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The Write Stuff – Could Decamot Be The Creative Writing Teaching Method You’ve Been Waiting For?

New creative writing method for secondary schools seeks to provide students with skills in competition, creativity and collaboration

  • The Write Stuff – Could Decamot Be The Creative Writing Teaching Method You’ve Been Waiting For?

This week has seen the star-studded launch of a new creative writing method aimed at secondary schools that aims to encourage creativity and teach critical thinking while also fostering collaboration. Comedians Rory Bremner, Dominic Holland and Miles Jupp put the method to the test, with veteran journalist and newsreader Nicholas Owen ably curating the presentation of their efforts.

Known as the Decamot Method, it begins with students writing out a list of 10 words. Over the course of four two-hour sessions, students proceed to work both individually and in teams to debate, discuss and refine their initial ideas in order to develop an original story. The journey culminates with the creation of a 45 to 60-minute screenplay that schools can then opt to film or act out on stage.

It’s the brainchild of father-and-son team Stanley and and Gavin Jackson – the former of whom founded the speaker agency Performing Artistes – and originated as a word-based parlour game they used to play at family gatherings. Stanley first became aware of Decamot’s potential within the education space while working alongside the Speakers for Schools charity founded by Robert Peston.

So far the method has been piloted in three schools – St Bonaventure’s in East London, Guilsborough Academy in Northamptonshire and Queen Katherine School in Kendal.

 

According to Stanley Jackson, Decamot is a perfect fit for today’s curriculum: “In her recent speech to the NAHT, The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, said she believed it was possible to have happy, creative, imaginative children who were also literate and numerate and we have seen that we can support that ambition through Decamot. We saw the students grow in confidence as well as ability and we look forward to working with many more schools to help them to realise these ambitions for their own students through the use of subject experts.”

The underpinnings of the method are outlined in Book of Decamot – a book available in ebook, hardback and paperback formats that teachers can consult and use to deliver Decamot method themselves. Schools can also sign up to attend ‘Teach the Teacher’ sessions or invite Decamot tutors to deliver the four sessions at their premises by registering their interest here.

 

Further information – including a series of sample Decamot lesson plans and a finished Decamot screenplay – can be found at decamot.com or by following @Decamot_Method

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