English: With Thanks to Ted Hughes


In their English lessons this week, Year 7 students have been letting their creative juices flow  - and what began as a trickle of ideas has turned into a torrent of fabulous writing.

Having studied poetic form and techniques throughout the year, the children were fully equipped with the tools to become adept poets themselves but had not often been given the opportunity to throw caution to the wind and write completely freely and creatively.


I admit that children can be a little intimidated by poetry and often hears them remark, "I don't get it," or "What's the point?". I have been inspired by the philosophies of the late Ted Hughes however, one of England's finest Poet Laureates, who believed that children should have access to challenging poetry, to explore the use of poetry as a means of expressing emotion.

Hughes stated that "if children can recognise and be excited by some vital piece of experience within a poem, very young children can swallow the most sophisticated verbal technique. They will accept plastic toys, if that's all they're given, but their true driving passion is to get possession of the codes of adult reality - of the real world."

Ted Hughes supported the need for a creative mood to be nurtured within schools and my students definitely rose to this challenge!


The children explored a range of poems by Ted Hughes - including Work and Play, The Warm and The Cold, Shire Horses, A Cranefly in September and A Swallow - and then were set the task of creating anthologies of original poetry, based on a shared theme.

They were only allowed to choose one word and then had to think outside the box to create a series of poems, written in a variety of forms and styles, in connection with that word.

I have been amazed and astounded by the wonderful work that my Years 7s have produced and can only concur with Ted Hughes that, given the 'write' opportunities children can be creative masters!


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