We love the power of words, so National Poetry Day is always one of our most enjoyable times of the year. This year’s focus is Vision – and it’s clear to see that we’ve got a whole range of enjoyable and engaging Poetry workshops connected to the theme - for pupils of all ages
Longer workshops will also see pupils gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally. We can also provide a Poetry assembly to kick-start your poetry day in school! Our poetry workshops are available throughout the school year - and can be adapted to suit any theme or text, connecting literacy right across the curriculum.
New - Poetry Live - Join one of our team for live workshops, beamed straight to the classroom!
These workshops last up to an hour at a time – and, as they can lead to poems on any subject of your choice, they provide a fantastic way of linking poetry to other areas of the curriculum! After being introduced to one of our favourite poems and the subject of theirs, pupils will be guided through a drama activity designed to support them in developing their ideas. Experimenting with rhyme, rhythm and pace, they’ll then get the opportunity to write and perform their own verses. Younger children will contribute to some collaborative poetry – with older pupils composing their own Character Clerihews!
New - Digital Packages – Poetry in Sight
We appreciate that it’s going to be difficult for many schools to welcome external visitors this half term. So, to make sure you don’t miss out on National Poetry Day (1st October 2020), we’ve put together a character-led, digital package that allows you and your colleague to deliver some of our engaging activities yourselves – Poetry in Sight.
In a whole range of exciting activities, you’ll meet Polly the Poet and help her cheer up her neighbour by writing your own poems, you’ll play a rhyming game and you'll use drama to bring to life some classic pieces of poetry. You’ll even be able to take a thoroughly cross-curricular approach by exploring the Poetic Mathematics! With opening and closing films, PowerPoint challenges, worksheet and writing frameworks, and with everything differentiated for age (EYFS / KS2 / P1 - P7), this digital package has everything you need. Every poem has to start somewhere. So start yours now – with Poetry in Sight!
If you are interested in booking a workshop day for your school please read our Covid-19 Health and Safety and Booking with Confidence Policy here.
Poetry Assemblies for Schools
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your National Poetry Day celebrations - and ours are guaranteed to create a real buzz about the wonder of words! So we're happy to lead whole-school poetry assemblies at the start of a day of any of our poetry workshops, sharing some of our favourite verses and providing opportunities for pupils to join in - and all at no extra cost!
A Celebration in Rhyme
Working with up to 420 children to create and perform a School Poem in just one day!
New for 2020, A celebration in Rhyme has been developed to help celebrate the stories your pupils love in verse - by writing and performing a collaborative School Poem in just a single day! After a quick assembly sharing our love of poetry and issuing the overall challenge, children will participate in collaborative writing workshops, usually for a year group at a time. Using our unique “RunAround” methodology, KS2 classes will choose the themes and content, creating the lines as they go - with EYFS and KS1 providing the chorus. And the outcome? A beautifully crafted poem extolling the wonder of stories that’s unique to your school - and that will get its very first performance at a second, celebratory assembly at the end of the day!
Soundscape Poetry - Visions Made of Sound
Those pupils who claim they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical poetry workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform two contrasting soundscapes, working to topics/themes of your choice. We’ll then guide them through a structure supporting them in crafting richly descriptive poems that tell both individual and collective stories in which the sense of sight informs that of sound - and the sense of sound informs that of sight.
Exploring (according to age): onomatopoeia, alliteration, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: Soundscape Poetry is suitable for up to 30 students at a time and requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
"Each class thoroughly enjoyed the poetry workshops and enjoyed taking an active role in order to create their ideas. Using drama to create an orchestra of sounds for our soundscape poems was fantastic to see and I know that we plan to use this strategy with the children again! Thank you for inspiring the children, so they could create such wonderful ideas!" (Amy Wynn, Windsor CP School)
"The immersion aspect was particularly effective in engaging the pupils and this led to high standards of written poetry. All teachers were full of praise for the workshops and were delighted with the pupil outcomes and engagement. We would love to arrange another visit for next year!" (Head of English, Immanuel and St Andrews School)
Personification Poetry – Visions of Time
What if Stonehenge could tell us all it has seen over the millennia – and all it has heard, too? What if your school gates could share with us all the comings and goings they have seen for years? And what about that well-thumbed book on the library shelf? This highly imaginative and interactive workshop allows students to harvest the fruits of both their own and their classmates’ imaginations as they explore notions of empathy to construct some uniquely moving poetry.
Suitable for: EYFS – KS4 / P1 - S5
Exploring (according to age): empathy, personification, subtext, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Personification Poetry requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
The Poet-Tree – Poems that Grow and Change Before Your Eyes
Every tree starts as a seed – a seed that germinates and flourishes. And every poem starts with an idea – an idea that becomes visible to all as it finds its form in words. In both cases, the journey to fruition is one of organic change. And while neither topiarist nor poet can know what the final outcome will be until it’s there in all its glory, they both shape and prune their creations carefully. This enchanting workshop supports children and young people in appreciating how a poem evolves from the pen of its writer – and offers them scaffolds allowing ideas and words to take root and grow. We’ll provide them with stimuli to start the process off, enable them to think structurally as they begin to piece their poems together – and emphasise the role that “choice” plays in poetry as they select the words, phrases, similes, metaphors and personifications that best suit their needs
Suitable for: KS1 – KS3 / P2 - S3
Duration: 60minutes – half a day
Exploring (according to age): descriptive writing, connection-making, simile, metaphor, poetic structure.
“The poems look amazing and I am really excited to send these home with the children who took part in the workshop. The day was a huge success and all of the pupils have commented how fantastic it was. Similarly, the teachers really enjoyed the CPD. Thank you again for such a wonderful experience.” (Mapledene School)
Shakespearean Clerihews – Bringing Characters Centre Stage
With many of Shakespeare’s characters, it’s definitely not a case of “what you see is what you get”. So this engaging activity puts them centre stage by bringing out both the visible and the invisible. Macbeth plays the role of the loyal subject – but inside he’s a mass of seething ambition. Miranda’s not quite the innocent she lets her father Prospero think she is – while the real Bottom is far from the conceited bombast we first meet! Juliet's dreams of romance end up in tragedy – and Bottom simply doesn't know what the truth is when Titania seems to fall in love with him! This experiential workshop uses drama techniques to introduce students to characters from a play of your choice, supports them in crafting Clerihews– four line, descriptive, rhyming poems, packed with descriptive language.
Suitable for: KS2 – KS4 / P4 - S5
Duration: 60minutes – half a day
Exploring (according to age): Shakespeare’s plays, characters and characterisation, poetic structure.
"I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jackson for his delivery of our Shakespeare poetry workshop…the students have really enjoyed learning about Shakespeare in a very active way. All members of staff were very impressed with Jackson and have all commented on how they cannot wait to use some of the techniques to inform their future practice. I’m sure we will be looking to work with you again in the future.” (Creative Curriculum Leader, Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School)
Cinquains of Truth – People Whose Vision Shaped the World
This year’s National Poetry Day falls just before of Black History Month – and this thought provoking workshops offers you a great chance to combine the two! Progress towards equality in a diverse world has been made possible by people with the vision to see beyond their present to a brighter future. People like Lilian Bader of the RAF (World War II), the Bristol Bus Strikers (1963) and, at the Mexico Olympics, Tommie Smith (1968). The vision of human equality shared by such people changed and shaped the world – and this inspiring workshop celebrates their deeds and legacies through poetry. After engaging pupils in a range of drama-based activities to explore the people and events in question, we’ll introduce them to poetic structures including clerihews and cinquains in which to commemorate their feats.
Suitable for: KS2 – KS4 / P4 - S5
Exploring (according to age): epic poetry, poetic structures, alliteration, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: Standing up for Freedom is suitable for up to 30 students at a time and requires a minimum of 60 minutes (although we always prefer longer!).
Performance Poetry: Rhythm, Rhyme and Action
A magical route to seeing how poems can be changed and transformed through choral speaking
Some of the best poems written have quite simple messages at their heart – while the power of those messages can be dramatically magnified when they are delivered chorally. This highly engaging workshop sees a group of disparate pupils magically transformed into a chorus, speaking and performing an age-appropriate verse.
Suitable for: EYFS – KS1 / P3 - S3
Exploring: rhyme, rhythm, tone, pace, performance skills
Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Performance Poetry requires a minimum of 30 minutes – but can also be combined with Collaborative Poetry for a one-hour session.
Messages from Space
What do we know about Neptune? What’s the science of Saturn? And how is our understanding of Uranus? After a warm-up activity exploring some of the characteristics of a range of inhabitants of the universe (including stars and comets as well as planets and black holes), and armed with our FactFiles, pupils will mix metaphors, similes and astronomy as they create - and perform - their own Cosmic Clerihews! These are fun but descriptive four-line poems – and so perfectly suited for the descriptive rigour demanded by science.
Suitable For: KS1 – KS4 / P1 - P7.
Exploring: characteristics of planets, stars, comets and black holes; authorial voice, rhythm, tone and pace.
Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Messages from Space lasts from 1 to 2 hours, depending on how many classes we’re working with.
Seeing at first hand how poems change at the hands of their poets Poetry is all about making choices – about words, about rhymes, about metres. This exciting workshop allows a whole class of EYFS or KS1 pupils to make choices together as they create and perform a collaborative class poem on a theme of your (or their) choice.
Suitable for: EYFS – KS1 / P1 - P3
Exploring: rhyme, rhythm, tone, pace, performance skills
Duration: Suitable for up to 30 pupils at a time, Collaborative Poetry requires a minimum of 30 minutes – but can also be combined with Performance Poetry for a one hour session.
Get in touch
To find out more about our Poetry Workshops for Schools please contact us on 0151 708 8886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999. In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. Find out more about World Poetry Day here