The Poetry Retreat with the New Vision Trust Schools

Building on the learning and relationships that have developed on the Iliad Project, 30 children were selected from Year 5 across each of our schools to take part in this year's New Forest Poetry Retreat. We really are spoiled for choice, with so many brilliant young people in our schools, but these thirty stood out to their schools for their passion for writing, their self-expression and for the rich ways in which they engaged with the Iliad Project.
The project is led each year by Jonny Walker and co-facilitated between Jonny and Adisa the Verbalizer. The children spent four days exploring the beautiful landscapes of the New Forest, on the South Coast of England. The retreat gave the children a balmy summer time writing week, in which they experimented with new and different forms of writing. This year, as a reaction to how brilliantly the children engaged in the Iliad Project, there was be a mythological focus in lots of our learning. The children dug deep into the poetry and stories of the mythical forests, some of the more ancient and mysterious in our country.
We had - as always - a great team of teachers taking part too, joining us from each school: Robbie Des Roches (Nelson), Lisa Naylor (Gallions), Ellie Robinson (Vicarage) Alexia Charalambous (Elmhurst) Damian Kearney (Downshall). Each teacher prepared their own learning activities for the retreat too.
This project - like the Iliad Project - has been running for several years and is well-embedded within the culture of the trust. It gives both teachers and students the chance to experiment with rich and challenging new pedagogies, and to inject even more creativity into the learning process.
The retreats have a dedicated blog, which can be accessed at - so everyone can see the Year 5 children's adventures in the New Forest. 
Take a look at some photos from the retreat: