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Friday, 9 May 2014

Patron Of Reading - Poetry With Year 7 at Stalham High School, Norfolk

Earlier this year I was appointed Patron Of Reading at Stalham High School in Norfolk. My role is fairly informal, and will hopefully involve supporting literacy at the school over the coming years in a variety of fun, interesting ways. A couple of weeks ago I travelled from London for my first visit to the school, which went really well. After a poetry performance for Year 7 - as well as some Year 5 and 6 students from a local primary called Catfield, which I insisted on calling 'Dogfield' to the extremely mild amusement of some of the pupils - I led poetry workshops with small groups of students from Year 7 and 8.

The workshops were largely informal, with a heavy emphasis on lighthearted fun. I would like to post the results of the some of the Year 7 workshops (the Year 8 poems will be posted soon!). One group of Year 7 students wrote about their most embarrassing moments:

When I was six (By Elijah)

It was when I was six,
That I looked at the fish,
Their bowl seemed dirty, so I gave it a five star clean
I mixed soap and bleach in the water

And I felt so proud that I said “Mummy!”
My mum came in the room
She gave me a look of gloom,
It was only then that I realised I had ended the lives of some fish
I felt like a shark which had eaten a bunch of fish
but had only just realised that it wasn’t a carnivore…

I remember (By Isis)

I remember when I was small ,
And my most embarrassing moment occurred,
I walked up to the head teacher and said…
I wished that I was as small as an ant:
 Insignificant and pointless,
The class pointed fingers and laughed at me.
I must have sounded like a little snob,
Calling people “Mummy”
My face burned up,
I felt like a fool,
I never said the word “Mummy” again.

When I got slapped in the face by a fish (By Liam)

When I got slapped in the face by a fish when I was fishing,
I felt like when you try to pull off a stunt at a public swimming pool,
When everyone’s staring at you,
And cameras are all on record,
And you make the jump…
Your heart is racing …

I especially the sense of humour and quirkiness in these poem. Another group of Year 7 students wrote metaphor poems describing poetry, using the refrain 'Poetry Is':

Poetry is…(By Jake)

Poetry is when I fell head first in a puddle,
Poetry is a flower.
Poetry is a vegetarian zombie eating grains,
Poetry is sweets,
Poetry is a flame.

Poetry is…(By Kirsty)

Poetry is jumping in a cold pool on a cold night
Poetry I my brother being born funny,
Poetry is being scared of doors,
Poetry id going swimming with my brother,
Poetry is my dog eating a balloon.
Poetry is jumping off a hill,
Poetry is me.

Poetry is (By Stacey)

Poetry is the time my sister said that eggs came from cows.
Poetry is the time I feel in a lamppost
Poetry is the time my dog ate baby food.
 pOetry is the time Joshua Seigal came to our school.
Poetry is the stars in the night sky.

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