Kath Dwyer CoonabarabrnFeast of Words 2019 - Coonabarabran High by Sr Kath Dwyer osu

Each year, Coonabarabran High school celebrates a week’s Festival, or Feast of Words, where all forms of Literature are presented by invitees, and experienced by students across the Years 7-12. It is a wonderfully enriching event in a school where staff and students engage generally in warm, inclusive, relational experiences with students. I have had the privilege of being invited to the Festival now for some years. A significant feature of the current English Syllabus is the study of multi-modal texts, for which a superbly rich and wide ranging resource exists in the form of contemporary Picture Books. Many of these provide absorbing, visually stimulating experiences of social commentary ,emotional empathetic representations, and visual symbolism, ideal resources for young reading/viewing learners. Specific features of these texts such as narrative boundary- breaking, parody ,multiple ambiguous readings, and intertextuality excite and encourage interactive class participation, while providing opportunities for rigorous , sophisticated learnings and outcomes. It has been a pleasure to work with these students.


Some of the texts used in the workshops were as follows:

Stage 4:

The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness : Colin Thompson.
How to Heal a Broken Wing: Bob Graham
The Very Best of Friends: Margaret Wild / Julie Vivas
Piggybook: Anthony Browne
Hansel and Gretel: Anthony Browne
The Night Shimmy: Anthony Browne

Stage 5:

Rose Blanche: Roberto Innocenti
I Am Thomas: Armin Greder
The Wolf’s Story: Toby Forward
Wolves : Emily Gravatt
The Incredibly Happy Life of Riley : Colin Thompson/Amy Lissiat

Stage 6:

Rules of Summer: Shaun Tan
Into the Forest : Anthony Browne
The Wolf’s Story: Toby Forward.

Extract from the Coonabarbran High Newsletter re Feast of Words 2019;

Also on Wednesday, Kath Dwyer, a presenter with many years experience in both educating university students and school children, began her sessions on the picture-book medium. It was wonderful to have her skills and personality back in the school, with students from Year 7 through to 12 benefiting from her sessions on picture-books. In a world where visual literacy is more important than ever before, her advice to ‘see rather than look’ at image struck a chord with students, who discovered more about picture-books than they ever imagined they could. In the words of a wise Year 11 student, ‘this is full on!’ The other students around him (and teachers) agreed: but we were all relishing the challenge laid down before us. Kath also in-serviced English and Art staff after school on Wednesday, supporting these teachers to further spread the skill of visual literacy and build a valuable bank of knowledge within the school for future years.

Following is a link to the full article Feast of Words 2019 - Coonabarabran High