Thursday, 25 April 2013
An Anthology by the First Story Group at Oxford Spires Academy
ed. Kate Clanchy
London, First Story, 2010, 64p
At last, I got my mitts on a copy of the first anthology created by Kate Clanchy and the students of Oxford Spires Academy. Some Kids is the product of an Inclusion Project run by some incredibly members of staff, and with the support of the charity First Story.
The students behind this anthology are those who, for a variety of reasons, are excluded from everyday schooling. They share experiences that, for some, are completely unimaginable. Perhaps we would rather not hear what these young people have to say, but in these pages, their voices scream out with frustration, anger and sadness.
Of course, there are glimmers of hope that seem through. They share their love for their friends and their appreciation for these teachers who have taken the time to help them. The language and formulation of some of these pieces of work are incredible, especially considering many of these kids do not do very well in conventional classes. Reading them, you might think the students were top of their class.
Oxford Spires is about to launch it's fourth anthology in June. We have seen great success from these students recently, including prestigious prizes and coffee & cake with the Duchess of Cornwall. It is wonderful to see where it all started, with Some Kids, and it is clear that, thanks to the hard work of Kate Clanchy and the talent of our students, we still have a bright future ahead.