"The purpose of the programme is to raise literacy levels and aspirations in our allocated schools. It's called White Water Writers for a reason – as we're dropping the pupils in at the deep end and, with academic support, seeing how they rise to the challenge and navigate their way through the learning hurdles at speed."
Steven Cresswell, Higher Horizons+, Staffordshire University
Pupils at two Stoke-on-Trent schools have become published authors in a week, following an intensive literacy programme.
The White Water Writers programme, which was organised and funded by Higher Horizons+ at Staffordshire University, supports and challenges pupils to write a book in a week, which is then published and sold on Amazon.
Two teams of pupils from Trentham Academy, and three pupils from St Peter’s Academy, took part in the project recently resulting in publication of two books The Girl With Two Names and Pentagon Reversed.
The former is set in Stoke-on-Trent and follows four teenagers in their quest to stop an alarming spate of missing persons. Pentagon Reversed also promises intrigue and mystery as five friends navigate two universes to stop the world and themselves from destruction.
Feedback from the pupils was overwhelmingly positive. Pupil comments included: "I was never much for English as I thought it was just writing essays, but this week has proved that English in school is just the tip of the iceberg" and "For any future employers reading, I will work very hard to get a jeep in my driveway!"
Jayne Jackson, Head of English at Trentham High School, said: "This project has involved Year 10 pupils working off timetable and solidly for a week. I think it’s incredibly valuable. They've developed a lot of skills including time management, editing and leadership qualities and we're very proud of them."
Steven Cresswell from the Higher Horizons+ said: "The purpose of the programme is to raise literacy levels and aspirations in our allocated schools. It's called White Water Writers for a reason – as we're dropping the pupils in at the deep end and, with academic support, seeing how they rise to the challenge and navigate their way through the learning hurdles at speed. We very much enjoyed being reunited with the pupils and their parents at their book signing – a fitting celebration of their achievement as published authors."
Higher Horizons+ have also run a similar programme with Year 9s at Paulet High School in Burton upon Trent who are enjoying a book signing event this week.
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