Spoken Word Educators

Transforming schools through poetry

About

Who we are

We are a group of established Spoken Word poets, transforming six London schools through teaching poetry, performance, team-building and leadership in schools and after-school clubs. We are MA Writer/Teacher students at Goldsmiths University, learning and researching creative approaches to education, whilst developing our own writing and teaching practice. After a year of intensive training at a school in East London, we have committed to a full-time residency at our partner schools. More about individual team members and schools here.

What we believe

  • We believe embedding poets within the school culture creates more profound results than one-off workshops; we have built up relationships and helped to improve literacy, confidence, speaking skills and emotional literacy among the pupils we teach.
  • We believe, in line with research, that empowering people – and particularly our young people – to express themselves creatively has educational, emotional-behavioural and even physical benefits which will enable them to achieve their full potential.
  • We believe that teaching young people to write poetry gives them access to the power of language; it can also help them become better readers and critical thinkers, key skills that we all need to equip us for the future.
  • We believe that teaching young people to perform their own poetry is vital for building up presentational skills and oracy; it also enables them a rare opportunity to share ideas with their peers, and creates an environment where school pupils listen to each other as well as to their teachers.
We work both within and outside the school curriculum. We use English, Citizenship, Music, Drama, PSD/PSHE (Personal Social Development), mentorship and after-school clubs to deliver fun, in-depth poetry classes and performances for our students. We prepare our students for performances in classrooms, school showcases and even at the South Bank Centre!

Why this programme exists

Our over-riding goal is to engage students to express themselves creatively and to improve educational attainment and emotional well-being. Our focus is on developing what are often labelled “soft skills”: creativity, confidence, community-building, empathy,  emotional awareness and oracy are virtually absent from the National Curriculum. They are not graded in GCSE exams or coursework. Yet, they are necessary skills for producing citizens that bring added value to our society. And confident, expressive young people make for high-achievers, at work and at home.

How we work

We are an expanding team of six professional poets, embedded in six schools for at least a year, four days a week. We work across year groups, with half the salary paid by the schools we are placed in. Six new trainees will start training at Holy Family School in September 2013 and work full time in a further six schools from September 2014. If you would like your school to be considered for September 2014, please contact us

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