Write Here! It’s Our Write, Leicester
“What really engages the children is using something they can relate to and helping them to use their imagination to create stories and characters to write about. It’s about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.” – Richard O’Neill Writer in Residence
It’s Our Write, Leicester was a three year project developed and delivered by Writing East Midlands, in partnership with Babington Community College and The Mighty Creatives. Roma writer, storyteller and National Literacy Hero (National Literacy Trust 2013) Richard O’Neill worked with BTEC Performing Arts students from Babington Community College and Medway Community Primary School to write and produce two plays and a film over the course of this long term residency. The plays were each staged at the Y Theatre to packed houses of family and friends, whilst the film was premiered at the Peepul Centre. Click HERE or on the image opposite to see a video trailer for Full Circle.
In a series of visits to the college, Richard worked with the participants to develop their English language, literacy and creative writing skills. During the course of the residency the young people also had the opportunity to work with a stage make-up artist, an animation company and a puppeteer. The group visited Leicester’s flagship theatre Curve for a ‘Commissioning and Careers Day’, to see what it was like to work in a theatre and to try their hand at different art forms related to theatre production with professional artists. They also saw a live musical theatre performance.
As a result of the residency, Writing East Midlands and The Mighty Creatives commissioned Richard to develop a creative writing toolkit for teachers and writers working with Roma and other pupils with English as an Additional Language. That toolkit, and an accompanying CPD workshop, is now available to purchase here (It’s Our Write TOOLKIT).
56 younger participants in year 4 at Medway Community Primary School were able to undertake a Discover and Explore Arts Award as part of their Write Here experience. To help the school bridge the gap with parents, Richard O’Neill delivered a session specifically for families, showcasing what the children had achieved and engaging some families in school life for the first time.