Primary Schools Programme 2024

London Primary Schools Programme logo and Dapo Adeola with children

Monday 20 May – Friday 21 June 2024

At Barnes we believe in the magic that happens when children meet the authors and illustrators they love and the lasting impact that this can have.

Because we believe that every child should have this opportunity, we provide our Primary Schools Programme FREE to every state maintained school in London. This year we’ll provide more than 15,000 free places for primary schools.

Our Programme brings your pupils together with their favourite authors to explore a variety of topics linked to the National Curriculum and guaranteed to inspire our next generation of readers and writers.

Please only book one year group per event so we can include as many schools as possible.

Bookings are open 8am Thursday 22 February and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Our sessions get filled fast so we do recommend you book as soon as possible.

If you have any queries about booking, you can get in touch with us at

What do teachers say about us?

‘Roger McGough’s event encouraged our children to be interested in words, to value their own ideas, to read and write poetry, to look at things in different ways and to appreciate the funny side of life: not a bad morning’s work!’ Lowther Primary School, Barnes SW13

‘The children have been so inspired by Onjali Rauf’s talk on the refugee crisis that they are planning to do something in school to raise money. This was such a relevant talk for our children as we do have refugee families in our school and community and it is timely to have raised awareness of their situation. On top of this, they are all keen to read her book!’ Lionel Primary School, Brentford TW8

“What an inspiring event! The children thoroughly enjoyed watching Joseph Coelho perform his poems and also relished the opportunity to join in with him and come up with their own ideas for poems. As a teacher, it also gave me ideas about how to teach children to write poems and how to create an exciting poetry lesson. We would love to come back again next year!” Barnes Primary School SW13

“Thank you again for the opportunity and the superb organisation of the presentation with Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons.The children were brimming over with enthusiasm when they got back to school, so much so that we changed our lesson plan for the remainder of the morning and got them to write their own email to Uncle Morton describing what the hungry dragon had eaten! Looking forward to doing it again next year!” Thomson House School, Mortlake SW14

school children attending the schools programme with barnes Childrens literature festival


Over 90% of the income we need to produce the Festival each year is provided when you buy a ticket. Without our ticket sales revenue, we’ve got a difficult year ahead. We know this is a worrying time for everyone, but if you are able please consider making a donation so that we can continue to bring you the Barnes you love. Whatever you can give will make a big difference. 

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