Nailsea pupils get poetic

SELF-CONFESSED people’s poet and playwright Sid Sherwin entertained year eight students at Nailsea School at his first creative writing workshop with a booty-shaking warm-up.

The father-of-two, who also writes songs and novels, based his lesson on the idea of ‘flash fiction’ or free writing, where the creative part of the brain is encouraged to take over.

The students were given one word and had to write anything they thought of about it for one minute and had to keep their pens moving.

If their minds went blank they had to doodle or repeat the word until something else came into their heads.

The pupils were told to write a 250 word short story based on their ideas, which had to include a plot, character, conflict, and resolution.

On a blog on his website, he writes of the visit: “Silly hat with a feather in it to mark me out as a poet and not a member of staff, check.

“Motivational and inspirational quotations prepared to motivate and er, inspire, check. “Tables and chairs arranged, paper and pens ready, check..

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“All I need are the kids and here they come and keep coming and keep coming.”

As his body warm up exercise he used a quote from the founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed ‘If everybody is ridiculous, no one is’ and gathered the pupils in a circle to shake their hands and feet.

They then had to face outwards and wiggle their bottoms but he soon realised he was the only one doing it, disproving the theory.

As his finale Sid performed some of his street poetry, which staff said was ‘very well received by everyone’.

Pupil David Stokes said: “It helped us use our creative minds”.

While classmate Ryan Ford said: “It was much more free than writing in English classes”.

Sid will read their work and the one he judges the best will receive the Jan Winters Writing award, named in honour of a previous Nailsea School librarian.