Sketch Assemblies - one of the '8 ways to connect' to A Town Explores A Book

Rebecca is an ExploreTheArch director and SENCO in primary schools in the Wyvern Federation who take part in the festival.

Our introductory school activity, Sketch Assembly, was pioneered in the 2023 festival with SENCO Rebecca Coombs. Rebecca’s school communities helped our festival team to trial this innovative introduction to book embracing doodling.

A whole school community is invited to sketch as they listen to a member of the festival team announce the book choice and share core themes with two short passages.

This approach makes a ten minute talk accessible for diverse learners; the act of drawing what the imagination conjures is a method of processing what is being heard.

For children who find whole school gatherings stressful, the act of making marks on paper can sooth.

For children who have not heard of a book/author before, drawing a pencil across paper is a personal entry point into the book that signifies agency. A Town Explores A Book is a reader-led festival so it’s essential that every child experiences that agency from the outset.

A Town Explores A Book’s schools’ exploration is through art activities that connect up reading, writing and fun. Sketch Assemblies are available to all festival schools taking part. It is the first of the ‘8 Ways to Connect’ programme for schools.