In lockdown, I have been working with Y11 and 13 students whose schooling ended very abruptly in March to offer them some continued contact with school and an opportunity to think creatively. Some Y12 students have joined us too.
Creative writing is a brilliant focus for these unsettling times; it is good to be intellectually and creatively busy and logging on for regular sessions gives shape to our days and helps to support a positive and engaged outlook on the world. I have been writing a scheme for Y11 called the Cultural Capital Creatives in which we examine myths and stories from Ancient Greece, often those found in Ovid, and track their appearance through poetry, music and art history to the present day, before writing in response to each story.
With Y13 I have been offering a blend of such sessions and stand-alone ones focusing on individual poetic or literary forms or stimuli. Students comment on one another’s work and have time to develop their writing between sessions. Throughout, I have written alongside students and enjoyed this work very much.
I am so proud of the work they have written in these jangling months and feel that the level of skill and confidence in their writing that they now display is joyful and heartening stuff. I do hope that you will enjoy this selection of work from some of the students who have participated.
Justine Cohen – English & Drama