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Inspiration abounds amongst our creative writing scholars

Inspiration abounds amongst our creative writing scholars

This academic year, our creative writing scholars have been working with the theme 'Inspiration'.

Each term, they have attended a workshop run by our Year 12 'Ambassadors for Writing', Amelie A. and Emma B. In the autumn, the scholars looked at music as a form of inspiration and each scholar produced a piece of writing inspired by a particular piece of music.

In the spring, the workshop was run during Children's Mental Health week, and they investigated how emotions can be a source of inspiration; they also explored the role of writing in understanding our mental health. In the summer, they considered art as inspiration. Our publication of the scholars’ creative writing on the theme of Inspiration is coming out shortly, illustrated by St Mary’s art students. Watch this space!

National competition success

Our scholars have also had great success with competitions this year. Imogen C. (Year 7) entered her poem 'The White Daffodils' in the Stepping into Stories competition 'Bouncing Back'; she was awarded third prize in the 8-11 category and received a £10 National Book token. Grace P. (Year 9) received Highly Commended in the HART Prize for Human Rights competition, for her piece of writing ‘Dead White Man’s Clothes’, which explored the impact of fast fashion mountains in Ghana. Eloise S. (Year 9) was awarded Highly Commended in the GSA national competition ‘Dear Earth’, using her creative voice to address environmental issues.

Furthermore, Emma B. (Year 12) and Eloise S. (Year 9) were awarded first and second place respectively in the CISC National competition, Emma for her poem ‘Not Yet', and Eloise for her poem Growing up. Both received book tokens and certificates from CISC.

Our Year 12 Ambassadors for Writing' Amelie A. and Emma B., have had a busy year. Not only have they led our workshops, but they have also organised two in-house competitions, the first on the theme of Evolution and the second on the theme of Revolution. They have also taken part in an interactive online conference about spoken word poetry, run by the English Media Centre, and Amelie has entered a community collaborative poetry event, run by the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Emma has had several poems selected for publication in magazines, such as 'We Are' and ‘The Beginning’, which were both published with Wingless Dreamer in January, and her poem ‘My Ability’ was selected by the Young Writer’s competition.

Our scholar Freya B. (Year 12), has been running a poetry club for Key Stage 3 students, exploring a range of ideas connected to reading and writing poetry. On Holocaust Memorial Day, she led the group in a consideration of how poetry can tell stories from voices silenced across history, and she gave the group the opening line of 'Listen'.

Whether it be matters connected to inclusion, politics, diversity, wellbeing, the environment or relationships, our scholars have shown how powerful the creative voice can be in tackling a range of challenging issues, both personal and political.

Joanna Cottingham, Teacher of English and Joint Head of Department

David Walker, Teacher of English and Joint Head of Department

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