At the end of each session, Kate collects up the work of most students for her special typing up service, in which she transforms scribbles and pencil scratchings into poetic masterpieces. Then, when we begin each new session, Kate will present us with the work from last week, so we can look it over and celebrate what has been achieved. It is a lovely way to link all the sessions together, and to get the students to recognise how well they are doing. It also means that the young writers begin each class feeling optimistic and ready to write!
During the week, Kate sent us all a short story and a poem to read, based around the story of Beauty and the Beast. As a group, we then talked about folk stories we knew as a child and dreams and fears these stories evoked. Most of us were preoccupied with Disney-style stories, though it appears one of our female sixth formers always dreamed of being Han Solo.
Thinking about childhood, Kate encouraged us to write, starting with the line, "When I was a child...", inspired by The Beast by Lorraine Mariner. There were giggles from all around the table as people reminisced about their youthful fantasies about handsome princes and comic book superheroes and life as a cat.
I, meanwhile, drew a complete blank. I had had an incredibly long day, running around in my other role as Primary Liaison. So when it came to formulating words in sentences, I failed.
But when I heard the students read back their poems and stories, I felt incredibly inspired. We laughed about shared dreams and common experiences and some superbly random childhood imaginings, and suddenly I started thinking about the task a lot more creatively.
Today, I ran out of time to write anything, but I have this weekend all to myself so will definitely find time to go back to this task.