School pupils get chance to feature in new poetry and art anthology

School pupils across Staffordshire are being encouraged to get creative and submit entries for a new collection of poems and artwork.

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Year 7 –13 pupils are being encouraged to find inspiration from whatever resources they have available to them

There are lots of ways to get involved, whether you take part at school or on your own at home. You do not have to be in top sets or amazing at English or Art – it’s open to everyone and everyone’s contribution will be welcome.

Katie Leonard, PGCE Art & Design Award Course Leader

The Poetry and Visual Arts Project 2022 is open to any student in years 7 –13 and all entrants will see their work published in a digital anthology exploring the themes of ‘Hope’, ‘Making Connections’ and ‘Lessons Learned’.

It is the third year that Staffordshire University’s Institute of Education has run the project after successfully launching in 2020 as a creative outlet for young people during the pandemic.

Beccy Sherratt, PGCE English Course Leader, explained: “This is about promoting creativity beyond the classroom. We want to give students in the local community the chance to do something that they might not do often, because there’s not the time or the opportunity.

“Entries will not be marked or assessed. It is purely about celebrating the work of young people, allowing them to create something for real purposes and a real audience.”

Trainee teachers in English and Art & Design from Staffordshire University are helping to deliver the project in schools across the county and have published a guide with tops tips for anyone who wants to take part.

Entrants are being encouraged to think outside of the box and find inspiration from whatever resources they have available to them.

Katie Leonard, PGCE Art & Design Award Course Leader, explained: “There are lots of ways to get involved, whether you take part at school or on your own at home. You do not have to be in top sets or amazing at English or Art – it’s open to everyone and everyone’s contribution will be welcome.

“We want you to use your imagination and get inspired by whatever is around you. For example, you don’t necessarily need paint or paper to make a piece of art – you could use the back of cereal packet or wrapping paper as your canvas and tea bags or coffee to create your artwork!

“When it comes to poetry the hardest bit is getting started, but the best thing to do is just start writing and see what happens. This could be writing about a computer game you are playing, a character in a book you are reading, or even a Tik Tok challenge that you have seen.”

Last year’s anthology featured nearly 150 pieces of work and organisers hope to see even more pupils put forward submissions this year. Entries are open until 1 May 2022 and the anthology will be published online in the summer.

Beccy added: “We’ve had difficult times and mental health is still a big issue for young people, so it is valuable for students to have a creative outlet. Both poetry and art offer a great way to express your feelings and we are excited to see what the young people of Stoke and Staffordshire have to offer!”

Entries must be submitted via email to poetry@staffs.ac.uk by 1 May 2022, including your name, school, age and which theme you used for your poem or artwork. See full details about the Poetry and Visual Arts Project 2022

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