Get Write In! competition

NATE and SATE sponsored the Get Write In! creative writing competition for looked after children.  SATE National coordinator Raymond Soltysek chaired the judges, which included Scottish Makar Jackie Kay.  A record of a wonderful evening can be found at HERE .

Peter Thomas, chair of NATE, reflects on the event:

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It was a pleasure to represent the National Association for the Teaching of English at an inspiring event in Edinburgh’s beautiful Our Dynamic Earth centre on 15th August. The event was the Awards evening, where the winners of the Get Write IN! competition were announced. This creative writing competition was organized by CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Looked-after Children in Scotland) based at the University of Strathclyde with the help of Raymond Soltysek, Chair of SATE (Scottish Association for the Teaching of English).

All contributors in the junior and senior sections were children in home or foster care, and the Dynamic Earth Hall was filled with them and their very proud carers. Volunteers in superhero dress provided stimulating games and challenges at tables around the hall, and there was a fine buffet and musical accompaniment to make the occasion special.

Jackie Kay, Scotland’s national poet was the star of the presentation, and well suited for the role. She spoke movingly and wittily about her young experience in care, and her struggle to become a writer. There could be no better role model for the youngsters in the room – especially as she read a poem called Care Leaver written for the event. Raymond Soltysek provided an eloquent reinforcement of Jackie’s description of writing as a form of self-defining and discovery, and the message from these two was a ringing endorsement of creative writing for all children, as well as those present on the evening. It was good, also, to have the event supported by the Mark McDonald, Scotland’s Minister for Childcare and Early Years. I had to reflect, regretfully, that England cannot boast such a splendid competition, or such government support.

The winner of the junior section was Joseph Ness and the winner of the senior section was William Cathie, both of whom wrote movingly about the impact of significant events in their lives. Both winners’ work was read out by Jackie Kay, and all the finalists had their work published in a booklet – a sign of success and approval that was well received by entrants and their carers.

The whole evening was a highpoint in a city in the middle of its annual Festival – a testament to the quality of care in Scotland, to the power of creative writing as an extension and development of self, and to the commitment of CELCIS and the University of Strathclyde to the motivation and celebration of young people’s achievement.

 

Two fantastic upcoming SATE events (2): How success in Literacy and Language improves Wellbeing

On the 20th of September, SATE are delighted to be hosting an evening seminar with Professor Sue Ellis of the University of Strathclyde. Professor Ellis will explore current policy challenges whilst also looking at evidence on effective teaching approaches. She will also focus on the way aspects of literacy, language and literature contribute to pupils’ social, emotional and intellectual wellbeing.

Professor Ellis has a strong commitment to knowledge exchange and to research that directly supports improved literacy outcomes for pupils. The recurring themes in her work concern literacy and equity, policy implementation and teacher development. She is the co-author of the highly-regarded report Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2014.

You can sign up for this event at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sate-seminar-how-success-in-literacy-and-language-improves-wellbeing-tickets-37562945782.

See you there!

Two fantastic upcoming SATE events (1): The National Writing Project

Founded in 2009, the National Writing Project UK aims to deepen understanding about what writing is, what it can do for teachers, and how the process of writing can be more meaningfully managed in schools. It is a not-for-profit co-operative, a network of teacher’s writing groups run by teachers for teachers, and a research project that aims to explore writing and find out further answers to the question, ‘What happens when teachers gather together to write and share their writing?’ 

Each meeting of a writing group gives teachers a chance to share ideas, resources and approaches to teaching creative writing, with members leaving each session with something new to try with their classes. In addition, the National Writing Project UK reports attending a writing group boosts confidence both in teaching writing and in teachers writing for themselves.

Currently there are twenty-one NWP UK writing groups meeting regularly in England. In October, for the first time, a Scottish branch of the Project will launch in Scotland.

On Wednesday October 11th, a Glasgow branch of the NWP will hold their launch event at Springburn Academy in Glasgow. Simon Wrigley, co-founder of the NWP UK, will be in attendance. He will give a brief introduction to the NWP and the research it carries out, before leading us in a session of prompted writing. We will end with a discussion of strategies for encouraging creative writing in the classroom.

All teachers of writing ­­- primary, secondary and tertiary – are warmly invited to attend. Below is an outline of the launch event. If you are a keen writer or a nervous writer, a teacher of writing and think joining the Glasgow NWP writing group might be for you, please come along! All welcome.

Any questions or queries, or to let us know that you intend to come, please get in touch with Lisa Hamilton, English Teacher at Springburn Academy on;

gw17hamiltonlisa@glow.ea.glasgow.sch.uk

Or connect with Lisa on Twitter @MissHamiltonEng

National Writing Project – Glasgow Branch Launch event

Wednesday 11th October, 4pm.

4:00 Welcome and Introductions; NWP – the evolution of this teacher-led, research project – the evidence so far – experiential learning of writing for UK teachers interested in 

  • exploring their own process – half-termly opportunities to write in a trusted group, 
  • reflecting on the changing nature of writing and learning, 
  • networking with other NWP groups, and collecting evidence of the effect of teacher-owned CPD on well-being, agency and pedagogy

4:10 Sampling common NWP practices: quick writing exercises including free-writing or ‘automatic writing’

4:30 More sustained writing practice

4:45 Listening and responding to others’ writing, sharing your own writing, discussing how to develop meaningful/ discovery writing across the curriculum: –

  • free-writing, 
  • writing alongside pupils, 
  • initiating, developing and sustaining writing journals and writing groups

5:00 Questions, further discussion and future dates and venues of Glasgow NWP

5:15 Finish