KES star Dai Bradley visited Barnsley College students to speak to them about the impact the film can have 50 years later and to help inspire the students with their studies.

English GCSE students at the college are studying Barry Hines’ novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, but were struggling to relate the novel, which was written more than 50 years ago, to their modern lives.

Tutor Dawn Wright organised an event for Dai Bradley to speak about his role in the film, Kes, to help inspire the students.

“They don’t think the book or film is relevant to their lives at all,” said English tutor Dawn. “I wanted to show them that the book is still as relevant as ever and that it really says something about the society we live in now.”

Dawn organised for Dai to visit the college to answer any questions the students had about the film or book. He also spoke about the relevance of the text and encouraged the students to follow their passions. I heard about the lecture-style format of the day and I thought it was a great idea,” he said. “I felt it was important to come and tell the story of how I started and to use Billy’s story to help them find and follow their passion.

“It’s important for Kes and A Kestrel for a Knave to be brought to a modern audience because there will be thousands of Billy Caspers – some may be in that room, who just want to be heard and want someone to take an interest in them which could help them to flourish.”

Candidate for Barnsley Central Dan Jarvis said about the event: “I think this event will improve the students’ understanding of the rich traditions of Barnsley and learn about what has gone before to see what comes next. Kes is an iconic film for information about social history and many themes of both the film and book are still relevant today.”