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Writers in schools

28 November 2005

'Supporting young people as they find their creative voice is an inspiring business. All of us - writers, teachers, and project co-ordinators - are thrilled by the sheer adventure of it. We listen to the plays, stories and poems young people write, and we are astonished. We value not only the art itself, but also the impact creative writing has on learning across the board. Writing creatively teaches us to think creatively, and the very act of doing, the act of making, changes us profoundly. Teachers understand this very well, and over the years have invited thousands of writers into their schools...

There are as many approaches to the role of 'writers in school' as there are writers who do it, and our profession plays a dynamic role in education precisely because it harnesses such a diversity of expertise. Our research shows that the practice of visiting schools is particularly strong amongst poets; however, this is expanding to include writers in all disciplines. Writers-in-schools projects are happening every week across Britain and, although the traditional one-off author's visit is as popular as ever, new initiatives are more ambitious in scope and vision. The success of all of these ventures - one-offs and residencies - depends on teachers, writers, and project co-ordinators talking and listening to each other, receiving adequate training and understanding good practice.'

Mandy Coe and Jean Sprackland in the foreword to their book Our thoughts are Bees: Writers Working with Schools, which can be purchased at a price of £10 from their website