As an English department, we entered a writing competition with The National Archives. As students were studying Dickens' 'Hard Times', it was very appropriate to encourage our students to write a creative writing piece based on their learning and enter this competition. The title was Workhouse Voices and students had to write from the perspectives of men, women or children who were experiencing workhouse conditions. Thank you to Miss Waddington for organising the entries and creating the lessons to enable this activity.
Congratulations to year 9 student Tallulah who has been announced as the runner up in the competition. The title of her writing is "We Were Happy Once" which has been published on the National Archives website https://nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/workhouse-voices-creative-writing/
The response to the competition from pupils across the country was massive and was judged by children's author Sharon Gosling.
Sharon said this of Tallulah's story:
This was a very sad story, and the author did a great job of conveying that emotion to the reader. I liked the idea that the narrator, Sarah, has no emotions left after being traumatised by the first few days in the workhouse. I think this story also rather importantly points out that though they were very poor, prior to Sarah’s father’s death they were happy – it wasn’t their impoverished state that made them unhappy, but their treatment and the conditions at the workhouse.
A fabulous achievement Tallulah - well done!