Kirkleatham wanted Year 9 pupils, for whom there is less literacy support at home and were not achieving the required levels of progress through Key Stage 3, to gain skills in their choice of vocabulary, writing flowing narrative and in creative presentation skills: dramatic reading, clear diction and taking pride in their work.
The project focused on the Artworks, paintings and photographs that were being displayed as part of the Steel Stories exhibition.
Working with Poet, Kate Fox, sessions were practice based, encouraging pupils (all boys) to engage with each other, particularly since they were not in the same class. Pupils were encouraged to start writing by using simple exercises such as selecting objects in the room to write about as well as producing one-word stories.
Pupils interviewed ex-steel workers, who provided stories behind the steel works and pictures, especially since the pupils only had their own experience to draw on.
The pupils visited Teesside Transporter Bridge, a steel bridge. They experienced an environment that they would not otherwise have visited. Seeing the bridge provided students with a physical experience that inspired their writing.
The workshops were structured to provide real world writing experiences for pupils and encouraged pupils to write from a personal perspective using first hand knowledge. The pupils were treated as creative writers, encouraged to be constructive editors. Students became better able to write from another person’s perspective – a skill that they will need for their GCSE English.
Pupils were encouraged to produce high quality imaginative written responses to a visual stimulus. The museum wanted to engage positively with secondary age pupils, whilst also developing audio within a museum setting.
The work produced was displayed in the museum as part of the Steel Stories exhibition.
Coming soon! We are busy putting the finishing touches to the resource, so keep an eye on this space.