Comments from Teachers
"Nothing short of amazing. Every now and then, something happens in teaching that makes you think ‘this is a special moment’. This week was packed full of those moments...for those young people for whom it was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Teacher, Carlton Community College
"[the Students] relish the freedom to explore and write in the afternoons after a concentrated session of seminar work in the mornings. Over the course of the week, and under the guidance of some superb tuition, they shed inhibitions about sharing their work."
Teacher, Oxford High School for Girls
"It has reinvigorated my love of creative writing and reminded me that children love it too. I now feel better equipped to help students in the classroom. I have a better notion of what makes interesting writing and the processes a writer needs to go through to achieve this."
Teacher, Walker Technology College
"In terms of sustaining some of the impact of the week in school, teachers feel that by doing the course they now have ‘a better understanding of how to approach teaching English creatively. Activities carried out will be adapted for use in the classroom."
Head of English, Walker Technology College
Comments from Students
"It has majorly boosted my confidence in English and because of that I am taking A’Levels at college in English literature and English language."
"It has made me feel more determined to achieve my full potential in writing."
Comments from Writers
"Much of our education system militates against creativity; productivity and targets seen to be the overriding priorities. All the more important then that schools come to Arvon, for they will experience an oasis, a calm yet an intensity that will help each child find a writing voice. I know no more focused way for a young writer to begin to explore and expand. It should be part and parcel of every young person’s education. We need several thousand Arvons."
Michael Morpurgo, Author and previously Children’s Laureate.
“Many of the pupils who have been have never left the inner-city, never seen a green field, a hawk, a sheep, a wild hedgerow. Never seen the night sky as it is in the country, away from the permanent sodium lighting of a city. Never heard such quietness. In one week they learn in so many ways that it is hard to know where to start. They learn to live together as a community. To work, cook, talk, eat, and play together. ..Most of all I think, they learn that here is a place and there are people in the world who set store on poetry, reading, art, the things of the spirit and of the imagination, that they give up their days to those things and know that they are of value.'"
Susan Hill, Novelist and Broadcaster.
"One of my students said that Arvon was the only thing he did at school that prepared him for university and, whether the school course involves Year 9 or Year 12, that mixture of independence, personal tutorials and small group workshops gives students a sense of what is possible away from the increasingly tight constrictions of the exam system. I am evangelical about the importance of Arvon Schools courses. Taking over a beautiful house, cooking (actually, in most cases, learning how to cook!) in a group, sharing vulnerability and success, seeing teachers equally vulnerable but not taking advantage of it, being treated as responsible people who have something valuable and unique to offer cannot be anything other than transformative."
"Arvon is different. It is optimistic, life enhancing and totally democratic. It is truly and deeply educational. It shows that words, stories, poem, plays, songs, are tools of exploration and discovery, that in using them with care and boldness we can come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world. (Arvon) is about encouraging people to become fully rounded imaginative beings who are in tune with their own instincts and ambitions, who have a sense of joy in their own language, who can look with fascination at the surrounding world, and who can explore and celebrate it in words. I’ve tutored on several Arvon school courses. I’ve seen the wonderful benefits they can bring. Formal education can so easily be trapped in a cage of targets, tests and percentages. When I meet students and teachers, I’ll often suggest: Why not leave the cage for a while? Why not go to Arvon for a week?"
David Almond, award-winning Author