I recently led the creative writing side of a two-week-long poetry, story and percussion project at a special school for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties. It is the tenth year in a row that I have been lucky enough to take part in this project.
This has been a very rewarding challenge for me. I have learnt much from working with the sparky, sharp-witted boys and the school’s skilful staff. So many thanks to everyone who has helped it happen over the past ten years. Now I have a young baby and am living abroad I have said it will be the last year I do the project. And I will miss it.
This year I told the younger two classes a fast-moving Russian folktale called The Iron Wolf. Meanwhile the older boys worked on an Indian love story called The Snake Prince. A lot of strong writing was done in response to the stories. Many boys managed to write honestly about difficult subjects and, what’s more, stand up in a performance to read out their poems. So fair play to them and all the parents, carers and relatives who came to the performance on the 4th April.
This was one of the poems that I liked:
PEOPLE BREAKING MY THINGS
People breaking my Lego.
People breaking my home.
People breaking my toys.
People breaking my mum’s car.
People breaking my toy cars.
People littering in the street.
People hitting me.
People making me so angry, I can’t breathe.
But I can count to ten
and think about a boat
and happy feelings
on holiday in Cyprus.