Wessex Literary Festival

Romsey School has had a literary focus this term with a variety of activities taking place. The biggest of these was the annual literary festival. The Wessex Schools Literary Festival is a collaboration of eight local secondary schools, all running literary events in their schools at the same time.

WLL Romsey Poetry Team (2)

This year Romsey were delighted to welcome authors Joe Craig, Sally Nicholls and Alex Bell into school to work with pupils. Pupils also enjoyed performance poet, Adisa and comic book illustrator, Kev Sutherland. The annual Poetry Slam event also took place during the Festival. Pupils were selected to perform at this event from the poetry workshops led by Southampton Poet Laureate, Matt West. The Romsey team of Megan Bowles, Jo Lajeunesse, James Rowland and Jack Bartlett performed their poems brilliantly and Romsey were thrilled to win both the school and individual prizes. Megan was the individual Slam champion with an excellent poem, beautifully performed.

Head teacher, Mr McKavanagh, who attended the evening said, “The standard of poetry was truly exceptional. The packed audience were treated to outstanding performances by all of the students from the 6 schools who took part.”

There were also other events taking place in school throughout the Festival, such as book art workshops, a Festival Bake-Off, a chance to find a golden ticket or to get caught reading and various other book-related activities.

WLL Book Award JudgesA group of Year 8 pupils have been busy over the last few months reading the six shortlisted books for this year’s Hampshire Book Award. They met regularly to discuss and evaluate them and recently attended the voting morning at Applemore College. The books are all recently published titles and include an exciting fantasy adventure set on board a train, a murder mystery and a futuristic story about a group of people trying to survive in a hostile world. Pupils were delighted when Romsey’s favourite, Looking at the Stars by Jo Cotterill won the Award. It is a thought-provoking and topical story following the plight of refugees in the Middle East.

A group of Year 9 pupils have been busy preparing assemblies for three of our local primary schools to promote the annual Summer Reading Challenge. This is an initiative run by the public library service for primary pupils to participate during the summer holidays. This year’s theme is ‘The Big Friendly Read’, so the Year 9s have all chosen a different Roald Dahl character to represent at the assemblies in Romsey Abbey, Romsey Primary and Cupernham Junior Schools.


The winning poetry slam team of Jack Bartlett, Jo Lajeunesse, Megan Bowles & James Rowland.

The Year 8 Hampshire Book Award Judges at the voting day at Applemore College.

Ellie Grahamsley with author, Sally Nicholls.