I enjoyed running some poetry workshops on World Book Day at Townley Grammar School in Kent earlier this month. To be truthful, I was a bit anxious about them going well - a room of 30 year seven students is a somewhat daunting prospect and it has been a long time since I did any teaching. I tackled it by worrying then preparing for what seemed like quite a long time and possibly over-planning but in the event it went well and by the second workshop I started to relax and enjoy myself! I'm sure if I did more I would become more confident and less attached to my planning.
I think the students came to hear me as a poet and person and although I did read some poems, I got them to do quite a bit of writing and sharing of their work. I guess that's a balance to be worked out. Also their 50 minute lessons fly by..
It's all useful experience for the next workshop I am running in May with adult poets, on the theme of The Other Side.
Anyway here are some quotes from the students and a picture of the lunchtime session in which I met and chatted to students in smaller group. This was the part I enjoyed best.

"When Sarah began to read some of her poems, I was able to discover new writing techniques for when it comes to writing my own poems." Year 9 student.

Freya, year 9,  also felt it was well planned, was "interesting, showing me an insight into poetry and a poet's mind". 

Year 7 students -

"The workshop was fun and useful" 

 "The workshop was informative and entertaining"

"The workshop boosted our literacy skills in poetry and it taught us
to be creative." Phenicia

"Sarah Westcott did a great workshop, she made us feel welcome and
very supportive of our ideas" Velvet, Millie and Holly


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