Over the past few months I have visited 30 out of the 52 schools in the Deal and Dover district! In each school I have talked to pupils about their hobbies, ambitions, aspirations – in short, their passions – and then encouraged them to write articles about them to be published in a newspaper.
We produced three newspapers, with ten schools in each. The young people wrote about becoming gymnasts, athletes or footballers, lawyers, scientists or writers, vets, engineers or palaeontologists. They were justifiably proud of seeing their names in print and of passing their passion on to inspire their readers.
The project was part of the Olympic legacy programme, Pass the Passion: Road to Rio.
Canterbury Laureate Sarah Salway has launched a programme called ‘Wise Words‘, in conjunction with the Canterbury Festival. The project links four community groups in the under-18 age bracket with four in the over-60s bracket to produce intergenerational creative writing. I’m hoping to be involved in producing a publication of the results, but meanwhile there’s a public forum where you can post your own ‘wise words’ and read others’.
I’ve just posted mine – drawn in part from the responses of pupils to the Future Creative Pass the Passion project, which I’m sad to say has now finished. The idea was to use the Olympics as a stimulus to encourage pupils to think about their aspirations and to create messages for the future. Here are some of my favourites:
We hope the future will be chocolatey.
We hope you have cars that fly and a robot to clean your houses.
We hope you have a rocket that can mend holes in the ozone layer.
We hope you have books that create pictures from your imagination.
We hope you find a magic touch that cures all illness.
We hope you can regenerate the forests with your footsteps.
We hope you have an underground world to visit when you are bored or sad.
We hope you are careful where you step – the earth could be breaking.
We hope everything will be flowers and butterflies.
We hope you have dreams, and can make your dreams come true.
We hope everything will be… just charming!
Pass the Passion is a workshop I’m delivering for Kent-based creative learning organisation Future Creative. A team of eight practitioners are visiting 48 schools in the Dover and Deal district, following the local Olympic torch as it moves from school to school and encouraging the pupils to think about their future lives and aspirations.
We are time travelling to 2032, interviewing and writing postcards from our future selves, devising a message of hope to send to the future and making time capsules, among other things. In each school I am asking the children to create a chant for our own Olympic Torch procession (as here, with Y5 pupils). ‘Everyone will be loved’, ‘That’s life in 2032’ and ‘We will all be something special’ are our choices so far.