Students from this school will be making the news for real on 27 March 2014 as they take part in BBC News School Report. We aim to publish the news by 1600 GMT on the News Day, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later. In the meantime, take a look at what our students produced last year.
Ash Dickinson Article
Allow me to begin by painting a faint picture of who Ash Dickinson is. When many people imagine what a poet is, a certain image comes to mind, confused with the theme of aged men in tweed jackets accompanied by smoking pipe and circle brimmed spectacles. I can confidently state that Ash Dickinson conforms to neither of the above, in fact he seems to embody a distinct polar opposite to these stereotypical ‘poet formats’. He revealed that he was fully aware of these preconceptions by introducing himself to a full year 10 class with the same quip Dressed in no more elaborate attire than T-shirt, flares and trainers, lengthy mousy brown hair undercover of a floppy woollen hat Ash Dickinson appears very much the modern man.
Yet there is much more than appearances from our poetical visitor. Thrust into a classroom together quite unannounced, an interview hastily began with neither he nor myself prepared for the situation. Beginning simply, the ‘stock interview question’ arose of “what inspired you?” and with little hesitation he stated that his interest in poetry began as a result of “a late teenage angst” used as a mode to record his thoughts and ideas, describing it as an “outlet”. Having all the relaxed but actively interested demeanour of someone comfortable in their own skin Dickinson cited his primary inspirations as Armitage and Duffy, so any readers with a knowledge of poetry will understand that he is very much in the present (or at least extremely recent past) in taste. Dickinson’s own outpourings strike one as rather surreal, two of the most memorable being one centred on messages on fridges and the other the limitations of men’s fashion which sprang from an encounter with a ridiculously long-sleeved jumper which he likened to the type a gibbon may wear. If I can say anything for his topics, it’s that they are certainly original.
If that wasn’t enough, his delivery has definite influences from performance poetry; one memory that appears to fill his face with a nostalgic joy is that of witnessing a ‘slam competition’, basically impromptu poetry, and the delightful performance of the victor upon that occasion, the effect of this encounter doesn’t truly come to light until one has witnessed the man himself with the stage and attention his. In my opinion it is a sad truth that a vast amount of students simply are not interested in poetry, those prior misconceptions mentioned earlier doing little to help, visits such as these attempt to break down that stolid barrier, upon this evidence with a reasonable level of success as Ash Dickinson used both his modern twists of the genre and the more familiar examples of Rudyard Kipling’s moving masterpiece ‘If-’ and U.A.Fanthorpe’s perceptive and magical ‘Half-past Two’.
Once the interview had begun to flow and the early formalities disposed of, I was afforded the chance to burrow further into what makes Dickinson who he is; one notable answer was that of America. Revealing, with an air of mild trepidation, that he had so far visited a total of thirty American states Dickinson admitted that he had always seemed to lean across the Atlantic, whether it is in taste of music or general interest he admitted this heavy influence. In conversation he elaborated that this fascination was almost as a result of an “irresistible aura the USA has. Nearly as much for the distasteful, slightly disconcerting…sometimes politically dubious element it holds”. I gathered that Ash Dickinson was not a man to ‘stick around’ for too long, a traveller simply wishing to view the world, poetry almost a mere side-effect as if still as a result of that “teenage angst”. This idea is concurrent with what Dickinson coined the “development” of his work: “I dabbled with form for quite a while. I find that communication is the most important aspect for me”, he continued to explain that this was the ideal that the message need not be motivated by anything in particular, at least not in terms of politics or anything other, but that it must be conveyed, however trivial it may seem. This is of no coincidence considering that according to the man himself he writes mostly for the stage, artistically linking in with the physical performance aspects that he enjoys to such a great extent.
I suppose it is only fair to mention that Ash Dickinson has a new collection of poetry to be published in the coming months. From what I could gather of our interview and the session I sat on in this new release promises to test those stifling preconceptions of poetry, a selection full of imaginative and mercurial thoughts on what surrounds and thus influences us, almost bordering on a pleasing parody. Whilst attempting, in vain it appears, not to finish of this article with something resembling a sales pitch-as if I were Ash Dickinson’s own PR-it remains the case that a lasting impression was left upon me, the students and even the teachers by our visitor. It is with this in mind that I implore you the reader to in the very least take a look at his website (www.ashdickinson.co.uk), I can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised.
By Jonathan James Green
Debate Team Story
Carlton Bolling’s very own debate team, in March, will be going through to their fourth competition of the year at Beckfoot Grammar School, opposing the motion ‘The government should be able to monitor the public’s internet activity’. In true Carlton Bolling spirit we will cheer Raza, Jonathan, Qasim and on to the very end, and hopefully they will bring home the prizes.
I, Raza, have been a part of the Carlton Bolling debate team from the very beginning, and what a struggle those first days were. Jonathan and Umar teamed up at Crowther Grammar opposing the motion ‘Those who lead unhealthy lifestyles, should receive limited treatment from the NHS’. Two weeks of solid preparation unfortunately ended in defeat at the hands Heckland White Grammar School. Surely the only way was up.
Brighouse set the scene for the next debate, Qasim and I proposing ‘Supporters of club should lobby against the signing of players with chequered pasts’. Arrangements were made to increase my knowledge of football from approximately nothing to just about adequate, without Qasim sat beside me during rebuttal, whispering the sweet sounds of Arsenal in my ear, our argument would have fallen apart. However our greatest saviour came in the form of Miss Edwards, amassing a horde of information and showering it upon us, carrying us potentially towards our first win. An anxious 30 minute wait followed our debate, the door slowly opened as the judges swept through smiling knowingly. And then they spoke. And then we lost. Surely now the only way was up.
The last debate took place in Manchester University, schools from all over England collated in one room debating for or against unseen motions. Jonathan and myself as one team, Umar and Qasim as the other. We were out to win. Debating on issues of poverty, music and the educational system, miss Duncan waited outside not knowing what to expect, after the last two losses, was there any chance we could come out with a win? We finally came out of the rooms with victory flying above us! Kind of. Both of Carlton Bolling’s teams had placed second overall in the four debates.
Now things are beginning to look up.
With our first win behind us we carry on strong, Jonathan and I will go into Beckfoot confident and prepared, hopefully securing another win alongside reserve team Qasim and Umar. ‘The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse,’ let our verse be one of victory.
Raza Sami Khan
Last years Photos
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