Four of our students performed on stage at the Core as part of a poetry initiative with renowned rapper MC Mixy. Earlier he had led a workshop with 19 of our students guiding them to produce group and individual poetry which they shared. He also delivered some of his fast-paced poetry in both lower and upper school assemblies.
He said: ‘I wanted to get the students used to writing. In school I had a lot of rules forced upon me and was told what was right and wrong about poetry so in this session I just wanted to get everyone creating and speaking originally. The first group activity was based on creating things that might have never been said before. Then there was speed poetry which they did individually about something meaningful or emotional to them which was a really important aspect. The final part was reading the work out as I wanted to get them used to performing for their peers so they could then feel more confident to share it at the Core that evening. Public speaking is a skill that everyone needs at some point in your life so this was great practice for them.
At the Core MC Mixy and his poetry partner Mark Grist took to the stage for the Dead Poets Death Match. Mixy said: ‘We feature eight of our favourite poets on a computer style screen. The audience chooses the four they want to see and myself and Mark do a solo piece then a collaborative piece showing the story of their lives. Once the audience have seen all four poets they choose their favourite two and we dress up as them and we rap battle in character.’
As part of the proceedings our students who had attended the workshop were invited onstage to share their work. Four who took part were Kasturi Datta, Matthew Haddock, Seth Goddard and Shannon Jenkins. The students were accompanied by teacher Mrs Halloway, who said: ‘The workshop participants were a mix of gifted and talented students and Sixth Formers who are studying English language or literature for A Level. It was an enjoyable morning of writing and it gave the students, especially the older ones free reign to be a little more controversial. The performance by MC and Mark Grist was amazing and it was fantastic that our students had the confidence to go on stage and read their own work out to a wider audience.’
Afterwards student Kasturi Datta from Year 11 said: 'I thought it was a very enjoyable and thought provoking experience as I had the chance to venture into the surreal and highly imaginative side of English and write according to my own taste. It was though provoking in the way that it realized what depth poetry can have and how many ways a writer's thoughts can be presented through a poem, so I really enjoyed every bit of it including the performances.