2020 has been like no other for young people in education and lockdown has left many reaching for a creative outlet and reassessing the importance of the Arts. Richard Huish College musicians, writers, artists and thinkers have all been working on various projects inspired by the UK lockdown.

It felt fitting that ‘Lockdown’ serve as the theme for the 25th anniversary of the Huish Original Writing and Illustration Awards this term. Students from Huish and pupils from partner schools have created entries for the Creative Awards comprised of four competitions.

The longest running award, The Brunner Cup, challenged students in Years 9-11 to write an imaginative, original short story, dramatic monologue, play script or poem, of their interpretation of Lockdown. Schools competing have submitted their top 5 shortlisted entries and winners will be announced on Wednesday 25th November at 7pm through a virtual ceremony hosted on the Huish website.

Also to be announced will be the winners of The Ross Paterson Award, which is a similar competition but open to the students of the College and judged externally by the charity, Get Home Safe. Get Home Safe was set up by Helen Evans and her friend Charlotte Pitman, in memory of Helen’s nephew Ross Paterson, a former Huish student with a flair for creative writing.

The final awards on the evening will be the two Lucas Cups, one prize to a school entrant and one to a Huish student. The Lucas Cup for Artistic Writing challenges students to create an illustration for a poster, either hand drawn or digitally, using the theme of Lockdown.

At the Presentation Evening on 25th November, viewers can hear extracts from the winning entries and view their spectacular artwork.

Joseph Bennett, Assistant Principal commented ‘The creative writing across our partner schools and colleges is impressively high. We marvel at the creativity, variety and sheer craftsmanship of the entries we get. We look forward to revealing the winners at our virtual ceremony this year”.

This is not the first event of the College’s that has gone virtual this year. Unable to host their usual summer exhibition, Huish has created a virtual showcase booklet displaying the work of Visual Arts students. The exhibition remains displayed on their website Visual Arts course pages to inspire the next generation.

Also hoping to inspire the next generation a small group of students have used their creativity to launch the Next Generation podcast. The podcast is aimed at all young people and investigating the issues that really impact them. Recognising the importance of health and wellbeing, the group wanted a podcast more relatable to their age group that helped them tackle modern concerns. You can follow them on instagram @nextgeneration.podcast or tune in via their YouTube channel for honest conversation and helpful approaches to maintaining wellbeing.

Not to be outdone, Huish Musicians have been creating new music throughout lockdown this year. As well as continuing to practice together via zoom, students were able to showcase their talents and new material at the recent Arts Taunton’s TYCA festival, performing on the Open Mic stage. The theme of the festival was 2020 Vision for the Future.

To find out more about the Arts opportunities at Huish you can register for The Virtual Huish Experience taking place on 7th and 9th November at www.huish.ac.uk/thevirtualhuishexperience.