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11 Apr

This week our Tower Hamlets classes learnt about Haiku, a Japanese form of poetry. We discovered that Haiku (in English) is written in the form of 3 lines, made up of 17 syllables following a syllable structure of 5, 7, 5. We analysed some Haiku poems and found that they are full of themes of nature, seasons and ordinary facts about everyday life. We then focused on writing our own Haiku poems and were surprised how we were able to take the ordinary and simple and turn it into something poetic. Here are a few that students wrote:

It is freezing cold

I am tucked inside my bed

On a winters day


Going to the park
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River Crossings and Views

17 Feb


Students from Tower Hamlets had a great day-trip crossing the River Thames and overlooking views of London from both North and South. We started out by visiting the Tower Bridge exhibition which offered interesting Continue reading

Making connections in the community

2 Dec

Recently we (the students of EFA Tower Hamlets class) wrote a letter to Lutfa Rahman (the Mayor of Tower Hamlets) about the crossrail being built in Whitechapel and our concerns about the effect it will have on the local area and the people who live there. We waited for a reply and then last week the equalities advisor to the mayor, Ruhana Ali, came to visit our ESOL class. The visit was very interesting and we asked her various questions about her job and discovered that she has been to visit over 30 community organisations in just 6 weeks. Now we are going to to come up with a specific plan of what we want to change in the community and hopefully at some point present it to the Mayor. We are pleased that our group are making new contacts in Tower Hamlets.

A reply from 10 Downing Street

4 Nov

A few weeks ago, the students at our Tower Hamlets class wrote a letter to David Cameron and Ian Duncan Smith about their views on workfare. Today we received a response from 10 Downing Street and the Department of Work and Pensions; this was great as we feel like we’re not being ignored.


However the contents of the letter have confused us slightly as it seems to deny that workfare exists, instead Continue reading

Students Against Workfare!

1 Nov

One of the students in our Tower Hamlets class brought up their fears about the introduction of workfare and these fears were echoed around the classroom. We decided to put aside the work we had planned and instead, worked on making  a pros and cons list about workfare. We then wrote a letter explaining our opinions and position and have posted it to the people involved in creating the scheme. Here’s the letter to read while we eagerly await a response.


Dear Mr Duncan Smith, Continue reading

Students discuss mental health, sensationalism & The Sun newspaper

21 Oct


In our Tower Hamlets class today students discussed the above article which recently appeared on the front page of The Sun. Some of the points discussed were that the cover stigmatises people suffering from mental illness and uses sensationalism to sell newspapers and therefore make profits. It ignores the wider problems such as staff shortages and cuts to the mental health sector. The majority of crimes are not committed by people with mental health problems and most people are getting the treatment they need. Calling people who suffer from mental illness ‘mental patients’ is offensive and they actually need help instead of being blamed. Also people with mental illness are actually more likely to be the victims of violence than the ones carrying it out.

After an interesting discussion students signed a petition on that calls on The Sun to correct the sensationalism in their mental health story and donate the profits from it. Here is the link to the campaign where you can add your signature: