Big City Writing

Education   Primary Education  

February – March, 2017
Brookfields Primary School

Big City Writing was a writing poetry project the Year 3 and Year 4 students of Brookfields Primary School. It took inspiration from photographs of the local landscape and resulted in the publication of a poetry newspaper which was launched on World Book Day with a poetry reading event attended by parents, friends and a special guest poet Amerah Saleh.In January we set out from school in groups of 15 with the photographer Kate Green to take photographs of anything we saw that attracted our attention. Each of the eight groups took a different route. We visited the canal, Spring Hill library, the local railway bridge, the big multi-story car park, Warstone Cemetery, the Jewellery Quarter train station, the local park/play area, the big construction works on Pope Street (it was very convenient that Brookfields is the closest primary school to our offices). Hundreds of the thousands of photographs taken on these trips were printed out ready for use in our poems.

We studied the rhyming patterns of well known poems. We remembered how limericks work and what syllables are. We wrote Haiku. We wrote poems in teams. We created poems using kits of words. We randomly selected photographs and wrote poems in response to these. We wrote inspired by titles we’d given these photographs.

Denise Stanton came into school and we helped her create a big display board using our poems and photographs.

Gareth Courage came into school and we talked about graphic design for our poetry newspaper with him before creating our own design layouts.We rehearsed performing a number of our poems. Lots of parents came to an afternoon poetry reading performance on World Book Day and everyone in the school went home with a copy of our newspaper.


Poems: Year 3 and Year 4, sometimes with James Yarker
Photographs: Year 3, Year 4 and Kate Green
Graphic Design: Gareth Courage with inspiration from Year 3 and Year 4
In School Display: Denise Stanton
Special Guest: Amerah Saleh
With thanks to: all staff at Brookfields Primary School particularly Miss Collier, Miss Bick, Mr Hawthorn, Miss. Ledbury, Mrs Kaur, Mrs Bailey, Mrs Akhtar, Miss Sizen, Mrs Chauhan, Mrs Seleshe, Miss O’Rourke, Mrs Cross and Mrs Berrow.
At Stan’s Cafe thanks to: Craig, Laura, Lucy and Roisin plus Anthony Ruck.