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Poetry CPD
Workshop Guide



































































Poetry CPD Workshop For Teachers.

As part of the Cultural Education Beer Caves Project 2013/14, The Jurassic Coast Teaching Schools Alliance, in collaboration with The Poetry Society, hosted a Poetry CPD Workshop for Teachers. The Event focused on Empowering Teachers to Inspire Pupils using exciting and effective ways
of using the Beer Caves as a stimulus for Creative Writing.

Key speakers included two of the UK’s most prestigious Poets - Mandy Coe and Paul Hyland. Each brought a different and exciting element to their specific workshop.

Following the Workshop a number of ideas for Cave Visits were discussed. Click here to view some of the interesting ideas.

Below are a number of quotes from teachers who attended the workshop:

" I thought the workshop was a great experience. I came away from the afternoon with lots of ideas for teaching creative writing and poetry. In fact, I have already tried out one of the techniques for writing poetry with my Year 7 group and they were amazed at their own abilities!  I also felt that the techniques we experimented with were useful across both KS3 and KS4 and did not have to  relate just to Beer Caves. Many thanks for a great afternoon"

The King's School, Ottery St. Mary, Devon

"A constructive and enjoyable afternoon. Paul Hyland and Mandy Coe had prepared material, useful for a range of teaching situations, not just the Beer Quarry Caves Project. They struck the right note between pragmatic approach and encouraging creative thinking.

In addition, the course provided a rare and welcome opportunity to share ideas with other teachers on teaching creative writing. Thank you. "

Colyton Grammar School, Devon

"As a guest poet attending the event I was very interested to imagine the project from the Teachers' point of view and learn about how they might best galvanise creative work from the students within the historical context of the Beer Quarry Caves.

I was very impressed by the 2 workshop leaders - Mandy Coe and Paul Hyland - and thought they brought in many inspired and practical ideas.

It was useful to break off into smaller groups where I could feel the teachers themselves becoming increasingly animated and motivated in thinking about how they might implement these ideas in the classroom.

It seemed to me they felt encouraged by their own creativity in this workshop, and if a session like this can empower teachers themselves it will surely allow them to guide students in their own creative projects with equal passion and focus."

Greta Stoddart, Guest Poet

Cave Inspired Poetry:

Cathedral stones hued out of chalk rocks,
Leaving deep underground mazes
For minotaurs and night creatures,
And parties of echoing school children.
String might be useful.

Phil Whitehead, Creative Practice, Dorset


Nothing for Light

In 1758 the owner of the Beer stone quarry tried to 'blast' chalk out of the frozen ground above the quarry to make lime. The explosion caused some of the quarry roof to collapse killing 48 men including a boy who had been sent down to warn them.

We all came bawling out of our mothers               
into small dark rooms with nothing for light
but a tiny window, a weak fire in the grate.

The dark was what we knew – from when we stepped
into the black dawn, down the moony lane
towards the quarry, into its gaping mouth.

Hey little boy, what you doing here
with your thin little face and your eyes bright and black,
why you stood like a ghost in the lane?

Mid-winter. A hard lid of a winter.                                    
The Axe a sheet of ice. Birds tip-toeing across.
And the earth not giving a thing.

Above the quarry the chalk’s frozen deep
in the ground – like trying to dig metal, they say.
No chalk, no lime – can’t build without lime.

Hey little boy, got something to tell us
about chalk and lime and time passing                           
and Master grim-faced in the lane?

But down in the quarry we keep cutting the stone,
down in the dark where we’ve nothing for light
but a taper’s thin twist of a tongue.

Down in the dark you could almost believe the sun
had gone out and the earth a hunk of rock
and us here picking and hacking away at it.

Hey little boy – got something to say
about lime and work and money not flowing
and Master pacing the lane?

What does it do to a man’s heart              
when all he sees of the sun is the moon?
But this stone can light up a room!

Lights up a quarryman’s lungs too – sows them
with sickness, a bright galaxy of dust.        
God’s light, they say, the way it glows.

Run, little boy, with your something to say
about men up top hammering holes
in the ground above the lane

What are they doing up there to the earth,
what does the Master think we’re worth,
’cause we’re here in our hundreds hunched on the scaffold,

crouched in the shadows, pressed to the stone,
axing and sawing with hours to go yet,
soot-smeared, exhausted and freezing with sweat

Come, little boy, with your word to get out           
about holes filling up with powder and black        
and Master no more in the lane                        

But none can hear for the clanging din
and none can see ’cause we’ve nothing for light,
we’ve nothing for light, we’ve nothing but –

this bright blinding ringing light – brighter
than any thing – heaven blasting hell
from this place to let us, darkly, in.

© Greta Stoddart 2014


Poems live in thin books
Bats live on thin wires
Poets live in thin caves
Wielding words that shatter stone

Words live in thin dreams
That drift across dark caverns.
They work for us, slaves to our whims
Freed only at night for capricious adventures

Phil Whitehead, Creative Practice, Dorset








JCTSA Partner Schools: Acorn Federation, Axe Beacon Federation, Axe Valley Community College, Axminster Community Primary, Bridport Primary, Budmouth College, Chard Area Federation of Schools, Charmouth Primary, Clyst Vale Community College, Colyton Grammar School, Hawchurch Primary, Holyrood Academy, Honiton Community College, Marshwood Primary, Payhembury Primary, St Mary’s Primary Bridport, St Mary's Primary Thorncombe, Sir John Colfox, South Dartmoor Community College, St Michael’s Primary, The King’s School, University of Exeter, The Woodroffe School Working in close partnership with Babcock LDP and Dorset LA