Poetry in the New Curriculum

Never before has Poetry had such a big focus than in the New Primary Curriculum. Learning poetry by heart, reciting and performing poems is prevalent throughout the new Literacy curriculum:

Year 2 POS -
"..continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear."
Year 4 POS - 
"...preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action
recognising some different forms of poetry."
 Year 6 POS - 
"...learning a wider range of poetry by heart."

Something that we have been doing for the past 3 years at Davyhulme Primary School is a whole school Choral Poetry competition. The idea is that the children learn and perform a poem with winners for EYFS, Year 2, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2.

The competition runs in an X Factor style, where the judges (Head, Deputy and yours truly,) give feedback after each performance. Paying particular attention to the arrangement, use of props, use of voice for effect, movement, volume and creativity.

The children love this competition and the performances are outstanding.  Now we will be able to link this to most of the poetry focused objectives. Here is this year's competition:

As a school that loves to promote and share children's work through our blog and social media pages, it gives us access to contact the poets who wrote the poems performed by the children. Not all the poets were on twitter, but the ones who were ALL replied and left some inspiring messages for the children.

When shared with the classes, the impact is fantastic! For the children knowing their hard work has been seen and appreciated by the professionals who created them is simply... Awesome!

There are some fantastic poets and authors who I have contacted and they have left a comment for children here are some we received from this year's poetry competition.

One poet - Ian Bland went one step further! Being so grateful that the children chose and performed one of his poems, he personally signed one of his books and sent it to the class:

I recently sat in on one of Ian's poetry sessions as part of the Literacy Shed and was really impressed as not only does Ian perform his poetry, he teaches children how to write poetry through workshops and can also provide CPD for teachers and build their confidence in teaching poetry. You can find out more here - www.ianbland.com.

So as Poetry is becoming a more important part of the Literacy curriculum, how will you promote and encourage children to appreciate, enjoy and learn different poems? If you have any other ideas, please leave them as comments to this post or tweet them to me. If not, give the choral poetry competition a try, it is a fantastic way to celebrate poetry throughout the school!


  1. Brilliant idea. Sharing with literacy coordinator immediately!

  2. This is fantastic! Quite excited to teach poetry this term now, will have to try and integrate the blog in their some how!


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