet by searching for the least obvious descriptions. For example, they should entirely avoid describing the taste, and focus instead upon the sound of the wrapper, the look of the object, its smell and the sensation of it in the mouth. Amongst other things, the children compared it to the crunching of autumnal leaves, the fizzing of a firework on the tongue, and the glow of a bright yellow pebble that demands to be eaten.
Members of our Catering Department had also read and enjoyed the book in order to prepare a wonderfully themed lunch with beautiful owl balloons, autumnal decorations and rice-paper covers of the book. Katya was delighted, having never been anywhere before that had gone to such lengths to celebrate her work. She said that she had had a wonderful day and would love the opportunity to come to Cokethorpe again.