InsideOut


A POETRY PROJECT AT ELMFIELD SCHOOL FOR DEAF CHILDREN

October 2017 – June 2018

Organised by Poetry Can in conjunction with Elmfield School for Deaf Children

Please watch the InsideOut film, filmed and edited by David Ellington

 

InsideOut brought together BSL poets, English language poets, poetry film makers, interpreters, teachers, teaching assistants, play leaders and parents and school governors at Elmfield School for Deaf Children to show how enjoyable and how vital poetry and the creative use of language can be.

This in itself is a critical idea in the Deaf community where language, the nexus of the discrimination faced by deaf people, tends to be taken very seriously. Critical too was BSL poets and English language poets and artists working and learning together. English language poets developing an understanding of how to work with the Deaf community, and BSL poets able then to broaden the work with the pupils. Different pupils have different levels of BSL, come from diverse backgrounds and have different preferences regarding how they communicate, this is why BSL poets and English language poets working together, which is so rare, is so beautiful and so important. It also offers the exciting prospect of developing various hybrid forms of poetry… A poem is created by a boy in the afternoon in BSL, in spoken English and in spoken Polish with a charm … And it also helps to sustain poetry and the possibility of poetry in the school, so too does working with poets and teachers and interpreters to show how poetry can used positively across the curriculum, through the curriculum, and then some to facilitate pupils’ engagement with a range of issues, subjects and situations, including how it feels to be someone else and what the gift of that means.

Parents and governors are invited to a poetry workshop in school, they look into their memories to find poems which they will perform in front of their children and their children perform for their parents and for each other, and for themselves, for the fun of it, and the parents are delighted and the penny drops and it’s really a fortune and any negative ideas about the value of poetry are gone and this is important too in sustaining the practice of poetry in school and at home.

Working with children and young people and teachers on both sites (primary and secondary) helps develop dialogue and continuity of practice which is also something that rarely happens between primary and secondary schools, anywhere actually. Then BSL and English Language poetry film-makers worked together with the pupils to show how they can make their very own poetry films, their very own works of art, whenever they like, using what they already own.. their computers, tablets, laptops and mobile phones.

This was an empowering project for all concerned, it showed that poetry is about expressing yourself in the best possible way; about having the complete freedom to express anything at all, even the stuff that “only” makes you laugh. It successfully developed new understandings, practical skills and confidence in the use of BSL poetry, English poetry, Film-poetry and a variety of new evolving hybrid forms of poetry in Elmfield School for the Deaf Children and in the bright beyond.

 

Colin Brown

Poetry Can
   

PROJECT DIRECTOR KYRA POLLITT

THE POETS

David Ellington All Sessions – Filmed & Edited the InsideOut film

Ian McMillan & Richard Barnard – Poet & Musician Session One: Introduction to Poetry

Nadia Nadarajah Session Three: Poets Meeting & Session Four: Creativity in Sign & Word

Paul Scott Session Three: Poets Meeting & Session Four: Creativity in Sign & Word

Louise Stern Session Three: Poets Meeting Session Five: Creative Expression in the Curriculum and yond: Sign and Word - Staff Training Session Six: Parents & Governors & Pupils

Jon Seagrave Session Three: Poets Meeting & Session Four: Creativity in Sign & Word

Rebecca Tantony Session Three: Poets Meeting & Session Four: Creativity in Sign & Word

Claire Williamson Session Three: Poets Meeting Session Five: Creative Expression in the Curriculum and yond: Sign and Word - Staff Training Session Six: Parents & Governors & Pupils Session Eight: Memory & Landscape

Helen Dewbery - Film Poetry Session Seven: Film-Poetry

Louis Neethling Session Seven: Film-Poetry

Richard Carter - BSL Poet Session Eight : Memory And Landscape

 

 

 

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Bristol Poetry Festival
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