Writers’ Week 2017: The Big Write
This year writers’ week branched out across the school to all areas of the curriculum. In line with the school’s continued focus on academic writing, departments created activities which provided students with the opportunity to write like a specialist in that subject; from writing like a geographer, creating an article for the National Geographic on the barriers to Malawi’s development, to writing like a scientist, producing reports for a scientific audience. Students shone in their ability to consider different text types, audiences and purpose. Some of the most exceptional writing will be on display around the school and exhibited in the Summer Showcase at the end of the academic year.
As with previous writers’ weeks, we were able to invite in professional writers from a range of writing disciplines. Matt Oldfield, one of the authors of a range of footballer biographies ran workshops with year 7 and 8 classes. Students chose to write an excerpt of their own biography about Christian Bale or Katy Perry.
We were also joined by Dr Ben Still, author of: The Secret Life of the Periodic Table; Brains Explains Quantum Physics; Particle Physics Brick by Brick. Dr Still worked in Science lessons across all year groups and led an assembly to Year 10 on his career as a writer. He had this to say about his time at Woodside:
“Thank you so much for the invite to speak at your school, I had a fantastic time. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of the KS3 students who were keen to ask a lot of physics questions - especially about black holes! I was also really impressed by the year 10 class and their approach to the workshop where they came up with some great ideas for a piece on hormones. The students were a credit to the school: polite, engaged and well behaved throughout.” – Dr Ben Still
On Wednesday Year 10 students were in workshops with Philip Green, one of our school Governors, and a writer in the field of child psychology. The students commented that:
“The Big Write was a very interesting and useful experience for me. I was grateful that Mr Graham could share his experience and techniques for writing non-fiction. I will definitely use this advice in my own non-fiction writing” – George Brett Year 10
“The Big Write was a very enjoyable experience. I believe that it has helped my non-fiction writing. I learnt skills such as writing like an expert and knowing who your audience is. We discussed how adolescents are viewed by society and whether we should be treated as adults or not. I was intrigued to find the work Mr Graham carried out and how long it takes to write a book and get it published.” – Davit Gevorgyan Year 10
Returning author Rob Lloyd Jones worked with History and Geography classes about his writing journey and his work as an historian. His assembly to Year 7 captured their imagination and hopefully inspired them to be brave about their own writing and reading skills.
Finally, 40 Year 8 students working with Ed Platt for writers’ week as part of the First Story project. This is a highly successful creative writing project which culminates in students having their work published in an anthology. Arian and Sabrina were part of the week long programme this year:
“The time I had with First Story was exhilarating! It really made me embrace my writing and expand my knowledge on creative writing. The activities we did went from deciphering the true meanings of our names all the way down to writing about our grandmothers exploding. Here is an extract of a piece that I wrote during one of the sessions called Book of Lies: “My life has changed forever you see, And that is why I am not acting like the same old me.” I would definitely thoroughly enjoy doing another First Story with Edward Platt, the author.” - Sabrina Cabral
“My experience with First Story was amazing! We did loads of activities that truly embraced my skill of writing. The activities we did ranged from complaining at a garden door to writing about our hands. Here is a little snip of a poem I wrote called Ink... Ink... Ink...: “I see different memories with every line or scar, I see remarkable moments who make me, me.” We had loads of fun with Edward and I would love to do it again. - Arian Rexhepi