Picture of Company Crest

Forest Hill School

Forest Hill had a visit from Alex Wheatle, the Brixton Bard and 2016 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize winning author of Young Adult Fiction. Alex spoke to the whole of Year 8 (7 classes) about his life and his books along with readings, followed by the same for half of Year 9 (4 classes). He then met with a class of Year 9 pupils who had attended the presentation and worked with them on creative writing ideas, giving them feedback on some raps they had developed. At lunchtime Alex met with some fans and signed books that they had bought and finished the day with a small group session with a group of Year 9 pupils with learning needs. Over the course of the day Alex worked with 370 young people. Books were available for sale, provided by Pea Green Boat Books, and 59 copies were sold. As a follow up to the visit, the school are continuing book promotion in displays and library lessons. The Head of House and library lesson teacher are planning a House Assembly led by the class who had the creative writing session and they are hoping to organise further events with BAME authors who would have a similar impact if we are able to secure funding.

Feedback from the school:

"This visit had a huge impact on the boys who came to the sessions, comments such as 'I've never asked my mum to buy me a book before', boys excited to re-tell Alex's story to teachers who didn't hear it and others who were touched by the fact that a writer could succeed after such a tough start. All the sessions were extremely well received by pupils. The boys in the creative writing session also commented on how it was useful. In one session 2 very difficult boys engaged fully with Alex, despite themselves."