Students in conversation with acclaimed writers

As part of the BBC Teach ‘Lessons with Leaders’ series, four of our Year 11 students met with acclaimed writers Cressida Cowell and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Kamile and Hasib interviewed author and illustrator Cressida Cowell of the hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon series about the importance of play in unlocking your creativity.

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I feel like anyone can be creative as there’s nothing stopping them. All you need is a pen and paper to write down whatever you want, draw anything you want, and to have freedom in your writing.


‘I loved Cressida’s idea of being playful, and whilst I originally found it a bit strange, I now truly understand what she meant because letting yourself go and exploring your own creative world is truly how you create something inspirational.’


Merin and Sabera interviewed the poet, novelist, playwright, musician and university professor, Benjamin Zephaniah at our local performing arts centre, the Space. They talked about the importance of finding your voice and listening with compassion and empathy and how, when seeking inspiration for your own writing, to draw upon your own unique experiences as well as things outside of this.

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‘How would I add in my own experience into my writing?’

‘It can be a small detail of your life and really dig into it. I believe that we all have poetic and original thoughts all the time. And sometimes you can take something as small as tying your shoelace and you can write an epic poem about it. And every word is true. You know, something as simple as that can make sense when you think of poetry.’

Merin and Sabera in conversation with Benjamin.