Taking inspiration from the rare books held in our Special Collections and Archives, this project enabled Key Stage 3 and 4 students from Prudhoe Community High School, Walker Academy and Bedlington Academy, to develop their creative writing skills. Their experiences of bushcraft and orienteering enabled them to add context and detail to their writing whilst challenging themselves to complete the assault course allowed them to write about emotions and experiences. They had the opportunity to develop their oracy skills by reading their work aloud to their peers in an open air theatre. Delivered in collaboration with Northumberland National Park and Challenge Northumberland, the students took part in three activities delivered over a three week period.
“It was a memorable and enjoyable project where the students did something useful for their English course. It also had excellent experiences for post 16 study.”quote from english teacher
“It was fun and helped my confidence to write about the characters’ emotions.”One of the students talking about what they enjoyed about the project
“I would [reccomend this project to other students] because it’s a great opportunity to expand your understanding of creative writing.”A student explaining why they think others would benefit from taking part in a similar project
On day one the students visited the University where they learned about some of the rare books in our Special Collections. They also experienced a mini lecture in the School of English about creative writing techniques, and learned how nature has inspired many famous authors, before taking part in a creative writing workshop.
On day two the students visited Walltown Country Park in Northumberland, where they took part in bushcraft activities including den building and lighting fires as well as orienteering.
On the third and final day of the project, at Hedley West Farm in Gateshead, the students completed a very muddy assault course, finishing with a giant waterslide down a hill!
These activities were designed to push the students out of their comfort zone and encourage them to harness some of the emotions they experienced for their creative writing. After some quiet writing time in the countryside, the students shared their work by reading extracts from their stories to their peers in an outdoor theatre in the woods.
“It helped me as I feel more confident in my writing.”A STUDENT EXPLAINING WHAT IMPACT TAKING PART IN THE PROJECT HAD ON THEM
“It gave me an experience to write about.”A student explaining how this project will help with the creative writing aspect of GCSE ENGLISH