Thursday 2 April 2009

Writer in Residence

I spent another day at Lister Community School yesterday. It was quite a fruitful day working on creative writing in other languages. I worked with Y9 French, Y8 French, two Y7 Spanish classes and a KS3 English as a Second Language group. We did a variety of exercises, in fact starting out in French using the perfect tense and inventing Jacques Prévert style poems. We also looked at acrostics, hello goodbye poems, haiku and inventing a persona through questions an answers. The second language group did some writing with the senses from memory. These are all things which are so natural to me yet seem so new to the teachers there. I suppose that is the point of having a writer in school.
We then talked at length about what I might do. I’m going to see them again on 23 April to talk it all through. But ideas include:
Piloting “Creative Language Learning”
Working with Art on producing book covers
Working with Art on producing a picture book
Working with Science on writing about the environment
Standard author visits
Working further with the English as a Second Language group.
It is actually quite exciting. I am going to become their “Writer in Residence”
Fingers crossed.
I had some time to kill before it was time for my train. I went to the British library. It’s amazing now how you can’t get into the Reading Rooms because so many people are now allowed to join, and how they’ve made spaces for people to work on the laptops in the lobbies. You can more often than not find a power point. And often you can find a little desk to work at. Quite a sight – I reckon about 200 people working on their laptops in the public areas.
It’s not bad at all getting from London to Manchester. Virgin Trains offer some good Advance fares and you can usually book a seat with a power point. It takes just over two hours and doesn’t cost much more than it used to to travel from Southampton where there is no facility for reserving seats.

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