Young Voices Making Their Mark on the World: Panya's Blog

Panya Banjoko
Thu 12 Mar, 2020

The Young Voices project takes poets into schools to work with Year 6 children and help them express themselves through creative writing. Panya Banjoko was one of the poets on the project, working with a group at Scotholme Primary School. Now that the workshops have finished, let's hear how Panya found working with these Young Voices...

"Thursday afternoons are not quite the same since finishing the My Voice Creative Writing project at Scotholme Primary. No more sitting on the red, converted, double decker bus stationed in the school carpark doling out poems, no more discussions around poems we like (or can’t quite get our heads around), and no more working with the fabulous staff who kept me furnished with cups of tea.

How quickly five weeks pass by, but more importantly how effective they have been. The cautious response to my proclamation, ‘we are going to write poetry’, at the first session was replaced by a self-confidence that demonstrated itself in each student producing poem after poem. Over the 10 hours of creative writing workshops we created a whopping 24 pieces of poetry! Poems about belonging, poems about identity, and poems about our dreams; eight potential writers of the future have made their mark in words.

My Voice Young Voices Feedback Forms

Students leave the workshop feeling 'On top of the world!'

It was wholly satisfying to see all eight students emerge as confident writers, proclaiming: ‘poetry has taught me to express my feelings’. And of course, it wasn’t only students that benefited from Young Voices. Each week I shared my skills as a writer with a link teacher, sharing tips and resources on how to get the children enthused about writing.

Although the weekly sessions have come to an end, I’m looking forward to the moment when students, teacher, and teaching assistant see their work in print in a specially planned assembly to launch their anthology. What’s more I’m hoping that the genuine appreciation for poetry cultivated in these eight students flow into the wider school. I think I can safely say working on the Young Voices Project with students at Scotholme has made me feel - on top of the world!"

Read more about the Young Voices project here!

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Young Voices poetry Panya Banjoko

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