As December is fast approaching, it only seems right we launch our Winter Writing Competition. Having had almost one thousand entries last year we expect to surpass that number this year and our judging elves are at the ready. The focus this year is on the place where we live. For anyone interested, please contact [email protected].

This right here is the epitome of job satisfaction. I provided a reference for a young woman I started working with at Bringing Words to Life when she was ten years old.

Having soared higher than she possibly ever thought she would, Lauren passed her GCSEs and A Levels easily. She went on to secure a first from Durham University and just completed her Masters’s in Journalism. Dedicated, determined and dynamic are only a few adjectives that can be applied to Lauren and her passion for the written word and the craft of journalism.

An honour to see her move on to the next chapter of what we know here at BWtL will be an illustrious career. Congrats Lauren White. You worked hard for this.

Earlier this month we welcomed two students to the team at Bringing Words to Life from Ponteland High School and Thorp Academy. Both were keen to secure experience in the world of media and jumped at the opportunity to create content for the Beep website.

Here at Bringing Words to Life, we pride ourselves on being able to offer young people the opportunity to develop their skills and love for writing through our projects. Beep was established for those reasons only. We identified that there was a lack of provision for students who wanted to write outside school. So we took it upon ourselves to create a platform where writers and content creators could experiment and hone in on their ideas while being able to promote their work and contributions on their UCAS forms and CVS.

So, welcoming Holly and Bethan for a week where they contributed informative and hugely entertaining content for the site was a great feeling for us. Beep was set up for young people just like them, to nurture their writing skills and use their opinions to educate their peers. The opportunity to experience life as one of the Beep/Bringing Words to Life team is open to any young person. For more information on this opportunity contact [email protected].

For some of the content Holly and Bethan created, follow the links below.

Five Women in History Robbed of their Legacy

Awaiting Exam Results and how to Enjoy the Summer

The Assassination of Harvey Milk

Book Review: Song of Achilles

Write2 is our stand-alone resource that can be used by anyone to encourage literacy and communication. Developed so it can be utilised by any age group, schools and community groups can benefit from this module-driven programme which encompasses writing for an audience, review writing, interviewing, blogging and more.

Write2 allows your team of writers to take ownership of their project, whether it be a school magazine or content for a school website or community newsletter/paper. Our top tips and tricks on how to create this content along with countless resources to bring out the best in your team have been used successfully in a number of North East schools.

You may have thought we had disappeared off the face of the earth, as we have been super-quiet lately. But fear not, we are still here. We have been working hard behind the scenes at BWTL to develop one of our writing programmes to make it much more accessible.

Write2 is a culmination of the Beep programme and our Press Pack workshops. Covid, like for many other organisations, had a significant impact on our work. Not being able to visit schools like we usually would, meant we had to consider how we could ensure the work we were accustomed to doing in person could continue.

We know the benefits of our programme. We understand how those who took part in the workshops enjoyed and recognised the differences in themselves from their involvement in the programme. It was, therefore, up to us to develop the programme to enable others to deliver it rather than our staff, while ensuring young people continue to benefit from what has been created over the past decade.

To find out about Write2 and how it might benefit your school, college or young people you might work with please refer to this information and contact [email protected] if you are interested in purchasing Write2 for your learners or young writers.

The resignation of Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins paints quite the picture. Only four months into his post, Sir Collins has quit in protest against the £1.4bn school funding pandemic catch-up budget for the next three years. It’s a decision that Labour has called “totally insufficient” and headteachers have labelled a “damp squib”.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the funding allocated will primarily be aimed at tutoring students. The goal is to compensate for any and all lost time in education during the pandemic. However, the Education Policy Institute claims that the effort to recover lost learning time will have damaging lasting effects – for both the economy and for young people.

Recommended Reading: Funding for disadvantaged North East students cut by £7 million


The EPI maintained that at least £10 to £15bn is needed to negate the impact of missed education. That’s nearly ten times the amount that was promised by the government.

Proposed tutoring will target those in most need of support and it is also speculated that the school day is to be extended. Despite the backlash to this, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson maintains that the option to lengthen school days is a “debate to be had”.

Sir Collins’ resignation has signalled a messy end to the academic year. With the sensation of impending clarity on the educational situation in England and Wales right now, teachers and pupils are left in even more of a limbo. Boris Johnson maintains that more funding will follow through, but whether this will meet the EPI’s estimation is still unclear.


Typically, both Johnson and Williamson are being blasted for this. Their inability to meet demands with what the EPI say is appropriate funding can be viewed as a failure in management.

Sir Collins has been in public service for over 30 years and his contribution to education is not to be sniffed at. As a former teacher in both domestic and international schools, he has a wide array of skills and knowledge that a government would usually take full advantage of.

This, combined with plans for an extended school day, comes across as a last-ditch attempt to compensate for underspending on the government’s behalf. Much of the consensus on increasing school hours from staff and students is that nobody would benefit from this. Children need the time to wind down at home and shortening that timeframe would only seek to quash that recovery.

Recommended Reading: £96bn given to non-NHS healthcare providers in a decade

Performance is generally accepted as petering out during post-lunch periods as it is. This will only get worse if extra lessons are forced to extend the afternoon.

It is unclear what it will take to please and benefit both teachers and pupils alike. However, what is evident is that going against the primary economical think-tank as well as the individual in charge of overseeing the entire catch-up project is against everyone’s best interests.

It is a bit of a weird one this year as I would normally see a wide range of characters from books walking around my neighbourhood. Living close to a primary school on World Book Day has its advantages. Fantastic Mr Fox, Alice in Wonderland, the Tiger Who Came to Tea were all memorably captured strolling past my window last year. This year, not so much.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. With the Masked Reader initiative doing the rounds, World Book Day 2021 is doing what books are destined to do, allow us to use our imagination in different ways to celebrate what is one of my favourite days in my working year.

This year, I am paying homage to two of my favourite characters from books I have cherished over the years. Both these gals are adventurous, passionate and avid writers – all traits I personally resonate with, which is probably why these ladies and the novels they step from are imprinted in my adult existence.

Today I am celebrating Jo March and Rebecca Mason – and the inspiration you brought me as a young lass growing up in the seventies and early eighties.

We thought we would try and share some knowledge with you as we are all vying for things to keep the monotony of lockdown at bay. So as with the writing prompts, we will share our top tips with you in the coming months.

You can thank us later 🙂

We will be publishing a range of content over the coming year to encourage people to write, starting with writing prompts. You can write as little or as much as you would like, but we would love you to share your work with us. Please feel free to share by sending to [email protected]. Your writing will inspire our writing 🙂

If your school or you know of another school that might want to take part in our Poetry Competition, then please feel free to contact us for more information. There will be a prize for the best entry from each school and certificates for all who take part.

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