2018 Teacher Trailblazers 

Reading our Teacher Trailblazers’ latest tips for teaching poetry and try their lesson plans

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 lifepoems 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!

Lyndsey Chand

Lyndsey is a teacher from West Yorkshire. She has run creative writing clubs from the start of her career, and has taught writers who have won or been shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Betjeman Poetry Prize, the First Story National Writing Competition, and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Lyndsey believes in the importance of promoting writing for enjoyment and pleasure, and this is what she aims for in her creative writing sessions.

Lyndsey has written from a young age and won several prizes for her writing as a teenager, including the Branford Boase Young Writers’ Award. In 2017, she was the winner of the teachers’ category of the First Story National Writing Competition, and was delighted to have the opportunity to take some of her students on an Arvon writing course in Hebden Bridge. As well as writing, she enjoys reading, travelling, and walking her dog, Toby!