Aims of the project
The aims of the project are to enhance the creative writing abilities of Year 10-12 pupils and to increase the awareness of literary features and techniques in pupils studying English Literature. The project encourages communication skills and breaks down cultural barriers between pupils at schools in different sectors. It is also in harmony with the policy of the trustees of Southside House to open the doors of the historic building to a more diverse range of visitors. Since 2015 the project has also included a design element, designed to enhance the learning of pupils studying Art A Level.
The immediate beneficiaries are the pupils themselves, but their parents and others are able to share in their success by attending the poetry reading and reading the anthology. Critical factors for success have been inspirational tutoring, the use of an historic building and liaison between the King’s and Ursuline. The latter has been facilitated by the trust which had built up between the two schools since the creation of the Wimbledon ISSP.
Background and goals
The project developed out of discussions between Ben Bransfield and the trustees of Southside House. The involvement of pupils from the Ursuline sixth form was made possible following discussions between the SMT at Ursuline and the Head of English.
The availability of an English teacher and an art teacher to supervise both aspects of the project, mainly on Friday afternoons.
Collaboration between the English and Art departments in the two schools.
The availability of sixth form pupils from both schools on Friday afternoons.
The financial contribution is mainly invisible, e.g. staff salaries etc.
As the project is creative, the principal measure of its success is the quality of the anthology produced. The first anthology impressed the chief executive at Faber so much that he agreed to write the introduction. In 2015, four students from the project were prestigiously named ‘Foyle Young Poets’ by the Poetry Society, following the selection of their work from a pool of over 13,000 international entries.
The project is also designed to strengthen applications to read English and Art at Russell Group universities. As last year’s cohort was predominantly in Year 12 evidence of this should become available later this year.
About 16 pupils each year, half from King’s and half from Ursuline. Mixed.
Frequency and duration
Ongoing; every Friday; every year.