Since September 2013, the UK’s first full-time poetry Spoken Word Educators have been embedded in 6 London secondary schools.
The Spoken Word Education Programme offers a highly effective approach to raising children’s confidence, self-expression, team-building and leadership skills, whilst also developing oral communication and literacy skills.
The Spoken Word Educators comprise award winning poets Peter Bearder, Dean Atta, Indigo Williams, Raymond Antrobus, Cat Brogan and Keith Jarrett. They work with young people who may not otherwise get access to arts opportunities, with a range of complex issues that affect their lives and engagement in learning. Spoken Word Poetry is a cathartic outlet for them, allowing them to be more focused and productive learners.
The key to this innovative model’s success is embedding poets in the culture of each school and enabling them to build relationships with the students, both in school and during their after school spoken word clubs.
The programme has already benefitted more than 2000 students in some of the most deprived areas of London. The participating young people have wowed audiences across London including performances at Portcullis House for Parliament Week and the launch of Words Over Waltham Forest. Joshua Izundu, a year 11 student at Cardinal Pole Catholic School in Hackney said, “I have a new appreciation for spoken word. I have learnt how to turn a picture into words.”