Wordplay Press News


Our thoughts are bees: Writers Working with Schools

This book has been used at set text on a recent accredited CPD training course at Manchester Metropolitan University. The course is designed for teachers wanting to develop the use of creative writing workshops in the classroom. You can find out more by visiting MUSE at the Association for Creative Writing & English website: www.hlss.mmu.ac.uk/english/acwe.

In Dumfries and Galloway, Cultural Co-ordinators have purchased a copy of Our thoughts are bees for every school in their district.

Consultancy & Training

Mid Pennine Arts in collaboration with Creative Partnerships recently ran a three-day course for teachers, designed and delivered by Mandy Coe and Jean Sprackland. The course explored writing workshops in the classroom, ways to enjoy reading poetry, the power of poetry in a cross-curricular context, group work and a guided tour of the best poetry resources on the internet. A copy of Our thoughts are bees was included for each participating school.

Next Wordplay Press Project

Teaching the Reading of Poetry is a research and publication project led by Mandy Coe, focusing on teaching the reading of poetry in primary and secondary schools.

For National Poetry Day in 2006, the Children's Poetry Bookshelf and the Poetry Society commissioned Mandy to create a module on "Teaching the Reading of Poetry". Research had clearly identified a lack of resources exploring ways in which teachers can approach poetry reading in the classroom.

This project aims to establish that many of the elements needed to enjoy reading poetry in the classroom can be learnt and taught: a simple, subjective style of re-reading, thinking, questioning, writing and modeling. The outcome of the project will be a clear and practical book that looks at ways to teach the reading of poetry in the classroom at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. It will contain a selection of poems drawn from books on the Children's Poetry Bookshelf selection list and will explore the concept of "writer as reader, reader as writer", by offering a specific writing exercise to accompany each of the poems.

Research will be needed to identify current practice and the gaps that exist in this area. This research will cover the UK, Europe and the USA. It will involve looking at existing publications, and at practical and pedagogical aspects of teaching. Consultation will be carried out amongst specialists in the field, including librarians, poets, teachers, literacy consultants and advisers; and amongst leading organisations such as the Poetry Society, Booktrust, the Children's Poetry Bookshelf (Poetry Book Society), United Kingdom Literacy Association, the Literacy Trust and the Training and Development Agency for Schools.