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Poetry Corner

So much has been happening in the poetry arena of the Highfield stage, it’s time to spread the word!

Poetry at Highfield 2016-17

On National Poetry Day 2014 Richard Garner wrote about our school in his column in the national newspaper, The Independent, calling Highfield ‘the primary where poetry is in motion’. Three years on and the poetry wheel just keeps on turning.

2016-17 has been packed full with poetry and poetic achievements. On National Poetry Day 2016 children from Year 5 and Year 6 wrote and performed their poem ‘Speaking with the Elements’ at the Royal Festival Hall for National Poetry Day live alongside some of the biggest stars in the poetry world.

School Council expounded the new school values, Motivation, Appreciation and Positivity through poetry they wrote throughout the year and shared with the school in special assemblies.

In January I set every year group the task of ‘adopting’ a planet from the Solar System to write a class poem about and in March we staged The Solar System at Highfield in an epic whole-school-verse-poem representing all the planetary bodies including the sun!

In May all three classes in Year 1 made waves when they wrote their own ‘Recipes for the Sea’ bringing alive the sights, sounds, smell, taste and feel of the world’s oceans right here at Highfield. 

I visited Grovelands Park with a group of year 5’s and we wrote some beautiful poems on them of ‘Place’ which have all now been entered for the Betjeman Poetry Prize https://www.betjemanpoetryprize.co.uk. We will find out in the Autumn if any of them have won, so watch this space!

During the summer term, I have been holding after school sessions for parents and children to write poetry together. The results have been astounding, proving the Highfield motto, together we can achieve more!

This year also saw the formation of two new poetry groups, the DNA group and Wicked Writers.

My Wicked Writers (Lewis, Dilan, Mark, Mohamed, Yilmaz and Samir from year 5) produced some really powerful stuff and wowed Varjak Paw author SF Said when he visited the school in February with their specially written poem ‘Paw’s Portrait’ inspired by SF’s famous book. He was so impressed he gave the boys a mention and put their poem up on his own website which has hundreds of thousands of followers!

The DNA group is a group of children from year 4, 5 and 6 who are new to Highfield and relatively new to speaking English. They are Highfield’s ‘Delightful New Arrivals’ (DNA) and have used poetry as a way of sharing important things about themselves and the amazing countries they have come from in ‘Somewhere Only We Know’.

https://vimeo.com/22630646

Once again this year children from Highfield, from Reception through Yr 6, participated in the CLiPPA schools shadowing scheme https://www.clpe.org.uk/poetry/clippa-centre-literacy-primary-poetry-award and once again Highfield was selected to come and perform at the awards ceremony!

You can watch all the films of the children performing their favourite poems from the shortlisted books including Lewis’s winning performance of ‘Do-Over’ from Booked by American author Kwame Alexander.

Booked is a story, told through poetry, about a soccer-loving boy called Nick Hall who is having to negotiate all of the difficult challenges of growing up. From the first page of reading it Lewis was hooked and it showed in his performance. Lewis’s sensitive and confident delivery impressed the CliPPA  judges and on Friday July 14th he was invited to the CliPPA Awards ceremony at the National Theatre to meet the shortlisted poets, take part in special performance workshops, and perform on the Olivier stage (the largest of the three NT stages) alongside the shortlisted poets.

Richard Garner was certainly right, ‘poetry is in motion’ at Highfield. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/the-primary-where-poetry-is-in-motion-9770004.html

Long may it continue to be so!

  • Cheryl Moskowitz (Highfield Poet) July 2017

Poetry at Highfield 2015-16

 

 

Read all about ‘The Year in the Life of a Poet in Residence’ at Highfield Primary School we are on the Book Trust website. Click here

 

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