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As part of their unit of work on Freedom Writing, Year 9 students studied the work of famous poets, writers, novelists and activists, ranging from the Suffragettes to the Civil Rights Movement.

Students also studied the poetry of local writer Tahmina Ali. Born in Bangladesh and raised in the North East, Tahmina’s poetry touches on diverse subjects such as motherhood, identity, stereotypes and memory.

Her intentions as a Spoken Word artist are to help “girls around the world to grow up knowing that their words hold weight and that they too can silence a room with the power of poetry.” After enjoying studying Tahmina’s poetry in class, selected students from Year 9 were given the opportunity to take part in a 7-week series of workshops with Tahmina herself, learning to pen, craft and edit their own poems like a professional.

Along with the support of writers from local organisation 'Slam Fresh', students have written their own original pieces exploring what it means to be a young person growing up in the North East. They have also been honing their performance skills and have surpassed their expectations of what they are able to produce on the stage, as well as on the page.

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