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Exploring creativity with staff and students at Monkwearmouth School

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Innovative writing techniques

Monkwearmouth School first worked with Lisa Matthews in 2004 on a literacy and heritage project called “Museum Of My Life” in which innovative writing techniques were used to help staff and students explore the concept of “respect” and what it means in their lives.

Since that initial project, The Poetry Fold has worked alongside the teaching staff many times, supplementing valuable work that is already part of the curriculum. The techniques used by The Poetry Fold are useful whether students and staff perceive themselves as creative or not; the sole aim of everything we do with partners is to help them achieve their professional ambitions by using unique, creative approaches. For example, the concept of “creativity” has been the subject of a project in which students were encouraged to think for themselves in new and innovative ways while making their work and words accessible, enjoyable and instructive.

Utilising the strengths and energy of staff and students

In an educational environment such as Monkwearmouth School, The Poetry Fold is not there to replace the great, hard-working teachers. Instead, The Poetry Fold brings a fresh angle to an already established concept or in-house project (like the “respect” and “creativity” initiatives run by the school). An intense, creative injection from The Poetry Fold draws on the strengths and energy of the staff and students, breathing new life into work topics and areas of study.

Our most recent collaboration with Monkwearmouth School in Spring 2011 includes participation in a wider local Roker regeneration project. The Poetry Fold is using creative writing to help primary school children reflect on their environment and the myths and legends associated with the unique Roker seafront. The students’ work will be exhibited in their schools, in prime seafront locations and in the dark corners of the hidden caves of Roker.

What people say

“The workshops are always extremely well prepared, thought provoking and imaginative both in subject content and style, with lots of time for actual writing. [Lisa Matthews, The Poetry Fold] has helped me to take my work into new territories.”

— Marilyn Longstaff ~ poet

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