College students become critics
21 September 2018
Barking & Dagenham College students take part in prestigious 2018 BBC Student Critics’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University
The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) is one of the most prestigious awards for short stories in the UK.
For the first time, students from 40 schools and colleges across the country have been invited to take part in the BBC Student Critics’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University; an initiative created to encourage 16 – 18 year olds to read critically and build confidence in expressing opinions by reading, listening to, discussing and critiquing the five stories shortlisted for the BBC NSSA:
- ‘To Belong To’ by Kerry Andrew
- ‘Sudden Traveller’ by Sarah Hall
- ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ by Kiare Ladner
- ‘The Sweet Sop’ by Ingrid Persaud
‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens
Barking & Dagenham College was selected by the BBC to take part in the award and students will be given exclusive access to the anthology featuring each of the five shortlisted stories alongside BBC Radio 4 recordings of each story.
As part of the activity, the 20 students will be visited by the writer and performance poet Dean Atta on 27th September. Dean Atta's debut poetry collection, "I Am Nobody’s Nigger", was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One’s The One Show and several times on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Dean was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. He regularly performs across the UK and internationally and is currently a judge of the 2018 BBC Young Writers’ Award.
Sue Southwood, Director of Essential Skills Development and Innovation at the College says:
We are absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity for our students to build their confidence in reading and evaluating texts by engaging in such a high profile initiative. Our approach to developing the literacy skills of our learners at the College is to enthuse them through a rich programme of activities that inspire a love of language beyond the classroom.