National Poetry Day 2019

With my Didcot Girls’ School Patron of Writing hat on, I had a lot of fun planning a poetry takeover for National Poetry Day. The students explored the life and words of environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, and wrote poems inspired by her, around the theme of climate change. Please enjoy these poems, created by yearContinue reading “National Poetry Day 2019”

Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: creating safe writing spaces in the classroom

How do we change young people’s perceptions about poetry? How do we remove the blocks, the clamps that weigh us down, make us so fearful of writing freely? How can we release the incredible potential of the next generation’s creativity? These are all issues that I seek to open, challenge and address in my poetryContinue reading “Where my heart lies in the darkness of my safe space: creating safe writing spaces in the classroom”

‘under the sun’s rare brilliance’ – a final Patron of Writing update for 2018/19

I’ve genuinely loved every moment of being DGS Patron of Writing for 2018/19. It remains an awesome privilege for me to crack open some space in the school day for creativity and writing. And I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning next year – so watch out, next year’s Year 9, poetry is coming for youContinue reading “‘under the sun’s rare brilliance’ – a final Patron of Writing update for 2018/19”

“I Give You Permission” – latest update from my Young Writers’ Mentoring at Didcot Girls’ School

Within 3 minutes of settling down they are writing. 2 minutes later, I have a plethora of raised hands to choose from – all keen to share aloud the words they’ve just written. An observer would be impressed. And that’s just the warm up. At this halfway stage (week 10) in the mentoring programme, lookingContinue reading ““I Give You Permission” – latest update from my Young Writers’ Mentoring at Didcot Girls’ School”

Showcase of the Short

My young writers at Didcot Girls’ School have made it to the half term breather, which seems like a good opportunity for me to take stock. We are six weeks in to the mentoring programme, and the poets have responded to my first call for submissions of work for this blog. So here they are,Continue reading “Showcase of the Short”

The Universe and Us

(Photo by icon0.com from Pexels) What is it to be free? What does it look like, for you? This week with my young writers, we had freedom in mind. We talked about personal freedoms. We discussed free verse and poetic form. We read a poem that’s overflowing with freedom in its use of language, music and powerful self-expression.Continue reading “The Universe and Us”

#LetsDoThisKids – 2 (Or: what I’d like to show you after one week of student workshops)

So, what does happen when we give young people a few simple writing tools and FREEDOM ? I’m excited to be able to share snippets of work that some brilliant 13 and 14 year old writers at Didcot Girls’ School have created this week. (And I should add that these are drafts produced in aContinue reading “#LetsDoThisKids – 2 (Or: what I’d like to show you after one week of student workshops)”

#Letsdothiskids – Discoveries of a school Patron of Writing

I’m reeling. I’ve just been reading the creative writing of a bunch of 11 and 12 year olds. Original, compelling, artistically adventurous writing. Here’s a flavour: I’m summer, I’m winter, I’m everything it seems. Emily W Year 7 She is a record player, playing softly as everyone dances. She smells like warm leather but onContinue reading “#Letsdothiskids – Discoveries of a school Patron of Writing”