In 2021, First Story facilitated a sixteen-week Young Writers Programme at Haringey Learning Partnership: Commerce House, an alternative provision school and service in Wood Green, London, offering specialised teaching and support to students with complex needs.
Teaching in an Alternative Provision, I witnessed first-hand the powerful process that took place over the sixteen weeks; it captivated the hardest to reach students, the ones that would refuse to write a sentence, the ones who proclaimed they ‘hated English’, the ones who existed on the periphery of the class.Michelle Burke, Lead Teacher at Commerce House: Haringey Learning Partnership
The First Story programme has been transformative on all levels. I am so grateful to have had this experience, and even more so that my students were able to experience working with Ashley and having their work published. The impact on their sense of self is life-changing. First Story is life-changing.Michelle Burke, Lead Teacher at Commerce House: Haringey Learning Partnership
First Story were proud to work with Writer-in-Residence, Ashley Hickson-Lovence and lead teacher at Commerce House, Michelle Burke. The Young Writers Programme culminated in August with an anthology launch event, where each student performed their creative writing. Click here to read about Baran, one of six Commerce House students to complete the Young Writers Programme.
It is not overstating anything to say that this programme has been transformational for our students. “We are exceptionally grateful to Ashley, Ms Burke and First Story.Gerry Robinson, Executive Headteacher at Commerce House: Haringey Learning Partnership
First Story are beyond excited to announce that we will be returning to Commerce House to facilitate another year of the Young Writers Programme with a new cohort, in addition to expanding throughout Haringey Learning Partnership to work with the students of Pulford House on what is set to be an exciting, creative and transformative year ahead!