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Dec 17, 2020

Poetry inspires students in Bury

Unsworth students have been delighted to work with local poet Oliver James Lomax to create a lockdown-themed poem.

The school collaborated with Mr Lomax to create the poem, which has then been recorded and set to music by local musician Damien Riley, lead singer of the band ‘Our Fold’.

Principal of the school, Sue Armstrong, commented: “The idea behind this poem was to provide support to those who have had difficulty over lockdown, acknowledge that we have all struggled and that it is okay to feel scared.

“We also wanted to give a voice to our most vulnerable learners, encouraging our young people to feel proud of what they have achieved.”

Mr Lomax interviewed a number of students and asked them to write down what they thought were important things about 2020, before conducting a poetry writing workshop.

The poem references everything from Black Lives Matter, clapping for the NHS and wearing face masks, to personal stories about learning football tricks, learning from home and losing loved ones.

Mrs Armstrong continued: “Oliver is wonderful with our young people, very positive and supportive enabling students to open up in these creative sessions.

“The poem celebrates the stability of school in uncertain times and, although the project is not yet finished, the impact has already been amazing with disaffected learners embracing the opportunity and opening up about their fears.”

English Teacher and organiser of the project, Sarah Leech, added: “I was delighted to work with Oliver again on this project and am grateful for his time, knowledge and expertise.

“I would also like to commend the students involved for their great attitude towards the project. It has been an inspirational experience for all of us.”

Keep a look out for the finished recording of the poem which will soon be published on the school website and social media pages. For more information visit: www.unsworthacademy.org.uk