Shireland Technology Pupils Shine at Birmingham’s Poetry By Heart Showcase

Pupils from Shireland Technology Primary were invited to participate in the Poetry By Heart Showcase, where they performed a selection of poems before an audience, including students from other schools across the UK.

Held in May at Birmingham Hippodrome, the Poetry By Heart Showcase offered pupils a unique and exciting opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of poetry and performance.

Pupils were able to freely explore their creativity and expressive talents, building their skills and confidence as they committed selected pieces of poetry to memory before delivering their impressive recitals.

The poems performed included Wes Magee’s ‘The Boneyard Rap’, William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ and Pam Adams’ ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly’. These were the culmination of many weeks’ preparation and practice, beginning with a special workshop delivered by a professional from the Hippodrome Education Network in March.

Participating in such events allows children to explore and find poetry that speaks to them, offering a transformative experience that can influence and shape thoughts, philosophies and beliefs, becoming a significant and unique part of our identities.

Lady Kirsty Grundy, Principal at Shireland Technology Primary and Director of Primary Education for Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, said: “At Shireland Technology Primary, we deeply value the importance of creativity and the arts in our pupils’ learning and personal development, including poetry.

“Participating in Poetry By Heart has been an amazing experience for our young people, developing important skills that benefit them both inside and outside the classroom, contributing to their personal growth. We would like to thank Poetry By Heart for involving us in this wonderful event.”

The skills developed when learning and performing poetry are manyfold, with groups poetry recitals requiring co-operation, trust and co-ordination. Managing pace and timing, engaging directly with audiences and using expressive body language to communicate during performances are invaluable skills that pupils develop through these enriching experiences.

Poetry By Heart is a national speaking competition for schools and colleges across England and aims to develop a love and confidence for poetry among young people, making it more engaging and accessible.

The programme allows pupils to discover and connect with poetry that resonates with them on a personal level, creating a more enjoyable learning approach and experience.