St Leonards School are excited to announce their newest art installation which is a result of the ‘StAnza In Schools’ initiative, part of the overall StAnza programme. The art installation is an independent showcase which was the result of a powerful collaboration between the school’s English and Art Departments, with the help of StAnza. Students have morphed their poetry into a visual piece and this will be open for the public to visit during the StAnza festival, until the 11th March.
StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, which has just completed for another year, is renowned for its wondrous programme of poetry for all, featuring around 100 events, (many of them free) with a diverse range of performances, readings, music, drama, talks, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations.
This year, the festival introduced a new element to its extensive line up: the "StAnza in Schools" Education Programme. In the lead up to the festival, this initiative has been active across Fife and Dundee primary and secondary schools, delivering writing workshop events; cross-curricular collaborations in Poetry, Media and Art; school visits by festival poets; poetry review mentoring; poetry online journalism projects and StAnza Young Poets assemblies. Their team of experienced poets and teachers and St Andrews university students engage and support young people in writing and exhibiting their own poetry. The two themes of focus were: ‘Masking the Body’ for the Secondary School Project and ‘Eye-Popping Poems’ for the Primary Schools.
St Leonards are proud to have been one of the schools participating in the ‘StAnza in Schools’ Education Programme. A team of poets visited the Year 9 class in the English Department and enjoyed an inspiring workshop, where pupils were encouraged to write short poems exploring the ways human beings employ masks for our bodies.
The class then transformed their poetry by developing their poetic metaphors visually. The students created masks which embodied their poems in any shape of form they wished. The result, a high-concept walk-through Art Installation of poem-mask by St Leonards’ Year 9 pupils who engaged with the ‘Masking The Body’ project.
The Art Installation is open to the public as part of the StAnza Festival, Monday – Friday 9:00am - 1:00pm / 2:00pm - 4:00pm until Friday 11th March. Visit the St Leonards School Main reception and they will direct you to the Art Department.
Wendy Orr, Education Coordinator of the festival is pleased the with the positive response the ‘StAnza In Schools’ programme has received: the intention being to encouraged students to develop their ideas from one stage and taking it to the next level by fusing it with different mediums:
"I am delighted that the schools have enjoyed the StAnza in School programme and I hope we can continue to deliver this in years to come. The workshops were intended to challenge the perception of traditional poetry - playing with words, sounds, and exploring the different platforms to feature the poetry created. We wanted to achieve the notion that poetry can be for pleasure, and really highlight the importance of the poetry medium as another outlet for children to express themselves. Delighted that students have really claimed ownership of their work and were so excited to work with image and metaphor in new ways".
St Leonards were also involved other elements of the International poetry festival, in addition to the poetry workshops:
StAnza Youth Student Reporters Project A small crew of St Leonards Sixth Form students followed and reported on the progress of the Masking The Body project, filming and documenting the workshop, exhibition and will also record the festival week. They produced both filmed and written reports for StAnza Youth webpage and the festival launch event.
StAnza Youth Poetry Reviewers Project: A group of St Leonards Sixth Form pupils worked with StAnza mentors and 2015 Sabotage Reviews Winner, Dave Coates to conduct and write online reviews of our festival poets’ performances for StAnza Youth website.
The school also welcomed the celebrated children's fantasy writer, Jane Yolan to enthuse IB Language and Literature students with some of her renowned graphic novels. The sixth form students studied her books and scripts in advance of her visit!