We’ll update this page periodically, to share how we are navigating the pandemic and responding to changing circumstances.
Last updated 4 May 2021
Update for Schools
We’re keen to assist our partner schools to implement COVID-19 recovery plans. First Story’s Young Writers programme has much to contribute, supporting learning and engagement across the curriculum. Our writing workshops also support students’ social and emotional wellbeing, creating a safe space in which participants can express themselves, explore issues, and build confidence.
We’ve consulted extensively to develop a flexible programme delivery model for 2020/21 that can accommodate expected post-COVID restrictions.
We’ll work flexibly within your school’s revised timetable and, if necessary, we can deliver First Story workshops during core hours e.g. as part of timetabled enrichment or recovery curriculum activities.
We’ve developed a blended model for this year, combining in-person and digital provision, to keep your First Story programme running with minimal disruption. Your Writer-in-Residence will deliver in-person workshops whenever possible, while being fully prepared to convert to remote provision as necessary. Live virtual workshops can be delivered via your school’s choice of online platform. First Story’s extended offer of events and activities, and our annual Young Writers’ Festival, will also be developed for digital platforms and virtual engagement.
Alternative delivery models
First Story’s Young Writer’s programme – designed to provide deep learning for a targeted group – usually engages up to 20 students in 16 weeks of intensive writing workshops, beginning in the autumn term. This year, we anticipate some schools may find this model more challenging to accommodate in the context of COVID-19 and related restrictions. To minimise barriers to participation, we’ve created alternative delivery models that schools may choose from. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local First Story programme lead, to find out more about these options and discuss what else might be possible. Where we can, we’re keen to work with your school’s particular circumstances.
Get in touch with your local First Story programme lead:
Alternatively, complete our online Expression of Interest form here.
Watch clips from this summer’s virtual showcase event, which celebrated new writing by five First Story alumni, chosen to be Rathbones Folio Prize Mentees in 2020/21.
The ongoing pandemic meant our annual summer residential course had to be delivered virtually for a second year — and we smashed it again!
Watch exclusive clips from this summer’s virtual showcase event, which celebrated new writing by five First Story alumni, chosen to be Rathbones Folio Prize Mentees in 2019/20.
First Story hasn’t stopped working through the pandemic. Adapted models of our Young Writers Programme are running during autumn term 2020/21 in partner schools across England.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this summer, our annual residential programme took place virtually. With participants connecting entirely online, we managed to maintain almost all of the key elements that make this project so special and impactful.
For a recent virtual roundtable, we asked three prominent figures in arts and education, Prof. Dame Alison Peacock, Kate Clanchy MBE, and the Young Vic’s Lorna McGinty: What needs to be in place for the schools sector to ensure high quality, holistic literacy provision which has long term impact on outcomes for all children?
After months of lockdown and Zoom meetings, our CEO got to attend a First Story anthology launch in person earlier this month —albeit socially-distanced—when she went along to St Gabriel’s College in South London, to help students celebrate the publication of their new anthology ’20:20 Vision’.
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap for attainment, but has also robbed a generation of valuable social and emotional learning.