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Selby High School

Selby High School

Whitby poetry visit

A group of Year 8 students travelled to Whitby on Monday 23rd June to complete a year long writing project with Royal Literary Fellow, John Siddique.  Students have taken part in poetry workshops which challenged their thinking and provided them with inventive and creative approaches to inspire their writing.

The sunshine welcomed us on our visit to Whitby Abbey to create gothic poetry before enjoying the seaside splendour of a walk along the pier as a stimulus for our next piece.  Whilst waiting for fish and chips at The Magpie Cafe, students created their own six word poems and shared their wisdom of how best to pour a decent cuppa.  After a T.S.Eliot inspired poem on the beach, discovering some interesting finds washed up on the sands, we climbed back up the 199 steps to the Abbey for the journey home.

Earlier in the year students visited Leeds City Art Gallery where they performed their poetry to gallery visitors to great applaud.  Workshops in school then helped students to develop their writing and vocabulary choices.

Our visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park allowed students to be inspired by a different form of art in a less traditional setting.  Inspired by the cedar wood sculptures of Ursula von Rydingsvard, part of a Yorkshire Festival event in the run up to the Tour de France, students were able to use the textures and smells of the cedar wood to develop their own poetry.

Over the year, students have grown happy to share and perform their creative writing.  When the project first began, most students were terrified to share their poetry but, with a newly found confidence, students have performed their poetry to the public in a variety of venues across Yorkshire!

"The John Siddique workshop was fun and mind clearing.  It made me learn a lot about opening my mind and realise that I enjoy writing poetry.  I hope we can do this again in Year 9."  Quinn Haywood, G8.

"Whitby was a great trip.  I loved sitting and having fish and chips at the famous Magpie Café.  We explored the pier and the beach and took photos of the boats.  I enjoyed writing poetry about Whitby Abbey."  Courteney Mortimer, G3.

"The workshops have been brilliant.  John shared his poetry from 'Recital' with us and we created our own poetry.  It has been a great experience. Thank you to John for working with us and to school for arranging it." Katie Liddle, P5.

The workshop would not have been possible without Miss Crawford and Mr Jones for their wonderful chauffeur services and to Miss McQueen for her work last year.  Special thanks go to John Siddique, Royal Literary Fellow, for his enthusiasm, humour, energy and his poetry!  We hope to see you again soon.

Miss L Jackson
Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning