YOUNGSTERS at Swindon Academy spent a day learning about playwriting when they received a visit from Mark Wheeller.

The playwright led a series of workshops with Year 9 and Year 8 classes, as well as dropping in on a Year 7 English class to share his knowledge.

Charlotte Derham, the academy’s curriculum leader for performing arts, said: “It was really positive – really, really positive.

“The students got to meet someone who had done it, and he was able to give them all the tips and tricks of the trade. He was really inspiring.

“They covered topics from process theatre and mantle of the expert, where students were thrown into the world of young people in a borstal, plus physical theatre, interpreting the car crash scene in a play covering the topic of drink driving.

“A year 7 English class even got the chance to edit some of Mark’s testimonials to create their own monologues.

“After school, Mark inspired a group to write their own scenes for performance by giving them an insight into what it takes to be a playwright and how to get started.

“The students are now working on their pieces show to parents, friends and staff where performing arts students from New College, will bring their creations to the stage.”