LitFest 2021

This year’s LitFest, like everything else, was a little different from usual. The Detective Story theme however, enabled all boys, whether 5 or 13 to enjoy solving puzzles, reading about mysteries and attending online talks from theatre groups and authors.

The detective story genre is perfect for inquisitive minds. Before the festival, boys were encouraged to read selected novels from a reading list. Teachers volunteered to make quizzes to go with the books, and these formed the basis of a tightly contested inter-form reading competition. Huge congratulations to 3O, 6G and 8J who proved the greatest readers in their part of the school.

Having virtual visitors might not be what the boys are used to, but it enabled Durston to host a range of authors that would not usually be able to attend on site. Pre-Prep boys were entertained by Andy Seed and the Freshwater Theatre Company. Andy, who writes detective stories for young readers, entertained Years 1 and 2 with his stories of mystery and mayhem, whilst the Reception boys were taken on a story hunt, finding out more about well-known fairy tales. The older boys had talks from authors Jasper Cooper, Caroline Lawrence and Helen Dennis. Hearing, first-hand, about the way popular books such as the Roman Mysteries and the Secret Breakers was inspiring for the boys, many of whom asked insightful questions proving their curiosity and interest in the subject matter.

Added to all this was the annual Verse Speaking Competition, a chance for boys to perform a poem of their choice to the rest of the Durston community. Despite the fact that this year’s competition was carried out via Zoom, it was, as usual, a pleasure to hear the boys’ renditions of some of the best-loved poems.

As always, a highlight of the academic year that showcases the love of reading and literature that flows through the school.