Saturday 21st November 2015

Students talk about the creative process ...

Inspiration without whimsy

 I have recently had a few conversations with students about creative inspiration in two very different fields:  poetry and film making.  What struck me, however, was nothing to do with the differences in these creative forms; instead, I have been reflecting on a common thread that ran through both of these discussions:  the creative process is not a whimsical moment of inspiration, but, rather, once an idea begins to form, there is a tremendous amount of hard graft that goes into the development of the idea throughout the creative process.  There is so much in this, so much to reflect on - but let me pause to congratulate a few members of our college community:

 Chloe Smith, pictured above, has been selected as one of 85 commended Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2015.  Chloe was selected from nearly 6,000 entrants this year from across the world – a truly impressive achievement.  Chloe spoke to me about the creative process and her comments on how an idea takes hold and develops were fascinating.  For Chloe, the idea drives her – she just has to write.  I felt humbled and honoured to be able to speak with Chloe about this – it was an inspiring and thought provoking conversation.

 Talk about feeling inspired – I then had another really interesting conversation when Max Tobin and George Glasby stopped by to talk with me about their recent triumph when they won the best U18 film at the internationally acclaimed Thurrock International Film Festival. Max directed the winning film entitled Visco Fuse - a dark thriller which explores the mind of a socio-path and teenage serial killer and his victims, questioning the boundaries between good and bad… Max and George are now engaged in a collaborative venture on a new film which we hope to screen at college in early 2016. 

Finally, we have our own college poet laureate amongst the staff: Paul Wooldridge  has won the staff poetry contest for the second consecutive year and now he has written something for us.  Here’s what he said about the creative process involved with this poem: ‘ I originally started off with the idea to write a counter point to Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do not go Gentle into that good night’, aiming at the start of a person’s life rather than the end, but soon moved away from it, maintaining the villanelle in iambic pentameter but making the language a little less bombastic and more accessible.’  Read and enjoy:

Do Not be Scared of What Lies Out of sight

“If we teach you everything else, and do not teach you courage, we have taught you nothing.” – R.L. Chambers

Do not be scared of what lies out of sight.
Find inspiration in what others say.
Continue onward, bravely bring the light.

From here your path seems hidden by the night.

It’s just your, as yet, undiscovered way.
Do not be scared of what lies out of sight.

There’s joy in exploration, when done right,
but pass by those who’d call on you to stay.
Continue onward, bravely bring the light.

Although we all ascend to varied heights,
our fear of the unknown should fall away.
Do not be scared of what lies out of sight.

Ahead of you are those who shared your plight,
who forged their path, now older and more grey.
Continue onward, bravely bring the light.

As we, advanced in age (a common blight),
give way and watch you pass, we hope and pray;
Do not be scared of what lies out of sight.

Continue onward, bravely bring the light.

King Ed's Lower High Street facade

King Ed's Lower High Street facade


Overall pass rate for A levels in 2019


•A*-C rate: 82.9%, significantly above the national average of 76.8%


Average class size

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