Baillie Gifford Schools Programme Launch Event

Last week, librarians, teachers, authors and arts workers from all over Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and further afield gathered in Edinburgh Academy’s beautiful main hall to celebrate the launch of our Baillie Gifford Schools Programme.

Our Children & Education Programme Director, Janet Smyth gave a summary of the programme, highlighting some of the events she’s particularly excited about, including founding fathers of hip-hop, The Last Poets (see p.14 in the brochure). Janet also emphasised some of the ways in which the Book Festival can help make a trip more affordable for schools and pupils including the transport fund, £3 book voucher for pupils and 25% discount on pre-ordered books, plus free books on Baillie Gifford Gala Day. All of these schemes are made possible thanks to our lead sponsor, Baillie Gifford.

We then welcomed on stage author Tom Morgan-Jones, who is appearing in no less than 3 schools events this year (p. 32, 37, 41). Tom gave us a little taster of his events and led the audience in drawing a cartoon Shakespeare – with great results!

Next up, our Creative Learning Manager Catherine Jones introduced this new Learning site. The Learning site, as well as being the place to go for all information on the Schools Programme and other news and events, also hosts all of our learning resources. These resources can be used to help you get more out of your event on site, or to access other content such as videos and audio recordings, discussion points, interviews and activities created by authors. It’s all searchable by theme and curriculum level so do have a look – any feedback is very much welcome as we will be developing these resources and adding to them regularly.

Last, but not at all least was Kasia Matyjaszek, who brings I am a Very Clever Cat, her first foray as both an author and illustrator to the Festival this year (p.8). Kasia introduced us to Stockton (a very clever cat) and got us involved in a hands-on activity ripping up coloured paper and making unexpected drawings from it, which will be great fun for the P1s and P2s who attend her event.

Following the presentations, there was a chance to mingle and ask questions, with a glass of wine in hand, as well as to choose some books to take back to school.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the event, as well as our speakers and Edinburgh Academy for hosting.

BOOKING IS NOW OPEN for the 2017 Schools Programme.  You can find out more information on How To Book here.

To fill out the booking form online, visit: