Highfield and Brookham Schools backs literary festival

Highfield and Brookham Schools backs literary festival
Highfield & Brookham News

Highfield and Brookham Schools is supporting a thriving arts festival in Kent this month.

The school is sponsoring the children’s programme during the two-day Wealden Literary Festival, which will be held in Woodchurch from June 26-27.

The festival, which was founded in 2016 by former Highfield and Brookham Schools pupil Andrew Willan and his wife, Laura, treats young visitors to storytelling, creative crafts, a nature trail and myriad other outdoor adventures.

Beautiful Boldshaves Garden will again host the popular arts festival and, according to the organisers, the children’s programme has been expanded and is now the biggest it has been in the event’s five-year history.

Children can get back to nature with wild-cooking demonstrations, forest and farm schools, wildlife spotting, bushcraft and a barefoot walk in the ancient woodland while immersing themselves in a literary paradise featuring acclaimed authors and illustrators who will offer a series of readings and informative talks.

Joseph Coehlo (The Girl Who Became A Tree), Lauren St John (The Snow Angel) and Hannah Gold (The Last Bear) are among the writers set to appear.

And the heady mix of nature and literacy that the Wealden Literary Festival has to offer makes Highfield and Brookham’s involvement all the more pertinent, with the nursery, pre-prep and prep schools on the leafy borders of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex nestling in 175 majestic acres which form an integral part of the schools’ curriculum.

Phillip Evitt, headmaster at Highfield School, said:

We are so pleased to be the headline sponsor for the children’s programme. Given how prominent a part outdoor learning, bushcraft and Forest School plays in the lives of Highfield and Brookham children, we think that our association with the festival is wonderful. The fact that Andrew Willan, the festival director, is an Old Highfieldian is a joyous additional connection

Mr Willan, a keen advocate of outdoor life and a sustainable environment who lives in Tenterden, was a pupil at Highfield and Brookham Schools from 1993-1999, along with brothers Charlie and Hugh and sister Lucinda.

He said: “The past year has been difficult for many of us, but for children life has been turned upside down. Routines have been disrupted and access to outdoor spaces has been limited, as have opportunities to enjoy time with extended family and friends.

“We know that time spent in nature and on creative and energetic pursuits are hugely important in a child’s development. We can’t make up for lost time, but we can reignite imaginations and leave young visitors smiling.”

For festival tickets and itinerary, visit www.wealdenliteraryfestival.co.uk.

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