Time to dream


By Jamila Gavin, novelist, Arvon tutor and Advisory Group member for the Teachers as Writers project  

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

How do today’s children discover themselves and the world when everything has to be calculated, tested and evaluated? Where is our next Isaac Newton, lying under a tree, seeing the apple drop, and that sudden imaginative leap of realisation that there was such a thing as gravity?  Are children given the space and time to explore, ponder and even be bored? Continue reading “Time to dream”

A New Perspective

By Nick Stimson, playwright, theatre director and Writer Co-Mentor on the Teachers as Writers project 

As someone who tutors at Arvon and often visits schools I suppose I thought I knew all I needed to know about how a writer works with young people. You go in there, you light the fireworks, and when that’s done you retreat to a safe space. Being part of the Teachers as Writers project has changed my mind. Or I should more accurately say it has added a new dimension to my practice and, I think, to that of the teachers who were involved. Continue reading “A New Perspective”

Igniting the spark

By Louisa Adjoa Parker, poet and Writer Co-Mentor on the Teachers as Writers project 

I often wonder how to identify the precise moment when a person’s interest in words begins – what sparks a passion for literature, be it for life, or just for a brief moment in time, a bright flare. I remember the moment my own love for words began. I have few memories of childhood, but I clearly remember the moment I learned to read, aged three years old. I was reading a picture book by Dick Bruno, and I read three words: I can read, and thought, So I can! Reading, and later writing stories and poems enabled me to escape into imaginary lives. Continue reading “Igniting the spark”

A community of human beings

By Joe Bibby, Learning and Participation Coordinator, Arvon

In a year doing this job, and several months administrating the Teachers as Writers programme and managing this project blog, I’ve had lots of opportunities to think about the teaching of writing and its effect on students. Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of our courses for young people for the first time.  Continue reading “A community of human beings”

Through the Portal

By Alicia Stubbersfield, poet, Arvon Tutor and Writer Co-Mentor on the Teachers as Writers project

Aaron Becker’s marvellous textless picture book ‘Journey’ formed the basis for the Teachers as Writers narrative project, devised by primary teachers Catherine Greenwell, Lucie Merson and me, for Elmhurst Junior School. The book shows the adventures of a small girl (though the way Becker depicted her gender is interestingly ambiguous and lent itself to perceptive discussion among the children) after she finds a red crayon and, with daring and initiative, draws a door on her bedroom wall and steps through it, away from her boring life, into an adventure. It is not exaggeration to say that this project felt rather like drawing a door on our own wall, the one made of How-We-Always-Do-Things, and stepping through into a less certain, more exciting world. Continue reading “Through the Portal”