On the 18th June 2012, members of the Whitworth Park Archaeology and History Project, in association with the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Centre, took a poetry workshop to Heald Place Primary School. We began by introducing the pupils to how different the past looked over a hundred years ago, and the students handled artefacts from the excavations and guessed what they were… old coins, keys, lost buttons, bottles, pipe stems and children’s toys. We then read poems about parks written by other children, before they tried their own hand at writing a poem about a park they knew.
We were very impressed with the results. Some children wrote about the beauty of parks, the changes in weather and seasons, and how happy they felt when they were in them. Others imagined meetings in the park, or stories behind some of the people they had seen sitting on benches or pushing prams. Some children reflected on the darker side of parks – things that might frighten them, or times when they did not feel safe or happy. The poems represented a wonderful range of ideas and some talented writing! We ended the session with a reading by some of the children, and hope to follow up our workshop with this class in the future. Thanks to Heald Place for making this outreach event possible and thanks to the pupils for making this such a rewarding morning!
Poetry workshop gets underway