Queens Park Community School

As you can see from the previous post, the kites are looking great – by the end of the session some had tails and they were all on wooden sticks.

We spent most of our time rehearsing the performance of the poems – Everything is shaping up nicely, but a special mention has to go to Abdul and Sami for their rap/break-dance combo which appeared out of nowhere! Hasbi was bringing his theatre-vibes too, and to see him performing that confidently was amazing to see.

For a little page-based sneak preview, keep reading…

Raining is hope
Hope is like water / when I see water
I relax like a rain dropping from
The sky. I see the sky through the water, like 3D
a hope
coming towards me.


What does hope look like?
Hope looks like a light bulb in the water.
It looks like this.

By Arwa

Hope is everything
Hope is in my heart
When hope is taken from you it is like
A flood is coming destroying everything.

When your hope comes true it feels like your
Dreams came true. Everything. And it smells like your
Favourite food, and it feels like your favourite
Feeling. Everything.


My friend’s hope
Hope looks like the future
It is the perfume from a beautiful flower
It feels like energy.

With no hope
The face is very angry
His best friend has a new friend
He doesn’t have any friends.
Nobody will talk to him
He asks himself a lot of questions
He doesn’t know, what to do.

By Hasbi

Hope in your mind
Hope is in your family
A friend being next to you / no
Need to be lonely.
Hope is not to give up / need more concentration
Hope is in our minds
Getting our energy up
To win more cups
No more needed, we’re the champions
Hope is in our minds

By Ismail and Dani


This is another guest entry from Riah, my work experiance student:

It was really fun for me going into this school as it’s a totally different environment compared to my school in Sussex. For most of the teenagers in this group English is a second language but almost as a result of this some of the poetry they created was genius, ‘hope is like a light bulb under water’ being just one example of someone using language differently to how I would.

At the beginning of the session Simon ran a tag line exercise, I helped the students match up the tag lines of well known films to their titles, then people came up with taglines for their poems. When each student stood up and spoke their line this brought to light what great work was going on in the class, with loads of support from everyone in the room to showcase it.

The group also finnished the session my starting on their kites, some featuring chealse team and logo others 3D and looking ready to fly. It was great to see how they chose to build on the ideas of their poems visually, and all the kites are going to look great at the final event!

Great second session at QPCS on Monday – I was massively impressed by how the young people kept their focus throughout what was definitely quite a challenging session. We covered a lot of content in the time we had, discussing how it might feel to have your hopes taken, threatened, or crushed. We also came to a shared understanding of what a refugee is: “someone who is forced to leave their country and seeks protection in another country because of a real fear of that they are unsafe, usually as a result of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, beliefs” I then tried a new exercise, with drawing as a start point – the young people drew how they felt this huge transition and/or a more general loss of hope would feel. Their pictures could be literal representations of events, or of a face, anything they connected to the emotions involved. Once they had finished their 5 minute picture they used the other half of their page to write a description of what they had drawn , leading to some very poetic and unusual imagery about loss of hope. A great example is this line from Samy: “When hope is taken from you it is like A flood is coming destroying everything.” And this one from Maria: “You can close your eyes Because you don’t want to see the reality” The group then used this imagery in combination with some of the sensory ‘hope is..’ writing from the week before to write their own poems. I was genuinely amazed by the results when reading them back. Here is the first draft of Mohamed’s poem: Hope taste like your favourite food but he doesn’t have that. There’s only four clouds only one person on the road by himself No cars on the road. He’s lonely sad as You could see his tears dropping on the puddle He could see a tree far away it’s dropping leaves it’s cold and windy the clouds are changing colour, it’s getting darker little water dropping from the sky By Mohamed.

Did my first session for the project at Queens Park Community school on Monday, getting to know each other, chatting about our hopes and dreams, and starting to think creatively about what hope actually is – I’m lucky to be working with a great group full of ideas, but special mention has to go to our resident teenage philosopher Nick, who within the first ten minutes of conversation had come out with these gems:

“Well, without hope, life is… [shrug of shoulders]well, what is it really?”

“My hope is for something in my life, big or important, to discover something the world has never seen”

“my hope is in hope”

Probably my favourite bit of the session was when we started to explore what hope might look like or sound like, in order to try and get a more poetic or abstract understanding of the word/concept. You can listen to the group speaking some of their suggestions here, and then below read a little ‘best-bits’ I compiled from their writing:

Hope smells like rain. It sounds like a triangle, and looks like a sunrise.
Hope is a light-bolt in the water, a soft wind of energy.
Hope looks like fresh snow, it feels smooth. Hope is anywhere you look.
Hope is in my family. Hope is in my heart.
Hope tastes perfect, a nice fresh water.
Hope sounds like birdsong, and feels like a wind inside my heart.
Hope looks like a flag, it is peaceful.
Hope smells like a beautiful flower. If you take care of it,
it will grow for a long time. Hope sounds like the tide coming in.