[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Bristol poet Miles Chambers gave a fantastic series of poetry workshops in Bristol schools organised by Ablaze, thanks to a kind donation by Bristol Airport. The workshops were held to celebrate Ablaze’s fourth poetry competition and to inspire children to pick up their pens and enter the competition. The theme for this year’s poetry competition is ‘Travel’, and full details can be found on our website. The closing date for entries is Friday 15 February 2019.

Workshops took place at Wrington Primary School, Cabot Primary School, Hareclive E-ACT Academy and Glenfrome Primary School in November, December and January.

“It has been my pleasure to work with these young minds and discuss poetry and words. I was attempting to inspire and motivate them, yet through their charm, passion, intelligence, willingness to learn and questions & comments beyond their years that never ceased to amaze and surprise me, I was truly inspired. Thank you Ablaze. In the beginning was the word.”  Miles Chambers

The teachers and children that took part thoroughly enjoyed the workshops, where they worked in groups to create a poem through a game of ‘consequences’, as well as getting lots of tips about how to write and perform poetry.

Wrington Primary School

Sarah Whitehouse, Teacher at Wrington Primary School said, “Miles was fun, lively and engaging. He spoke with passion; not only about poetry but about self-belief and individual expression. The writing games he played were fun and made the children question their own perceptions about poetry. I am really looking forward to seeing how his fantastic workshop inspires the children with their own poetic creations!”

Pupils that took part in the workshop said:
“It inspired me to do more poetry because you don’t have to sit down for hours; if you look out a window you can see what you want to write.”
“He’s really kind and funny. I love the way he did his expression in the poem. I really liked the game he played; we could all write but nobody knew who had written each bit.”
“He showed us that it might not always be embarrassing to stand up in front of a big audience to share a poem. He showed us that you don’t have to be afraid and that your opinion counts.”

Cabot Primary School

Pupils from Cabot Primary School who took part in the workshop at Cabot Primary School said:
“It was very nice and he inspired me to be a poet when I’m older.”
“I liked the activities because everyone had a go at sharing their ideas.”
“He inspired me to write poems.”
“His poem was a mix of weird and funny.”
“He was a very good performer.”
“It was interesting to hear about all his travels and what he is interested in.”
“The performance was great.”

Hareclive Academy

Abigail Hough from Hareclive E-ACT Academy said, “The children did really love the activity – writing a line each and folding the paper to create a group poem. Miles was an engaging speaker – the way he changed his tone of voice really kept them interested – teaching the children about tone/expression/volume was really useful, as this is an area lots of our children struggled with.”

The Year 2 pupils that took part in the workshop said:
“I thought he was really nice, I liked his voice and he made me laugh” 
“I loved learning about poems – I know now that not all poems have to rhyme and I can write a poem about anything that I want to” 
“I really liked working in groups and making our poem. It was really exciting at the end to hear it all together. I liked the surprise.”

Glenfrome Primary School

Claire Banham, Reading Recovery Teacher at Glenfrome Primary School, said, “Year 4 children at Glenfrome Primary school were really inspired to write their own poetry after a fantastic workshop from Miles Chambers!”, and David Shepherd, Maths Lead, said, “It was an inspirational experience for the children and the staff. The way Miles interacted with the children and talked to them about their experiences and Bristol was brilliant.”

“The way Miles Chambers performed was a perfect role model. Some of the children have never performed poetry before and they were absolutely transfixed. They are definitely motivated to write poetry now!”  Sophie Bonner, Year 4 Teacher, Glenfrome Primary School

The children said:
“I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t really expecting to work in teams.”
“The part that I found really interesting was Mile’s performance of Bristol Bristol. It was full of words that I don’t hear that often!”
“I found it very interesting because I personally, I have never heard of a black poet. I have never heard a poem that was as enthusiastic as that.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]