Our Literacy Leaders programme inspires powerful poetry
Posted by Danielle Wright
4 Nov 2016
The chair legs screeched as students launched from their seats and darted across the room, in a blur of burgundy blazers, searching for an empty chair. What caused such a frenzy? A simple question: ‘Who here likes football?’ A popular subject at St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham.
But what started as an icebreaker game quickly became so much more. Coached by the brilliant performance poet, Francesca Beard, the Year 7 and 8 students were asked to pose their own questions to the group, starting with those two crucial words ‘who here’.
As well as thinking about what they had in common – ‘who here has a sibling?’ or ‘who here likes chicken?’ – the students were encouraged to explore their differences and think about what qualities were important to them. The results were some deeply thought-provoking and powerful pieces of poetry, such as this piece by Olamide:
Who here takes things for granted?
Who feels that they want to start their life?
Who has done something they will regret forever?
Who has dreamt of one day dying?
Who has ever told themselves they will never forgive someone who has done something to them?
Will they ever be the same?
You can see more examples of the students’ excellent poems here.
A huge thank you to Francesca Beard for leading the workshops as part of our Literacy Leaders programme. Now in its second year, the programme empowers secondary school students to become literacyn mentors and drive literacy events and activities in their school. Literacy Leaders is generously funded by PwC and reached 1,170 students last year. We now have another four schools on board for 16-17 and look forward to running many more workshops and special events over the coming months. We’re incredibly grateful to the students for allowing us to share their work.
If you would like to be kept informed about future opportunities to take part in Literacy Leaders, please complete our expression of interest form.
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