A Guest Blog by Gill Pawley, Founder of Inkpots.
Every week during term time, I run seven after school Inkpots workshops at schools in Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath. I always try to get set up and have just a few minutes in hand so that I am able to give the children my full attention as they arrive from class. Because at every school, every time – without fail – children tumble through the doors, full of news and stories. And it’s one of the best bits about running Inkpots.
Children are natural story tellers and even the mundane events become epic adventures in their minds. Some children may find it difficult to get their words down on paper and others might like to draw their stories, but they are story tellers just the same.
At Inkpots, we believe that:
- Everyone can write something;
- Writing muscles need to be stretched and toned;
- Writing should be enjoyable and exciting;
- Collaboration – not competition – is important.
When I started Inkpots nearly four years ago, one of my core aims was to develop groups which were warm, welcoming and secure. With the help of all the children, Inkpots has been able to achieve that – all of our groups are really fun places to be and the children really do look out for each other.
“Inkpots feels like home – we’re all part of one big family” Sophie, age 10
The welcoming atmosphere extends to our Holiday Clubs as well. It’s always particularly lovely when Inkpots children bring friends along and children who can’t manage to get to after school clubs, come to see us in the holidays again and again.
I am delighted to be running some workshops at the Lindfield Arts Festival for the first time. I hope to be able to give the children a flavour of what we do at Inkpots, as well as having a really great time. At the chocolate-themed workshops, there’ll be a range of activities for children – no matter what their stage of storytelling. So, we’ll have some word puzzles and games to get those writing muscles going, we’ll have a chat about the books everyone enjoys and we’ll even design our own chocolate bars. There will also be a chance to write some chocolate stories or map out some ideas that can later be developed. I’ll be on hand to talk to encourage the young writers with tips and ideas. More than anything, it’s a chance for children who really enjoy reading, writing and drawing to spend some time together sharing ideas, being creative and having lots of fun.
“Inkpots helps your imagination grow” George, age 11
I am really looking forward to these workshops at Lindfield Arts Festival and just can’t wait to meet all the children and their families.