Writing Academy

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We have high expectations for all our pupils and ensure that every learner is challenged and supported to reach their full potential.

Writing Academy

At Platanos College our pupils have a range of opportunities to develop their writing skills and to pursue different areas of interest in the art of the written word. Under the umbrella term of the Writing Academy, our pupils are able to express themselves through a number of initiatives.

We partner with First Story each year to enable our pupils at Key Stage 3 to work with our Writer in Residence, to develop their creativity and individual voices as authors, narrators and poets. These sessions are run at the end of the school day and are always full of fun as we explore a range of different ways to develop our own creative voices. At the end of the year, pupils have their work published in a wonderful anthology and have the opportunity to share their writing with an audience of staff, parents and fellow pupils.

In addition to our First Story Partnership, we also publish an in-house anthology that all pupils across Key Stages 3 and 4 are invited to contribute to. This anthology is formed of brilliant pieces of original writing and artworks that our pupils create at different points during the course of the year. Pupils start to develop their ideas in English and Art lessons and are then encouraged to complete their pieces independently. Whilst a broad theme or topic is provided as the basis of their creativity, pupils are always encouraged to pursue their own independent exploration of ideas. To date, our pupils have amazed us with their wonderful creations on a vast array of themes and ideas: Coronavirus; family; love; climate change; self-belief; dreams and nightmares; living with autism; nature; gang violence; global politics; the BLM Movement… the list is endless!

For our Senior pupils, we are proud to offer our termly in-house publication, written by pupils for pupils – the Platanos College Key Stage 4 Newsletter. This publication covers a wide range of issues in its regular sections that include The Learning Lounge, Community Corner, Crime and Conspiracy, Office of Opinion, Inspiration Station and Cacophony of Colours. Pupils write about a range of topical issues and interview staff, fellow pupils, parents and members of the local community. Pupil voice is at the heart of the Key Stage 4 Newsletter, and each term’s edition has a specific focus for its Specials section. Past Specials have covered key events in local, national and international news: The Fight For Female Freedom, following the tragic murder of local woman Sarah Everard; 2020: A Year Like No Other, following the start of the Coronavirus pandemic; There’s No Planet B, in response to the continued Climate Crisis.

All of these hugely successful writing initiatives enable pupils of all abilities and with different interests, to showcase their talents and express their individuality. They encourage our pupils to reflect upon the world around them, the issues they see as important today and their feelings about what matters most in their lives and community.