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 From 14 September to 19 October, award-winning charity Create is bringing together students from SEN and mainstream schools in Essex to produce artwork collaboratively that will be exhibited in a two month show at KPMG’s office in Canary Wharf, London. The show is showcasing artwork created by young people with and without disabilities working with Create’s professional artists.

In the first phase of the project, students from Beacon Hill Academy and Ockendon Academy will work with Create’s professional photographer Tracey Fahy and sculptor Maru Rojas to produce a large-scale photo-collage. The young people will explore the theme “Our World” to identify similarities and initiate a shared understanding within the group.

In the second phase of the project, students from Little Heath School and Oaks Park High School will collaborate in film workshops. Guided by Create’s professional filmmaker Aoife Twomey, young people with and without disabilities will direct and star in their own short films and discover the intricacies of camerawork, acting, animation and digital editing.

Young people with disabilities are more likely to experience bullying and research has shown that 67% of the British public feel uncomfortable talking to disabled people. Create’s creative:connection programme allows young people with and without disabilities, who may never meet under ordinary circumstances, to collaborate on creative projects, breaking down barriers and developing shared understanding. Create uses the creative arts to promote community cohesion and engender inclusivity in the next generation.

Create’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder, commented, Collaborating on creative arts projects is a fantastic way of stimulating conversation and friendship, and can help young people to become more empathetic and understanding. This important exhibition will showcase the creativity and imagination of the inspiring young people that we are working with, demonstrating how the creative arts can bring people closer together and giving them a huge sense of achievement.”

Funders: The Queen’s Trust

Poet inspires Hereward pupils

Inspirational poet Chrissy Gittins visited Hereward Primary School, Loughton, as part of its annual 'Poetry Week'.

She recited from her published books in the school hall to both staff and pupils who thoroughly enjoyed her poems and performance.

In addition, many classes were given the opportunity to work with Ms Gittins in the form of poetry workshops where they explored their creative sides with her expert input.

The school's English co-ordinator Latoya Ekrem said: "It was wonderful to have such a renowned poet visit the school.

“She kick-started our Poetry Week with her enthusiasm for her craft."

Chigwell School footballers crowned regional champions

Chigwell School’s U11 football team are through to the Independent Schools U11 national finals after winning the Essex regional event.

Twelve teams from across the region entered the tournament which was held at Chigwell.

Chigwell started strongly and secured five victories to finish top of their group.

Chigwell then beat St Aubyn’s in the quarter-final and Brentwood in the semi-final to set-up a final against Elm Green.

The opening stages were a tense affair with both teams creating chances however it was Chigwell who came through in the end with a 3-0 victory.

Chigwell now travel to the national finals at the FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, on Tuesday, May 3, next year.

Head of Football Creag Lawrence said: “The boys played some excellent, creative and attacking football during the afternoon and won the tournament whilst playing the game in the right manner.”

Swimmer nets impressive haul of 12 medals at autumn gala

A swimmer at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, has earned herself an impressive haul of 12 medals at a recent swimming gala.

Emma Richards, 13, won a gold medal, two bronze medals and nine fourth, fifth and sixth-place medals at the London Borough of Redbridge autumn gala at Fulwell Cross, Ilford.

Emma’s best performance came in the 50m backstroke where she struck gold.

Her third place medals came in the 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Emma, a Year 9 student at the High Road school, also recorded several personal best times and six county times enabling her to compete in Essex competitions.

Emma said: “I’m looking to get a few more county times and hopefully two regional times that I’m close to.”

Emma, who lives in Hainault, has been swimming since she was five and is now in the A-squad at the London Borough of Redbridge Swimming Club.

She trains about six times a week, often having to get up at 5am to fit in a training session before starting school.

She said: “The shortest training session is one-and-a-half hours and the longest is two-and-a-half hours. It’s something that I have to do, it takes my mind off things so I find it quite fun.”

Emma hopes to be taking part in international competitions in about two years’ time.

Performing Arts students attend convention

Sixth Form Performing Arts students at West Hatch High School attended 'Compose Your Future', a specialist UCAS convention with Universities held at ​Excel in London.

Drama and dance schools from across the country gave students the opportunity to find out about the range of higher education opportunities available.

Teacher Sue Pavelkova said: "The event was inspiring to see how many opportunities are out there for students of Performing Arts - degrees, diplomas, a new pioneering online music degree, and even dance and acting courses in Barcelona (delivered in English).

"The convention included practical demonstrations which included a 'silent concert' where the audience wore headphones and an awesome stage / film make-up session leaving our students with bullet wounds and scared arms!"