NewVIc students on the ‘Mathematics of Survival’

Former NewVIc A-level students return home

On Tuesday 24 January, NewVIc launched their new ‘chapbook’ entitled ‘The Mathematics of Survival’. This project, run by staff in the College’s Student Development department in partnership with free speech charity, English Pen inspired 44 students to write short stories and poetry over a number of workshops.

Established poet Joelle Taylor worked with the students from the Step Up Programme, for six weeks whilst author Kat Lewis ran a two week Nrich activity that was open to any student at college. Much of the students’ work is published in this chapbook and some poems were made into mini films with the help of media students, which were shown at the event.

Kat Lewis from English Pen says: “At such uncertain times, it is a privilege to come to NewVIc where it’s clear that hate is a lack of imagination. The sparkling talent in this group of young writers is fed by their fresh and curious eyes. I believe in a future where these voices are loud”.

Syeeda Tashawar Ahmer reading her poemA number of students were encouraged to read their work out loud to the audience. Their maturity and feeling for their poems was very impressive.

Dr Steven Kern, Youth Activities Leader says: “NewVIc’s exclusive partnership with English PEN over the last four years has resulted in the most incredible poetry that is often written by students who have never engaged in creative writing or shared their thoughts with others before. The raw emotions and experiences put to paper capture the difficulties young people face but also highlights the power they have to make positive change”.

One of the groups who took part are the Step Up programme. This is a foundation level course providing a supportive environment for students who find school challenging or unrewarding. These students in particular became very engaged and excited by sharing their feelings and experience through poetry.

Although the Chapbook is not available to buy on the high street, it does have a CIP catalogue entry at the British Library, so the students can say with some confidence that they are published poets.

Watch the video interpretations of the poems below:


Please contact Sandra Bauer, Head of Marketing on 020 7540 0641, for any media enquiries regarding NewVIc. We can help with enquiries about specific NewVIc stories, find commentators for particular subjects, and help with other requests.