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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 .
Sounds like a great idea for next year!
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:
So – how did you celebrate? Share your stories here, we love to have inspiration from all of you!
Annabel 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.
At 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.”