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Extra-curricular English club to engage students

Discussion in 'English' started by callum1603, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. callum1603

    callum1603 New commenter


    I'm hoping to start an after school club in English, with the ultimate aim of raising interest with KS3 students in the disadvantaged school I work in.
    I want to go down the route ideally of reading or writing for pleasure, as both of these tasks are met with predictable groans from a significant portion of students (predominantly boys) in my Y7, 8, and 9 classes.

    I'd really appreciate any ideas, experience or tips anyone can offer!

  2. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    If you can sell it as a workshop-model that runs along a theme you know they like, it might pull them in. I'd personally start by surveying the students for interests (rather than assuming) and go from there. I'd also build up to it with a 'launch' event and make it a really big deal.
    Do you have display boards where you could put great quotes about writing?
    At the end of the day, writing is a personal interest though, and it's not for everyone so be happy if you get a few who appreciate the opportunity and space to write, rather than disappointment at the ones who don't join.
    As a related aside, I'd also take a look at the writer workshop materials from Ralph Fletcher or Lucy Calkins, as it puts the focus on learning through writing rather than teacher instruction. (Their advice seems to work for the urban-underprivileged of NY, so maybe it's something you could look at as a general approach?)
    callum1603 likes this.
  3. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    You could challenge them to create their own book: http://stories4schools.com/

    Secondary schools in Newcastle and and Glasgow have done the same. Their clubs involved students creating their stories and also organising fundraising events (included writing for posters and appeals etc.). They also visited a primary school to get feedback on their stories.

    After their books were created they organised a book launch event. Sent out press releases (the Newcastle group did an interview on BBC Radio). Invited parents, the local mayor etc.

    Both schools covered their costs by selling copies of their books and fundraising. Copies of their books were also donated to schools in Africa.

    Depending on how you go about creating the stories there are plenty of options for students to specialise in different roles. Authors, proofreading and copy-editing, writing press releases, designing posters, writing invitations..
    cate_h likes this.
  4. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Dependant on the age group the BBC is currently running the '500 words' competition which I know of some school putting together groups that are all working on their short stories.

    I love the idea of creating a school book, I'm going to look into that one myself! I worked in a deprived school in the North of Birmingham that had a very well-attended creative writing club, it took some time to get going, but it did get there- good luck!
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  5. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    If you do fancy giving it a go I can send you one of the books created by other schools - just send me a private message with an address to send to.

    I should also mention the stories need to be accompanied by hand drawn illustrations. This can be a good way of involving other students and challenging authors and illustrators to share their creative ideas and vision etc.

    In the meantime you could also make some mini books
  6. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

  7. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    thank you - will be in the post to you tomorrow :)
  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    How about focus it on blogging? Or youtubing?
  9. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    youtubing is a great idea, good for developing their speaking skills, persuasion and explanation skills specifically. Just have to be careful on videoing safeguarding etc.
  10. FlyingFoxBat

    FlyingFoxBat New commenter

    There are some great ideas here.

    I'd like to make a group magazine/ anthology where students can include their own poetry, short fiction, autobiographical pieces, reviews, points of view columns etc. A lot of young people enjoy drama, and this could easily be combined with script and monologues writing activities. Story writing games (in which students take turns to write one sentence or paragraph, before passing the story along to the next person) can also be fun.
    englishteach101 likes this.
  11. Best_Newcomer_2009

    Best_Newcomer_2009 New commenter

    I asked this lovely guy to come in to school and run four sessions with students to write and record their own rap lyrics. It got some students involved who I'd never seen in any clubs before and it was really interesting and hard work for them. http://www.hiphopacademy.co.uk/philip/ I'd highly recommend it.
  12. pamelaesavage

    pamelaesavage New commenter

    Hi! Can I have a copy of it too? If you still have it :)
  13. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    Hiya - I have plenty including one that was completed this term. If you PM me over a postal address I'll send one out.

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