Knebworth has a wide range of educational programmes for schools, offering a marvellous opportunity for pupils to experience literacy away from the classroom.
One of the most popular English programmes at Knebworth is ‘Inspiring Young Writers’. Knebworth has a long tradition of story telling, with many dramatists and writers in the family, as well as famous literary guests. Knebworth’s Education Officer, Hannah Brownlow has developed a new outdoor afternoon programme to complement the morning in the House.
The Garden Story Trail was piloted on Tuesday 18th March by Year 4 pupils from Watton-at-Stone Primary School.
At the start of the Story Trail, each team of pupils receives a letter from Henry Lytton Cobbold commissioning them to search for original ideas for a fantastic story around the Gardens at Knebworth. The route takes them through the formal Gardens, including the maze, the wilderness and Dinosaur trail. Children encounter magical moments from diverse tales including Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Stig of the Dump and Dinosaur Cove. At the end of the trail, the children then gather by the walled garden to pitch their best story ideas to the Knebworth education guides.
Henry Lytton Cobbold met the children at the end of the pilot to hear their feedback.
After meeting them, Henry commented: “The children were bursting with ideas. It was lovely to hear how the gardens had inspired them. I certainly detected some future J.K. Rowlings amongst them!”
The verdict from the children was: “epic!” For more information on the Garden Story Trail and other programmes, please see the Education section.
Co-incidentally, the piloting of the Garden Story Trail took place during the first ever national Shakespeare week (17 – 23 March 2014). Shakespeare Week is a new national, annual celebration to bring Shakespeare to life vividly for millions of primary school children.