Poetry kites at John Lyon School

As the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day was Freedom, Librarian Rita Halsey wrote to share the activity she set up in her school.   She says: ‘We celebrated National Poetry Day on Thursday 28 September, with a lunchtime event in the Library. As the theme was Freedom we used kite templates for our budding poets’ compositions, enticing them in with a tasty selection of cakes, sweets and biscuits.’

 

Her Marketing Department tweeted about the event, and it generated a lot of interest – as it would, being such an unusual event! National Poetry Day twitter account was very enthusiastic, as you can see.

Twitter is such a good medium for reaching people – anything you want Heart to retweet, just copy me in on @HeartOTSchool and I will do so.

Alive Poets Society

Michael Hughes, who is an English teacher has set up Alive Poets Society site for pupils to publish their own poetry.  Schools can request access for their own area of the site. It looks like a wonderful idea to me! Great for encouraging pupils to write poetry, especially leading up to National Poetry Day (October 16th). For further details please contact Michael on michael@alivepoets.com

NPD Poetry Slam at Heartlands High School

Helen Swinyard, LRC Manager at Heartlands High School, wrote to tell me all about the wonderful Poetry Slam she held at her school:

‘We celebrated National Poetry Day in style with the first Poetry Slam of the year. Pupils and staff performed either their own poems, or some of their favourites, and were judged in categories by our scoring judges and an avid audience. Our wonderful host poet, Michelle Madsen, kept things running smoothly and performed her own poetry too.

Winners in each different category won prize bundles including a poetry book. 

Category 1: First Story poets

Category 2: performers reading favourite poems

Category 3: performers reading own created poetry

We discovered some great new year 7 poets as well as hearing from some seasoned performers. There was a wonderful mix of poetry too – some funny, some poignant, some clever. We also learnt some Poetry Slam jargon such as ‘score creep’ where judges get more enthusiastic as a slam goes on (that’s why you have several judges and discount the top and bottom scores).

Michelle Madsen is our current Poet in Residence, running the First Story creative writing club with pupils for the second year in a row.  You can find out more about First Story here and on Twitter @FirstStory. You can find out more about Michelle Madsen here and on Twitter @mishmadsen .

Mr Bola is our secret Poet in Residence. By day he is one of our Engage Officers; by night, a world-class poet. You can find our more about his poetry here or on Twitter @JJ_Bola ‘

Sounds like a great idea for next year!

National Poetry Day 2015 – what did you do?

QEGS Blackburn, where librarian Val Dewhurst works, always celebrates NPD in style!  This is what she reports from this year’s celebration:

On Thursday, 8th October the Senior School Library held a mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical –  which also marked the 21st birthday of National Poetry Day.

The day began with groups from Year 7, 10 and 11 from the English Department working with our storyteller and poet for the day, Sue Allonby.  Pupils in Year 11 were given the opportunity to write their own emotion and antonym diamante poems and also recite their poems using the theme of ‘light.’ Sue Allonby was absolutely thrilled by what she read and heard, saying  “It was a delight working with the English groups at QEGS on National Poetry Day, I was so impressed and thrilled with the Year 11’s poems; if they can do that in 20 minutes…..” Year 7 and 8 enjoyed writing Kennings poems (riddles made up of several lines of kennings to describe something or someone – expressing one thing in terms of another) and also had fun with jumbled up poems (rearranging to improve.)

Following on from the morning session a Poetry Picnic took place during lunchtime with over forty Year 7 and 8 students attending.  Tables packed with poems and anthologies not to mention cakes and treats adorned the Library annexe  – with a lively buzz of poetry in the air …..including the following chosen poems being read aloud …..creating much poetic discussion:

Playing with Stars – Brian Moses
Eternity – William Blake
The Owl And The Pussycat – Edward Lear
Six Facts About Light – Rachel Rooney
Bright Spark – Michaela Morgan
I Love The Moon, But – Roger Stevens
A Light Exists In Spring – Emily Dickinson
Light-Bringer – Joseph Coelho
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

Head of Library, Mrs Dewhurst commented “I was very proud to see so much interest in the day especially the lunchtime session.  We had great pleasure in listening to so many poems by such confident readers, a real  treat for all who attended – just for the day our pupils had the opportunity to dream, speak, live, act and think like a poet. Sincere thanks must go to Sue Allonby who helped to make the day extra special, the English Department and also Mr Vyse, Mrs Fleming, Mrs Frost and Mrs Parker for all their help and support, thanks also to Mr Sutton and his catering team for the delicious picnic food provided and not forgetting all the pupils who took part in the day.”

Poetry themed bookmarks were also created in the Bookmark Club leading up to National Poetry Day and stories through poetry were shared the following day in the  Telling Tales Club.

More details/photos can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/QegsLibraryBlackburn

So – how did you celebrate? Share your stories here, we love to have inspiration from all of you!

National Poetry Day at the King’s School, Worcester

 

Remember poemsAnnabel Jeffery, the school Librarian, writes:

It was National Poetry Day on Thursday 2nd October. The Library and English Department made the most of the opportunity to celebrate poetry with activities to promote this year’s theme of ‘Remember’ (which also ties in with the WW1 Centenary). A poetry competition drew over seventy entries from pupils. Many chose to respond to the theme by writing poems of Remembrance for WW1 soldiers, but we have also received many moving poems in memory of pets and loved ones. These are displayed in the Long Gallery alongside a display of classic ‘Remember’ poems, and will be judged next week.

 

Remember2At lunchtime the Headmaster, teachers, and Library staff read their own choice of poems in the Library. Amongst war poems (from the Illiad to Vergissmeinicht), poems that were about memory, poems that brought back memories, or were memorable to the reader for a particular reason, a highlight was Miss Lewis’s reading of one of her father’s recently published poems, about the moment when his mother heard that her husband had been killed in WW1. Dr Head also read a poem written by his grandfather, one of the founders of the Worcester Writers’ Circle. It was a delightful occasion, enjoyed by pupils and staff.”