Creativity is at the core of reading and writing, at the heart of speaking and listening. So our range of Creative Literacy programmes offers KS3-4 / S1-S5 students opportunities to explore and experiment with words in different contexts.
Experiential, exciting and empowering, our imaginative approaches harness tried and trusted approaches from the worlds of drama, visual art and creative writing. Approaches specifically developed to support young people in developing their reading and writing skills – and to boost motivation, build on existing knowledge and enhance progression.
Our workshops include in-person sessions, as well as live streamed workshops beamed straight into your classroom and are a perfect way to celebrate World Book Day, World Poetry Day and Shakespeare Week in your school!
"I was totally in awe of your ability to engage the students; it has really given me food for thought with respect to how to introduce reading skills across our department (I think I have learned as much as the students!)." St Michael’s Catholic School, Aylesbury
"Thank you again from everyone here at Lathom's English Department for an absolutely fantastic day. My colleague's really enjoyed your insight and I will be sure to forward all the positive feedback we receive from pupils as a result of the sessions." (Streamed Literacy Workshop) Lathom High School
Poetry Live - Join one of our team for live workshops, beamed straight to the classroom!
These live, streamed workshops last up to an hour at a time – and, as they can lead to poems on any subject of your choice, they provide a fantastic way of linking poetry to other areas of the curriculum! After being introduced to one of our favourite poems and the subject of theirs, pupils will be guided through a drama activity designed to support them in developing their ideas. Experimenting with rhyme, rhythm and pace, they’ll then get the opportunity to write and perform their own verses.
"The immersion aspect was particularly effective in engaging the pupils and this led to high standards of written poetry. All teachers were full of praise for the workshops and were delighted with the pupil outcomes and engagement. We would love to arrange another visit for next year!" Head of English, Immanuel and St Andrews School
Poetry Assemblies for Schools (available in-person and live streamed)
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your Poetry Day - and ours are guaranteed to create a real buzz about the wonder of words! So we're happy to lead whole-school poetry assemblies at the start of a day of any of our poetry workshops, sharing some of our favourite verses and providing opportunities for pupils to join in - and all at no extra cost!
Soundscape Poetry - (available in-person)
Those pupils who claim they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical poetry workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform two contrasting soundscapes, working to topics/themes of your choice, and making their own compositional choices. We’ll then guide them through a structure supporting them in crafting richly descriptive poems that tell both individual and collective stories in which the writers’ choices are central.
Exploring (according to age): onomatopoeia, alliteration, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: Soundscape Poetry is suitable for up to 30 students at a time and requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
Personification Poetry (available in-person and live streamed)
What if an old oak tree had the power to make impossible choices? What would it see? Where would it go? What would it choose to be? What if your school gates could share with us the dreams and aspirations they have that could never possibly come true? And what about that well-thumbed book on the library shelf? This highly imaginative and interactive workshop allows students to harvest the fruits of both their own and their classmates’ imaginations as they explore notions of empathy to construct some uniquely moving poetry.
"Our students absolutely loved the workshops. They were all fully engaged in the sessions and I think they took away the importance of reading beyond the classroom. The ways they can get information from any kind of text. Jackson was absolutely wonderful – so engaging and our students really warmed to him." Boston High School
CSI: Reading Skills
Students who tell us they don’t like “reading” are always amazed when they realise quite how much skilful reading they’ve accomplished by the end of this fun and busy workshop. From inference and deduction to skimming and scanning, from previewing to predicting and from context to content, CSI: Reading Skills makes no bones in drawing connections between the everyday skills required to interpret infographics and play computer games and those required to delve into more formal texts.
Specifically designed to support students in making those connections between different ways of “reading”, CSI: Reading Skills sees them working in small teams to help out in a time of national emergency – because a briefcase containing some Top Secret plans was discovered on the 8.42 to Little Padworth, destined for an Enemy Power. The only clues to the identity of the traitor are to be found in a pile of old train tickets, recipe, book reviews and faded photographs. If “read” correctly, however, they’ll allow the pupils to discover who took the plans and why.
"Many of the students involved said it was one of their favourite parts of the week! I will be recommending As Creatives to colleagues in other departments and schools without a doubt and I very much hope to be able to include you in our literacy week next year." Head of English, The Kingsway School
New ... CSI: Reading Skills - The Sequel!
Developed by popular demand for schools who have already enjoyed and benefitted from CSI: Reading Skills, this engaging workshop sees students reacquainting themselves with the secret agents they've already investigated. This time, though, there's a plum job going - but only one of them can get it! Confronted with some of the candidates' work, students will need to recall their knowledge of famous books and authors, analyse spelling, read for context and use their powers of inference and deduction to decide which of them should be rewarded.
Scenes from Shakespeare
Shakespeare was a superb storyteller - and his stories still survive unscathed today! These exciting workshops, though, take him back to his roots - by taking a dramatic approach to his work. Working with one of our professional drama specialists, pupils will get an actor’s-eye-view of one of his plays - and have a chance to taste the text too!
All of the workshops can be differentiated for age and require a minimum of 60 minutes (although we prefer longer) - preferably in a large space. You can choose from Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream - and we’ll leave you with a whole host of suggestions for follow-up writing activities!
"We were SO impressed with the workshops this year - both Year 8 and Year 9 loved them and really learnt a lot from them." Fairfield High School
Shakespearean Clerihews – Bringing Characters Centre Stage
Shakespeare’s greatest characters change as the plays they inhabit progress. So Macbeth moves from acting as his country’s brave and loyal servant to betraying it in a sea of blood. Juliet changes from a spoilt and truculent teenager to a tragic heroine – and Prospero undergoes a complete sea change from vengeful sorcerer to paragon of forgiveness. This experiential workshop uses drama techniques to introduce students to characters from a play of your choice, then introduces them to Clerihews – four line, descriptive, rhyming poems.
"Huge thanks to Jo and all the team at As Creatives - the schools in our Manchester Hub have been delighted with the workshops. You have delivered some amazing sessions (as always!). Thank you so much for all your hard work - we really do love working with As Creatives!" Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Cinquains of Truth – People Whose Choices Shaped the World - (available in-person and live streamed)
This year’s National Poetry Day falls in Black History Month – and this thought-provoking workshop offers you a great chance to combine the two! Progress towards equality in a diverse world has been made possible by people who made choices that, while sometimes causing personal difficulties, led brighter futures for the rest of us. People like the Bristol Bus Strikers (1963), Tommie Smith (the 1968 Mexico Olympics) and Doreen Lawrence (1993 onwards). The often difficult choices taken by such people changed and shaped the world – and this inspiring workshop celebrates their deeds and legacies through poetry. After engaging pupils in a range of drama-based activities to explore the people and events in question, we’ll introduce them to poetic structures including clerihews and cinquains in which to commemorate their feats.
"You helped us understand the play in an unusual but fun way. You really inspired me to read Macbeth and your energy made me want to do something similar to what you are doing in future. I really hope you can visit our school again.” Pupil, Pedmore Technology College
Speaking with Confidence
Introducing KS3 and KS4 / S1 - S4 students to some Top Tips for Public Speaking – and challenging them to incorporate them into responses to some tightly phrased briefs! Also available for Years 12 and 13.
Literacy Workshops in your School
If you are interested in booking an in person Literacy workshop please get in touch as we are able to deliver most of the above workshops with good social distancing and in line with your own school Covid-19 policy. You can also read our Covid-19 Policy here.