Do you live within Hampshire, Surrey or West Sussex? Are you aged 7-11, have a child of that age either with an interest in writing or a wish to increase their confidence in literacy? If so, these lively and interactive 6-week creative writing courses for Key Stage 2 children might be just what you are looking for. Children can come and learn some new writing techniques, practice what they have been taught in school, work alone or towards a national or local writing competition, all with a chance for mentoring thereafter. Friendships form a big part of what goes on: the children enjoy not only spending time with others who like to use their ideas and imaginations in a creative environment, but also the benefits of sharing their work with others.
When children move on to Key Stage 3 and wish to remain with us in some capacity, they have the opportunity to do so by learning to become a Young Mentor. Being close to the age of the children taught on each course, our Young Mentors offer practical advice on how to get ideas down on paper, how to get spellings right, talking through sequencing in story writing, as well as recommending which books an individual child might enjoy.
Currently based at the Alton Maltings Centre in Alton, the courses are held on Saturday mornings between 9.30 am and 11.00 am, with the occasional double. Places are limited to 25, mentors and volunteers included.
The next session is an August workshop on the 9th where the children will put together their fourth Bonkers Book, designing the cover, the layout, sifting through the year’s work and listing all the illustrations that will be required. Course 25 begins in September with bookings well under way. The next course dates for school year 2018/2019 are as follows:
C25 – Sept 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct 6, 13 (half term is Oct 22 – 26)
C26 – Nov 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec 1, 8
We are always open to approaches from college volunteers and GAP year students though currently we are full until January 2019. Any student who would like to inspire children’s writing skills, enjoyment of the written word and confidence should contact us direct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘phoning 01420 587351.
WATCH OUT! Volume III of The Big Bonkers Doodah Book, A Big Book by Small Children, is now available to order at £9.99 per copy through the bookstore, to view through Hampshire Libraries or on sale at Alton bookshop, Waterstone’s.
Run by children’s author and workshop provider, Sarah Lucas, alongside children’s worker, Kate Collins, the Putting Pen to Paper courses are held during term-time, avoiding half-term and main holiday weekends wherever possible. Boys and girls have joined from a wide range of schools, Alton School, Anstey Junior School, Bentley Primary, Bentworth St. Mary’s, Binsted CofE Primary, Camelsdale Primary, Chawton CofE Primary, Four Marks Primary, Froxfield CofE Primary, Medstead CofE Primary, Ropley CofE Primary, Selborne CofE Primary, Sheet Primary, St. Andrews Endowed, St. Lawrence Primary, St. Swithuns, The Butts, West Meon Cof E Primary and Wooteys County Primary, to name a few. We are lucky to have a solid team of Year 7(+) pupils and mentors from Eggars School who come and help with setting up, working one-on-one with the children as well as running class exercises.
This not-for-profit initiative for Key Stage 2 children has a high number of returnees and has been funded for the school year 2017/2018 by the Big Lottery Fund, Awards for All, allowing course costs to be kept to a minimum.
If you are interested in Putting Pen to Paper please send your address by email to email@example.com to receive a copy of the Application Form or click on the link above to print direct. A separate leaflet can be sent to you by post if you’d prefer.
Places will be secured upon receipt of a completed form and cheque made payable to ‘Putting Pen to Paper’ with a cost of £20.00 per child, per course. Take a minute to read through the following testimonials from parents and children about their experience of Putting Pen to Paper.
What the parents say:
‘Hi Sarah, just wanted to say thank you again for doing these wonderful writing courses. My husband and I could not believe it when K. said that she was going to participate in that 500-word competition. Then, we could not believe it when she actually sat down and started writing it during the half term. But what was even more unbelievable was that she discarded her first story half way through it, saying that it was rubbish! Which was when we thought she was not going to do it anymore, but she sat down and wrote a completely different story! This would have never happened if it were not for your writing course. We are just so happy that K. has so much more confidence with her writing and that she is happy to give it a go. Thank you and Kate for your brilliant work.’
‘R. has loved going to Pen to Paper.’
‘M. has really loved the course.’
‘.. She says she likes writing now and it was a real battle before.’
‘She loves the Saturday sessions.’
‘Ever since E. started the course, her confidence has grown.’
‘K. has definitely started to write things for homework with a lot more interest and confidence.’
‘M. has grown in confidence.’
‘The girls have loved your course.’
‘Thanks for running such a great course!’
‘Z. loves your course. She talks about it all the time.’
‘My daughter wants me to book her in for the next three years she loves it so much!’
‘You and your team are carrying out really motivational workshops – thank you :)’
What the children say they liked about P2P:
Year 3 : 2016-2017
‘I love everything about Pen to Paper.’
‘I like the games and stuff, the drawing and the laughter yoga.’
‘Everything at Putting Pen to Paper is epic and awesome!’
‘I like it when we make models like Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs.’
‘Putting Pen to Paper is brilliant. I get to do all the things I don’t normally get to do. I can write as many stories as I like and can float away in my own imagination.’
‘Putting Pen to Paper is … so good, I just can’t find the words!’
‘It’s fun and exciting and extends my creative mind.’
‘I’ve really enjoyed Pen to Paper. It’s been fun!’
‘I like making up stories and drawing and I enjoy all the activities.’
‘What I have enjoyed is the creative writing and making new friends.’
‘Pen to Paper is still super cool.’
‘I like Pen to Paper because it’s fun and it has lots of cool, funny activities.’
‘There’s something for everyone.’
‘You can draw whatever you want!’
‘It’s fun and creative.’
‘Writing is FUN.’
‘It’s fun and exciting.’
Year 2 : 2015-2016
‘… getting ideas and writing stories.’
‘ … making animal homes …’
‘Reading out and acting!’
‘… writing whilst making new friends.’
‘Everything, but especially the scriptwriting and drama!’
‘… making new friends …’
‘… the exciting atmosphere …’
‘I really enjoyed writing stories and showing them to Sarah or Kate.’
‘Literally everything, especially ‘being a criminal’ !’
‘Showcasing my work.’
Year 1 : 2014-2015
‘The games and writing with people who like to write.’
‘Getting on with our stories.’
‘I loved the writing.’
‘The games. The marshmallow towers …’
‘The social part of it.’
‘Meeting new people.’
‘Just being here.’
‘Everything about it is super cool.’
‘Being a helper.’
‘I loved the teachers.’
‘The bonkers board!’
‘Coming to P2P is the best thing in the world.’