It takes a lot to stand up in front of groups from other schools and deliver your own personal thoughts and feelings about something, particularly in the knowledge that other people could well disagree with you. But a group of Year 9 students did just that on Monday 13th June at Braunton Academy, as part of the annual Clip Carnegie Medal gathering. This is an event that celebrates the most distinguished writing for young people in the UK. A number of local schools are invited to give a presentation on a novel from the CILIP Carnegie Medal short list; ours being The Ghosts of Heaven, by Michael Sedgwick, a challenging novel which interlaces four different stories from four starkly different periods of time using the ever-moving dynamic of the spiral form.
Our students didn’t just stand and speak but performed their own interpretation of the novel, blowing the more conventional format used by other schools out of the water. It was edifying, as both a teacher and lover of literature, to see our students’ creative interpretations of the novel come to life, living and breathing on a stage. It was great to see young people taking risks and performing with so much confidence and insight, allowing their audience to be drawn into their own imagining of what was a hugely enjoyed book. Having said that, it was a pleasure to be involved in the event and Holsworthy CC students gained plenty of experience from their involvement and watching other schools perform.