Important news

Parent / Carers: The consultation on the proposal to bring Ark William Parker and Ark Helenswood together as one co-educational school has now launched. You can find out more information and give us your views by visiting the consultation website: http://hastingsconsultation.org/

Extra-curricular activities: a new list of activities for this term can be found here.

Inspired and entertained by world famous writer John Agard

Students had the exciting opportunity to meet world famous writer, John Agard who visited the academy for a special assembly.

John, a playwright, poet, short-story and children's writer was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) and has received many literary awards. He talked to students about the beauty of language and read poems from his books, including the poems ‘Half Caste’ and ‘Checking out me history’ which are studied at GCSE.

The event was concluded with a question and answer session, when one student asked “What keeps your passion for poetry alive?”

John answered that it was his love of words and how they were arranged. He said he found it exciting getting the right words in the right order.

Another question led to John explaining that one of his teachers was his inspiration.

He gave students some interesting tips on how to answer exam questions and explained the sandwich effect! In other words, start and end with your best bits of work.

John is inspirational and enthralling and the students were clearly engaged and entertained. Responses include that he is ‘funny’ and ‘different’ and ‘clever and cool’. His poem ‘Google’, where he creates a living, breathing monster from this wonderful word especially hooked them.

The staff were also fully warmed by his visit, having studied his poems themselves at school, or taught them often over the years. He is a hero to many of them and it is a special experience to watch and artist perform their own work. John really performs his poems and brings words to life. His key message is that words are where everything else starts from and is how everything else is shared. Love words, use words, play with words and create words, just make sure that the words you use turn the world ON.