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Mansfield students publish collection charting their lockdown experiences

Staff and students at Samworth Church Academy have published a literature report on their experiences during the lockdown to share with the community.

The online magazine called TSCA: A Year in Lockdown is a project that has taken on a life of its own, and online work hasn’t stopped contributors from becoming a cohesive group.

John Rogers, an English teacher at Mansfield School, Nottinghamshire, said: “I was reading a Shearsman Press publication called Hair and Covid Where pairs of writers collaborated remotely.

“Voices from different continents joined forces to create a common response to the pandemic, and I thought we could do something similar.”

“After sending a call to all the students via email, I facilitated workshops on poetry and short fiction approaches, as well as sharing editorial tips.”

“We had 15 students (7-12 years old) participate in the online sessions. Over time, and at the request of the students, I extended the call to the staff to share their writing because we believe the truly collaborative project should involve the entire Academy community.”

John continued: “We know many of the Covid experiences have been horrific, but I was happy with the way the students found different ways to deal with an emotional issue.

“For example, Kaitlyn Radford has exposed the prejudices we face in society: her first-person narrator takes those around them on a bus at the height of the pandemic.

Lizzie Jackson, meanwhile, discovers something farcical and existential in response to existing poetry.

Keen to broaden the relationship with technology, Lizzi screened online messages to shape them.Disagreement: Another Lockdown Day“.

John said the group is now looking at other ways to develop the topic, perhaps sending the work to magazines and newspapers, or working with other schools on a project. After all, John said, “Reading about or hearing about others’ experiences often provides the spark we need to start a new writing journey.”

Student Sophie Broughton, year 8, felt that the project improved her understanding of others’ experiences, as well as developing her creative skills. His fellow Year 11 student Connor Summerl took an innovative approach to his work and sparked an interest in politics.

For anyone wishing to view the collection, you can visit the site.

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