On Thursday 23rd April, Year 6 pupils from Cranleigh Prep and 10 visiting London schools were treated to a literary workshop with world-renowned author of ‘Trash’, Andy Mulligan, who is currently teaching English at Cranleigh School.
There were over 55 pupils taking part from a wide variety of London prep schools, including Dulwich Prep, Falcons School for boys, Fulham Prep, Knightsbridge School, Milbourne Lodge, Northcote Lodge, The Old Vicarage, Ravenscourt Park Prep, The Roche and Tower House.
The first workshop commenced at Cranleigh School, with an engaging, fascinating presentation from Andy Mulligan discussing where his ideas for ‘Trash’ came from, as well as some background on his other novels. There was much excitement from the children, as they watched a trailer from the film ‘Trash’, which premiered in the UK in January. They were then entertained with wonderful stories about where Andy found inspiration for the plots and characters in ‘Trash’, ‘The Ribblestrop Trilogy’ and his latest novel, ‘The Boy with the Two Heads’.
The second workshop, ‘A Celebration of Reading’, involved each visiting school giving a short presentation on a book of their choice. The children had clearly all worked hard and entertained each other brilliantly with a wide range of book choices – particular praise was given to Cranleigh Prep’s wonderfully engaging performance of ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio, Northcote Lodge’s outstanding presentation on ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar and the excellent, very slick talk Tower House gave on ‘Walk Two Moons’ by Sharon Creech.
After much excitement at the diverse selection of lunch options available in the Cranleigh School dining room, followed by a stunning walk across the school grounds over to the Prep School, the children enjoyed an ice-cream in glorious sunshine on Top Pitch. They then headed to the Roulston building for an inspirational creative writing workshop, with Andy Mulligan exploring the finer details of exactly how fiction works, helping the children to structure and write the opening chapters to their own novels. As the afternoon progressed, Andy read out some exceptionally good introductions written by very promising young novelists, demonstrating how well they had listened to and capitalised on Andy’s wealth of experience in creative writing.
Armed with their smart new note books and a signed copy of Trash, the budding visiting journalists returned to London buzzing with enthusiasm. The following morning, Cranleigh Prep School pupils and staff were treated to a surprise performance of ‘Wonder’ from Year 6 pupils Freddie, Moog, Siena, William and Matilda in Chapel.
Report and pictures contributed by Cranleigh Prep School.