Larkin25 Education Programme Launched / Hundreds of local schools involved in celebration of Philip Larkin

A comprehensive education pack, which stimulates a range of learning opportunities connected to the 25th Anniversary of the death of poet Philip Larkin, is being distributed to primary and secondary schools throughout Hull and East Yorkshire. It is part of the Larkin25 festival programme spanning 25 weeks of events from June to December.

The packs look at poetry, literacy, creative writing, art and conservation – linked with Larkin’s poems Toads and Toads Revisited which have inspired the ‘Larkin with Toads’ project.

Larkin 25 and Creative Partnerships have been supported by both Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council in developing the education project.

Ken Sainty, Assistant Head of Service for Learning, Leisure and Achievement at Hull City Council said: “We are pleased to be able to support the education strand of Larkin25.  We see it as a great opportunity to engage learners from a diverse mix of Hull Primary, Special and Secondary schools in Larkin’s work. 

“We hope that these projects will provide new, creative routes into literature which will fire the enthusiasm of both teachers and pupils.”

Mike Furbank, Head of Improvement and Learning at East Riding of Yorkshire School Improvement Service, added: “I am delighted that so many East Riding Schools are able to participate in this important project.

“The prospect of working with leading artists in a range of media and to engage with Larkin’s poetry is a real opportunity for the children and young people of the participating schools.  It is also really good to see the different types and sizes of schools involved.  I look forward to seeing the outcomes from this exciting venture.”

The packs aim to help make some of Larkin’s poetry accessible to younger audiences, Tess Parker Creative Director at Creative Partnerships explained: “It is about engaging pupils and teachers in the world of literature through varied creative approaches.

The resource pack will add value to Hull and East Riding’s existing literacy development schemes by offering a springboard for a range of learning and creative activities covering creative writing generally, nature and conservation, and the city and its environs.”

Hull Esteem Consortium, the tripartite partnership between Hull-based Sewell Group, Morgan Sindall Investments and Robertsons, which is charged with delivering Hull’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, is supporting the Larkin Education Programme.

Sam Whittaker General Manager at Hull Esteem Consortium, explained: “We will be working with partners across the city to transform Hull’s schools over the next four years. We are also pleased to support this project which will help the city’s pupils to engage with Larkin’s work through a unique resource pack.”

Another supporter of the initiative is one of the world’s most spectacular aquariums and the only Submarium anywhere: The Deep.

Colin Brown chief executive at The Deep, said: “The Deep has a purpose built learning centre offering workshops, presentations and hands-on activities to over 30,000 primary and high school pupils every year. We understand the value of such a well designed and thoughtful education resource and are delighted to be supporting Larkin25 and this schools education pack.”

Each school will also receive a 32cm high plastic moulded toad which they can paint and decorate in a variety of ways to reflect the creative work they will produce inspired by the resource pack.

The small decorated toads the schools produce through this project will form a gallery of the children’s work on the Larkin25 website at

In addition to the overall project 25 of the schools will have the added bonus of working with one of five Creative Partnerships’ practitioners. The practitioners will be spending five days with five schools to explore specific elements in greater detail. This could be through a variety of media such as visual arts, textiles or painting and drawing.

The results of this work will be documented onto one of the schools ‘mini’ toads which will form a display in Princes Quay shopping centre so visitors can see the results of the creativity produced by the pupils.

Emily Penn Director of Larkin25 commented:
“We are all delighted with the education resource pack, the theme of the Larkin25 programme is to take another look at Larkin and we hope this project will inspire the pupils to explore Larkin’s world of poetry and nature and to learn a little bit more about the man and his work. We are extremely grateful for the generous support of Esteem and The Deep in helping us to produce the pack.”

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