Teacher trailblazers

“Teachers make such a difference. They don’t have to be experts in iambic pentameter and sprung rhythm, or workshop gurus. They just have to care enough to stay late after work one evening to photocopy a pamphlet of poems, or give that quiet kid a gold star, or pick the right moment to give the lad kicking around the classroom the right book.”

Richard Evans, Teacher Trailblazer

Each year we reward teachers who show exceptional dedication to the teaching of poetry in schools. These teachers help develop best practice for working with poetry and young people and share creative ways to bring poetry to life in the classroom.

Read their top tips for teaching poetry and try out their lesson plans.

2018 Teacher Trailblazer

Fran Pridham  

Fran is a teacher, writer and performer based in Wigan. She has run a writers’ group at Winstanley College for 22 years, and has taught winning poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, from its inception in 1998 until today. Fran still holds dear her copy of the small plastic things in life: poems by the Simon Elvin Poets of 1998 (now the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award). Every year the writers’ group at Winstanley College produce a college poetry anthology, which is shared on National Poetry Day, and supported by a policy of poetry vandalism where poems new and old are pinned up around the college for all to read.

For many years Fran was a member of Manchester Poets and as a winner in the Crocus Books competition had her first poetry pamphlet Red Jam published in 2000. Her textbook The Language of Conversation came out in 2001 and her interest in chatting has never ceased. She has facilitated a poetry trail at the Manchester Poetry Festival, and continues to be published in poetry magazines. Apart from poetry, her principal interest is eating and making sure everyone around her is having fun!