Gulliver’s Valley partners with Grimm & Co to host unique writing workshops

Gulliver’s Valley will host a series of magical writing workshops from Yorkshire literary charity Grimm & Co aimed at igniting the imaginations of local schoolchildren.

The Rotherham theme park resort will welcome Year Four pupils from six Astrea Academy Trust primary schools for the Storymaking workshops in Grimm’s Story Cellar at Gulliver’s Valley.

Grimm & Co, a writing and mentoring centre for children and young people, runs the workshops to build creative writing skills, develop confidence in writing and motivate children and young people to pen their very own stories.

Classes will conjure up characters, a setting and a plot for their story, with illustrators on hand to bring the children’s creations to life.

Each child will receive their own published story, with their name on the cover and their exciting tale inside.

The storymaking sessions are part of a two-year Teacher Development project in collaboration with Astrea Academy Trust and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The Chapter & Verse programme began in January 2020 and runs until July next year.

This academic year will see six schools taking part, with Grimm & Co empowering teachers to explore creative courage in the classroom. During the six-week residency in each school, an immersive, multi-sensory theatre space will transform the learning process. The literacy charity is working with the already-existing Literacy Tree, exploring The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.

Gulliver’s Valley will host the workshops while Grimm & Co wait to move into a new premises on Ship Hill, in the centre of Rotherham. The new story emporium will combine an independent bookshop, café and gift shop with a space for magical literary workshops.

Deborah Bullivant, founder of Grimm & Co, said: “We’re grateful to Gulliver’s Valley for hosting our school workshops for under-resourced children and young people which empower them to use writing as a tool for self-expression.

“As work is taking place to develop our new home on Ship Hill into a magical place for children, we needed a temporary new home to run these sessions and we are thrilled that Julie Dalton from Gulliver’s stepped in and has given us the perfect space to continue our delivery.

“Grimm & Co’s mission is to change lives, one story at a time. Through these workshops our aim is to support the next generation to find their voice.”

Andy Flowers, resort manager at Gulliver’s Valley, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to host Grimm & Co’s school writing workshops while they wait to move into their new premises.

“Grimm & Co do such important work encouraging children and young people to realise their potential and have fun through writing. They are a natural partner for Gulliver’s Valley as both organisations are passionate about creating magical moments for children to enjoy.”

Hannah Baker, Astrea Primary Literacy Lead, said: “Astrea Y4 pupils are so excited about visiting Gulliver’s for their story making session with Grimm and Co. It’s the perfect launch to such an innovative programme to enhance the way in which we teach creative writing.”

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