We love the power of words, so we've got a whole range of enjoyable and engaging Poetry workshops - for pupils of all ages to enjoy. Our workshops include in-person sessions, as well as live streamed workshops beamed straight into your classroom.
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.
National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. Year on year, our National Poetry Day programmes prove popular and successful right across the country. Our workshops are also available all year round!
Remember - every poem has to start somewhere. So start yours now – and get in touch today!
“The girls at Glendower LOVED the workshops! - they enjoyed the workshops immensely and thought the facilitator was fantastic! - they gained confidence around poetry, in addition to understanding the freedom attached to the concept of creating their own poem. We can’t wait to have you back!" Glendower Prep School
“I wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your incredible delivery of National Poetry Day 2023. Your passion for poetry was clear, and every single one of the teachers spoke highly of you and your sessions. Similarly, the children were buzzing with excitement- I have received messages from parents about pupils’ enjoyment as well. It was a great day, and I look forward to your next visit." Thomson House School
"A huge thank you and reiterate how much we all enjoyed today! You were so inspirational and enthusiastic and the girls (and staff) absolutely loved the workshops. I am so impressed by the poems that the girls created and can’t thank you enough for teaching them the importance of Black History - I am the Diversity and Inclusion lead and so it was just music to my ears!" Surbiton High School
Refuge Rhymes Primary Schools
Refuge Rhymes comprises workshops in which pupils explore and use the poetic form of dramatic monologue to write persuasive, collaborative verses focusing on: Refuge for Animals (EYFS – Year 2/P1 – P3) … Refuge for Friends (Years 3 & 4/P4 & P5 … and Refuge for Strangers (Years 5 & 6/P6 & P7).
Refuge Rhymes can accommodate the whole of up to a two-form entry school in a single day, opening with an assembly at which a member of our team shares a favourite poem. If time allows, we can include a second assembly, too – during which classes perform their poems. It’s also possible, too, to deliver longer workshops to fewer classes – and these longer workshops would see children writing some of their own individual poems too. Whichever option you choose, though, we will send you designed and illustrated versions of all the work.
Refuge Rhymes Secondary Schools
Recent events across the world have made us all even more aware of the need to offer refuge to people less fortunate than ourselves. But more aware, too, of the charged atmosphere often surrounding the issue. Refuge Rhymes strips away the rhetoric in workshops seeing students exploring and using the poetic form of dramatic monologue to write persuasive, collaborative verses focusing on the raw humanity of the challenge.
Refuge Rhymes can accommodate up to 30 students at a time in workshops lasting from a single lesson, allowing a member of our team to work with a large number of students in just one day. It’s also possible, too, to deliver longer workshops to fewer groups – and these longer workshops would see students writing some of their own individual poems too. Whichever option you choose, though, we will send you designed and illustrated versions of all the work!
World Poetry Day 2024: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Celebrate the lives and achievements of some amazing British writers from diverse backgrounds through highly engaging workshops taking a very active approach to poetry - and culminating in new and original poems written by the pupils themselves! And with every year group looking at a different writer, your school will discover a whole new world of poetry! The writers we have selected include …
- Raymond Antrobus – winner of the 2019 Ted Hughes Award – and whose work is influenced by his experiences of deafness …
- Malorie Blackman – who was spurred to write after realising that none of the characters in the books she had read as a child looked like her …
- Levi Tafari – born in Liverpool, a performance poet who has worked within a wide range of music traditions – with partners from dance and drum band Delado to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra …
- Andrea Levy – proving that it’s never too late to write by publishing her first book at the age of thirty eight, sharing with the world some of the experiences of the Windrush Generation.
- Benjamin Zephaniah – a hugely influential poet who, despite his dyslexia, now has sixteen honorary doctorates, and is a Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing!
- Rupinder Kaur – mixing influences from her family’s heritage in the Punjab with her experiences as a 21st century British Asian woman to create something entirely new.
Poetry Live - Join one of our team for live workshops, beamed straight to the classroom! (Streamed Workshop)
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 choose how to populate their own verses, writing and performing them.
“I wanted to email to thank you for today's inspiring (streamed) workshops. The pupils were all fully engaged through your scientific knowledge and your inclusive poetry collaboration which was both fun and successful. This term I run a poetry club for Year 5 and in today's session we used a random object generator to choose a subject about which to write a clerihew to follow up from your workshop." Clifton High School
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Jo for delivering such fantastic, fun and engaging (Poetry) sessions with our children. Jo, you have such a warm, positive manner with the children and they were all engaged and inspired! What a lovely way to end the term and this time learning remotely." Beechwood Prep
A Celebration in Rhyme (primary)
Working with up to 420 children to create and perform a School Poem in just one day!
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!
"Thank you so much - it was lovely to work with you. The children all had a wonderful day. According to one of mine it was the BEST day EVER!" Braywood CE First School (Virtual Poetry workshops)
"All year groups really enjoyed the practical elements of the workshops and being able to discuss their favourite books, authors and characters. Children were able to recap on their knowledge of poetry and rhyming couplets as well as celebrating the joy of reading. Thank you very much!" A Celebration in Rhyme Poetry Workshop, St Mary & St John Catholic Primary School
Soundscape Poetry - (primary & secondary)
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, and making their own compositional choices. 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 writers’ choices are central.
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 - (primary & secondary)
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 boys all stayed engaged and doing their actions. I did tell Jo at the end how impressed I was since it was virtual and I thought might be more limited. And the boys seem to have really taken to the story. Thanks thanks for giving our WBD a much needed lift!" The Hall School
"A massive ‘Thank You’ for the Workshops last week. The pupils had a great time and it was wonderful learning about these less well known scientists and inventors. We will look forward to receiving our poems! We will be in touch regarding next year’s dates." Surbiton High Girls’ Prep School
The Poet-Tree – Poems that Grow and Change Before Your Eyes (primary & secondary)
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 – (primary & secondary)
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 Choices Shaped the World (primary & secondary)
Progress towards equality in a diverse world has been made possible by people who made choices that, while sometimes causing personal difficulties, led brighter futures for the rest of us. People like the Bristol Bus Strikers (1963), Tommie Smith (the 1968 Mexico Olympics) and Doreen Lawrence (1993 onwards). The often difficult choices taken 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!).
"Thank you so much for the fabulous workshop this morning. The children really engaged with it and seemed keen to share their ideas with you. It’s given us all lots of food for thought!” Clifton High School
Performance Poetry: Rhythm, Rhyme and Action - (primary)
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 - (primary & secondary)
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.
Collaborative Poetry - (primary & secondary)
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