Arun Sharma, Teacher

‘A pivotal moment for one of the group arose when he had just finished a writing exercise where he was comparing growing up to the struggles a person might experience when drowning; the two paths – sink or swim – fight or die trying. When finished, he put it simply like this: ‘Before First Story, I didn’t see the point in writing about things. Now, I see the writing bit as the point of the stuff you do.’ And in some ways he hit the nail on the head for a large section of the class. Dare I say that some of them were beginning to see the world in a new light? He was, for sure. But the important factor wasn’t that he was more prepared for the descriptive and narrative writing elements of his English Language exams, but that he was communicating with himself, and his surroundings, maybe for the first time. First Story had given him the time, space, freedom and encouragement to do this, beyond the reaches of curriculum pressures. This was, albeit a glancing moment, a major step for First Story in Orchard School Bristol, as it pinpointed why we teachers do this.’

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