Arvon Course 2014
Arvon Creative Writing Course – cost £8,600
• Arvon is a residential creative writing course held in a unique environment which challenges, inspires and transforms the writing of young people
• 16 pupils work with professional writers
• Pupils from all financial backgrounds are able to attend
• Enhances the opportunities for gifted and talented pupils
• Arvon is about encouraging people to become fully rounded imaginative beings who are in tune with their own instincts and ambitions, who have a sense of joy in their own language, who can look with fascination at the surrounding world and who can explore and celebrate it in words.
• The Annual Fund funded this course once before and it was such an inspirational experience that the English Department would like a further cohort of girls to benefit.
The Arvon Foundation runs residential creative writing courses which aim to challenge, inspire and transform the writing of young people. 16 students and 2 teachers are accommodated in a house with literary and historical connections and provided with the opportunity to work with two professional writers in order to improve writing skills, as well as developing confidence, social skills and team work. Arvon tailor the course to suit the needs of the individual school, abilities and age range, liaising closely with the teachers involved to ensure that the maximum benefit is gained.
The teachers are in loco parentis and tutors will run workshops each morning and one-to-one tutorials in the afternoon. Time is left for students to work and develop their own pieces. Dinner is prepared by the students on a rota basis and after dinner each evening the tutor or students read from their work. On Tuesday evening the tutors read from their work and on Wednesday evening a guest writer is invited to read and take questions from the students. Friday night is a celebration of their achievements and an anthology of the best of the week’s writing is produced and each student receives a copy.
The course enables students from all financial backgrounds to access the considerable resources and skills offered by the Arvon Foundation and its team of staff and tutors, as the cost may be otherwise prohibitive to some.
The course also targets and enhances the opportunities provided for gifted and talented students. The benefits, in terms of the development of writing skills and improved interpersonal skills are transferrable across the curriculum and will also be most useful when the students enter the world of work.
In the words of David Almond, award-winning author and frequent Arvon tutor: “Arvon is different. It is optimistic, life enhancing and totally democratic. It is truly and deeply educational. It shows that words, stories, poems, plays, songs are tools of exploration and discovery, that in using them with care and boldness we can come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world. Arvon is about encouraging people to become fully rounded imaginative beings who are in tune with their own instincts and ambitions, who have a sense of joy in their own language, who can look with fascination at the surrounding world and who can explore and celebrate it in words.”
This course was funded once before by the Annual Fund and the experience was an unforgettable one for the students. The quality of writing produced was outstanding and this was a genuine opportunity for girls who would not ordinarily be able to access such a course to develop their writing skills. The Annual Fund has opened this up for all girls and we feel that this is an opportunity we would like to offer to girls again in two years, thus ensuring that even more girls can experience the unique environment of an Arvon course.
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