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In March 2012 sixteen Gifted & Talented students from Freebrough Academy, Teeside stayed at our Lumb Bank centre for a week, writing poems and stories under the guidance of writers Nicky Browne and Cliff Yates. They were also visited by guest speaker Ian McMillan, who helped the group to create a collaborative poem.

Watch a film about their week:

The young people were able to read, write, think independently and attend one to one feedback sessions with the published writers leading the course. The group experienced living together, cooking for one another, exploring their rural surroundings and taking inspiration from nature.

Creativity flourished during the week, ideas were brought to life and imaginations allowed to run free. Pupils returned to school with a new enthusiasm for English and writing, which filtered through to their classmates. Staff also reported great leaps in confidence, and increased concentration levels in other subjects.

Read what some of the participants had to say about their Arvon week:

I’ve liked all of it, but I think, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is how relaxed it is…”  Student, Freebrough Academy.

The highlight of the week really is being able to do more in English and literacy and things like that, that we haven’t been able to do back at school… the story writing I’ve enjoyed unreal amounts because we don’t very often get the chance to do that….”  Student, Freebrough Academy.

Here you’re really away from it all, there’s nothing to distract you, and you can just write how you want to, and you can do it in your own time.”  Student, Freebrough Academy.

The writing’s built my confidence – a lot.”   Student, Freebrough Academy.

I’ve moved up a set in English, I do assemblies a lot, and I wouldn’t have done that before Arvon, I would have said no way.”  Student, Freebrough Academy.

The Arvon experience has completely exceeded all my expectations, the kids have come back brimming with confidence, talking about writing, enthusiastic about writing…it allowed them to think more freely, become more independent writers, all of these things I’d hoped for but I didn’t think we could achieve…” Teacher, Freebrough Academy.

To find out about bringing a school group to Arvon email

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