Hay Festival unveils free Programme for Schools 2019

Hay Festival has today unveiled its 2019 Programme for Schools, featuring children’s favourites Michael Rosen, Kate DiCamillo, Cressida Cowell, Chris Bradford, Abi Elphinstone, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Candy Gourlay and Chitra Soundar; stars of YA fiction Sarah Crossan, Holly Bourne, Alex Wheatle, Marcus Sedgwick, Yaba Badoe and Caroline Lawrence; comedians David Baddiel, Mae Martin and Harry Hill; Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan; master cartoonist Gary Northfield; scientist Steve Mould; historian and broadcaster Amy Lamé, and journalism workshops from the NewsWise team.

Mixing storytelling, live performances, and workshops, the two specially curated days, Thursday 23 May (KS 2) and Friday 24 May (KS 3 and 4), are free for State schools and funded by the Welsh Government and Hay Festival Foundation. Last year’s Programme for Schools saw 8,570 pupils attend from primary and secondary schools across England and Wales.

Booking applications open today (Monday 4 March) and close Monday 30 April. Find out more at hayfestival.org/schools.

Aine Venables, Hay Festival Education Manager, said: “We are delighted to announce the 2019 Hay Festival Programme for Schools. Our programme includes a stellar line-up of speakers offering a diverse range of events for pupils in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4. Opening access to inspiring opportunities for young people is a core part of our mission, here and around the world, and we can’t wait to throw our doors open for these free sessions.”

Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams AM said: “The Welsh Government is a proud supporter of the Hay Festival Programme for Schools. The line-up of speakers this year, as every year, is truly exceptional and offers our learners a breathtaking array of inspirational, thought-provoking and captivating sessions.

“When I visited last year’s Key Stage 2 Day I was struck not only by how much learners had enjoyed the sessions but how much they had learnt; these sessions really do challenge the way you see the world and reveal many new and dazzling horizons.

“Of course, the best thing about this is that every single school in Wales can enjoy and benefit from the programme, even if they can’t attend in person, thanks to the live-streaming service.

“I encourage all schools to make the most of these fantastic and invaluable opportunities.”

To further increase access to sessions, the Programme for Schools will again be streamed online direct to classrooms around the country. Teachers can register here.

Hay Festival’s Programme for Schools is part of the festival’s wider education work and commitment to young people that also includes Hay Compass, Hay Academy, Hay Levels, free tickets for students in tertiary education, Hay Festival Scribblers Tour, the Beacons Project - a free workshop residency for 16-18-year-olds interested in writing (details on how to apply at hayfestival.org/wales/beacons-project) - and the festival's new #BooksToInspire campaign.