Tuesday, October 31st, 2017.

Excelsior Academy poets Shakira Begum, Tessy Idemudia, Zara Rizwan, Angelica Akika, Lucie Cinova and Manar Alkour, with English teacher Natalie Bryce, at Sage Gateshead 

A powerful poem telling of the prejudice its young Excelsior Academy writers face in their lives captivated a top educational conference at Sage Gateshead.

The six poets recited their verse ‘Colour Blind’ to an audience of teachers and educationalists at the North Academies Conference staged by the Regional Schools Commissioner North.

The event brought together experts from multi-academy trusts across the North of England to share best practice and heard from Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Schools System, about the rapid growth of trusts across the country and Government support for them.

Shakira Begum, Tessy Idemudia, Zara Rizwan, Angelica Akika, Lucie Cinova and Manar Alkour earned praise from the audience in the room and on social media for their powerful recital of their self-penned poem.

The verse is part of the on-going project Excelsior Academy enjoys with New Writing North – called Young Writers City at Excelsior – which give pupils the platform to express their talent for creative arts.

After the recital, the pupils told the audience of their career plans and the support they have had from Excelsior Academy to help them pursue their dreams.

“In the future I would like to be a barrister – to be a barrister I feel like you have to be good at words and I feel like I can own words, I can speak and I can convey what I want to say,” said Tessy.

“Education isn’t only Maths, English, Science and Geography, it’s also drama and the arts and how you learn to respond to people and how to talk to people.”

Angelica said: “Excelsior Academy has helped me gain more confidence. When I came to school two years ago I came from Italy. When Young Writers came along it helped me with my English, to know my words and now I really enjoy speaking in public.”