Spoken Word Power Case Study

Hear what a Teacher from South Yorkshire thought about his experience taking part in our Spoken Word Power programme.

A piece of poetry, for me, is one of the things that I usually put off on my curriculum, leave it till the end of the year, cause it’s not one of my strongest points, and I think a lot of the time you look at things like limericks and things like that.

At the beginning of it I just thought it would be really nice for the kids to be engaged in writing and just to enjoy it rather than have to be sat at a desk all the time, just writing and being taught, whereas that was more fun. And I think as well to give me a few ideas on how to teach creative writing a little bit better.

In the classroom, the children have been going home, and they’ve been writing poetry, and bringing them back and wanting to share with the class, and a lot of them have got a real love for writing, even if it’s not poetry, they’re writing creative stories and that’s really lovely to see, um, some of the things that you taught, in the hall, they’re using that in their different types– genre types– of writing, so that’s really nice. And I think for me it’s given me more confidence to have a go, and now teaching poetry this half term, whereas normally I’d’ve just left it till the end.

It has affected the confidence of Student A, especially. She was absolutely petrified. She didn’t want to do it. She really struggles taking part and for her to have won as well and to stand up on that stage and perform, it was absolutely huge for her, it did so much for her. It was amazing. Well, she was so proud. Student D is, like, a lad’s lad, really one of the tough boys, football, constantly, and he cried when he found out he’d won because we’ve got so many creative children in that class, he’s never really stood out, and for him to be part of a team that won, he cried and he was so proud. His mum and dad came and his mum and dad don’t usually come to events like that, so, yeah, he was so proud. He did so well on the day, he was so loud and clear and you could see he was proud. He put all the actions in. We don’t know where they came from, he made them up on the day! But it was so lovely to see his confidence and that he was proud of something that he’d achieved.

For definite, [my favourite part from the programme] was them standing up on stage and sharing their work with other people, the fact that it had no rules and there was no right or wrong, whatever they did, it was celebrated, I think that was really nice, and I liked the fact how you taught the different skills without being sat at a desk, that’s gave me ideas that I’m going to use moving forward. So that’s really good.

Absolutely [I will use what I’ve learnt on the programme in the future], especially the editing, where they can just move things around, that, like in future, we’re gonna cut paper up and move it around. I’ve never really thought of the fact, like if you write something, that’s it in order, whereas you sort of threw all the rulebooks out for me and they chopped it up, they moved it around, we repeated things, which we’ve never really done before, so, yeah, I will definitely use those editing skills.

I would like more schools to get involved [in Spoken Word Power], and I think it’d be nice to do it across a whole school theme rather than just a couple of year groups that got chosen. I think it’d be nice for all year groups to have a go.

I’ve really enjoyed working with you [the SWP artist]. The children took to you really quickly. You were friendly and engaging and yeah, even the ones I didn’t think were gonna enjoy it really enjoyed it, so yeah, I’d like to thank you for that and the confidence you gave me to have a go at teaching poetry differently, not just on a piece of paper.

Working towards a future in which all young people’s creativity is nurtured and celebrated