Creative writing partnership inspires Risedale Students

Risedale students at the First Story residential.

Risedale Sports and Community College has announced a partnership with writing charity First Story to develop and celebrate the talent of young writers.

Risedale Sports and Community College has been working in partnership with First Story since December 2017.

First Story is a national charity dedicated to empowering young writers to find their voice through their writer in residence programme.

A specially selected group of students are working with Yorkshire-based writer Irene Lofthouse to develop the self-confidence, skills and aspirations of Risedale students.

Workshops take place at the college, and at special events around the region connecting our students with others from around the country.

Sarah Matthewman, assistant principal at Risedale said: “We were delighted that six of the selected students were able to attend a week-long writing residential from 12-16 March 2018, at Arvon’s Lumb Bank, former home of poet Ted Hughes.

“We share First Story’s belief in the power of writing and the impact it can have to build student self-esteem and personal development.

“Working with our writer in residence Irene Lofthouse has been a fantastic and valuable opportunity and one that the students are enjoying thoroughly.’

Writer in Residence Irene added: “Before attending the residential, the students made a short recording of their thoughts and excerpts of work, which were aired as part of the Writing on Air Festival at Chapel FM, Leeds.

“The students had a chance to visit the studios on their last day, en-route back to Risedale. Peter Spafford, Chapel FM’s head honcho met them and invited them back to do a live interview and share some of the work they completed at Lumb Bank.

“It was a great opportunity for the students to present their work to a wider audience.”

The Risedale students who attended the Arvon residential included; Oliver Davies, George Dewhirst, Phoebe Harvey, Charlie McGougan, Ruby Shrehorn and Terri Whitby.

Year 8 student Ruby Shrehorn said: “The week was fantastic and I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t believe that while I was there I was told that I’d won the 100 word story competition. I was so pleased and shocked as well.

“I hope that in the future I might be able to write my own book. I’m already thinking about characters and plot lines.’

Sally Zaranko, assistant principal at Risedale who accompanied the students on the residential trip, said: ‘The students were brilliant all week.

“They worked exceptionally hard and enjoyed engaging in all the poetry and writing tutorial sessions as well as performing songs and developing their creative writing skills.

“The students made many new friends from the other schools that attended and were and an absolute joy to spend a week with.”

At the end of the creative writing programme later this year the students will produce an anthology of collected writing and hold a launch at school giving them the chance to share their stories with the wider community.