UCL East


Pens down in the Petrie Museum

27 November 2019

Students from Clapton Academy, Hackney were welcomed into the Petrie Museum as part of the schools engagement program in east London

Students from east London examine objects in the Petrie Museum

This term UCL Culture's schools engagement team welcomed a group of pupils from Clapton Academy, Hackney, into the Petrie Museum for a day of creative writing, as part of our programme of work with schools close to UCL East. Guided by staff from UCL’s English Department, students learnt a little about the formal aspects of poetry before they used Ancient Egyptian objects as inspiration for writing their own. The pupils read the poem 'He Tells Tales of Meroe' by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, who was poet in residence in the Petrie Museum  several years ago. The poem was written in response to an object in the Petrie Museum collection, a small blue glazed frog from around 1900BCE. The pupils were then encouraged to select an object from the museum and write a poem in response to this.


The workshop was a great success with the teacher reporting that two students were really worried about writing at the beginning of the day but by the end they had produced the most amazing poetry.

A student working with us explained how it’s helped them, too I've learned a good deal about how to guide students in their compositions by observing the seminar leaders. It's also been great to get more insight into workshop organization and execution.

The workshop is part of the ongoing work of the schools engagement team, who are delivering a programme of activity to work with schools and pupils in east London. Other workshops include Bio-robotics, Mathematical Modelling, Creative Writing for Non-Fiction and Print Making. These are run in collaboration with UCL museums and collections, and staff and students from across the university. If you would like to find out more about the programme of activity delivered by the team visit the UCL Culture website.