5 ways schools can celebrate and learn from Roald Dahl Day

Date Posted: 13/09/2016

September is Roald Dahl’s birth month and today marks Roald Dahl Day. With that in mind STO has compiled a list of ways that schools can celebrate and learn about the much-loved author.

Roald Dahl was born on the 13th September 1916 and was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter and fighter pilot. His novels are popular amongst children and some of his most popular works include The BFG, The Witches, Matilda and Fantastic Mr Fox.

This month marks 100 years since his birth, which makes September 2016 extra special.

Here are some ways in which schools can celebrate his legacy.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is located in the village of Great Missenden, where the author lived and wrote for 36 years. The museum features three interactive galleries – the Boy gallery, which looks at Roald’s school days, the Soho gallery, which houses his original writing hut and The Story Centre. Schools can arrange to visit for a 90 minute session – either in the morning or the afternoon – which involves:

•    A ten minute orientation
•    A 20 minute interactive exploration of his writing hut and writing methods
•    40 minutes to explore the hands-on activities in the museums galleries
•    A 20 minute literacy workshop in Miss Honey’s Classroom

Schools can visit the Wales Millennium Centre to find the oddball pop-up, The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl, running until January 2017. The exhibition re-creates scenes from some of Roald Dahl’s most loved stories, including upside down corridors from The Twits, shadowy forests from Fantastic Mr Fox and the library from Matilda. There are two workshops available for groups – the Magic Finger Orchestra workshop and the George’s Marvellous Mix Up workshop, and each tour includes items from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre activities.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Matilda the Musical is running at The Cambridge Theatre until May 2017 and provides plenty of educational opportunities for schools. The show tells Roald Dahl’s classic story of the almost child-genius Matilda who has telekinesis powers. A visit for schools includes links to English, Drama and Theatre studies and has strong curriculum links to literacy, PSHE and SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning). Educational workshops are available and are led and designed by the RSC as a way to introduce children to the story, the key characters and the creative process of bringing it to life on stage.

Tatton park is running the year long Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park in 2016. The festival has seen and continues to see a number of different events running at the estate, including Danny the Champion of the World in the Gardens, Fantastic Mr Fox at the Farm and Matilda in the Mansion. Christmas, in particular, will play host to A Gloriumptious Christmas Mansion which will see the mansion decorated for Christmas with Road Dahl’s world.

Schools can visit the National Museum Cardiff for the exhibition Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, which is running until 20th November. Quentin Blake is best known for his illustrations in Roald Dahl’s books, and this exhibition gives an insight into such illustrations which feature in stories including The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World. The exhibition showcases first drafts and storyboards, and finished artwork to demonstrate how ideas evolve.

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