Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over…

Update to BBC report and what finally made me feel worthwhile this week:

As mentioned before, I lead Priory’s BBC News School Report. This year we are aiming for bigger and better in terms of the scale and hopefully wider scale influence of the project. We don’t like to only do projects for the sake of it, or to only have an impact on a handful of children. Sometimes it is easy to only target or include the same small groups of students, perhaps Gifted and Talented, or ‘the good ones’. On the other extreme I often see ‘the nice children’ feeling left out when they see exciting rewards being offered to those who are disengaged, so it seems as if poor behaviour is being rewarded. So with us, BBC report is advertised across board to all year 8 students. It is sold as a chance to get involved in something different and unique. We are part of a Rights Respecting School and so there is a spin on the idea of having a right to forming groups, to collaborate, to express opinions. In the end I expect to only work with about 15-30 willing committed students who have chosen freely, expressed interest and proven their responsibility to take part. But everyone gets the chance first.

This year the live day (broadcast day) for BBC school report is 21st March which coincides with World Poetry Day 2013. Interesting! So, because I felt that already running a project that involves coordinating kidsmeet Pompey (with approximately 60students from 6 local schools plus teachers and professionals), writing news broadcasts on the mobile policy, geocaching, Historic Dockyards, and more, simply wasn’t enough (!) I suddenly thought let’s include this theme!

The English Department @prioryengdept is also involved in the report this year so it seemed serendipity to include the literacy link. So the plan is this.

1) Have students back in school research the exhibits of the Historic Dockyard in advance in English lessons and practise the skills of research, analysis and synthesis of poetry.
2) At the Historic Dockyards, students on the live day will work with local poets to write poems for each exhibit – e.g. HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose, the Victory, Action Stations, etc., which can then be laminated and framed to display at each exhibit for the public.
3) Each poem to have a QR code tagged on that links to web pages on local poets, poetry styles, history of exhibits, etc,.
4) The poems and QR links will form in a sequence so that visitors actually get clues to follow a poetry orienteering activity that will guide them around the Historic Dockyard.

What do you think? I’m really excited! I love the fact that potentially we will involve more students this way, and leave a more permanent reminder of our work. Something that will have an impact on a wider audience and scream ‘We’re Priory School and we did this!’. Something cheerful and positive in the midst of slightly turbulent times maybe.

So, if you are / or know a local poet or are interested in this in any way then get involved! Or come to the dockyard after the event and see our work.

I will admit, the last few weeks have been really hard, with me questioning myself and my value a lot, and feeling as if I’m not good enough to be doing a job I consider so important. But in the midst of that, I now have this little hope that if we pull this off (and by we I mean the kids, as from now on it’s all down to them!) then it is the kind of thing that to me is spine tingling-ly exciting. And that’s why I do the job.

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