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East London Primary Schools Go Head-to-Head in Virtual Poetry Slam

East London Primary Schools Go Head-to-Head in Virtual Poetry Slam

Goresbrook School joins together with three local primary academies to hold virtual poetry competition. Winning pupils presented with certificates and books from Goresbrook School’s literary vending machine.

This term, pupils at several of United Learning’s primary schools in East London have been showcasing their love of reading and poetry by going head-to-head in an inter-school Virtual Poetry Slam. 

Following the success of last year’s Poetry Slam at Goresbrook School, the academy invited its own pupils, as well as children at Salisbury Manor Primary School, Walthamstow Primary Academy and Winston Way Academy, to be part of an exciting, online poetry competition. To take part, children recorded themselves reciting an original or existing poem and had their parent upload the video to Twitter using #ELPoetrySlam.

To launch the competition, pupils at Goresbrook School and Salisbury Manor Primary School welcomed award-winning children’s poet Neal Zetter for a special visit on 24th September. During a socially-distanced assembly, Neal performed some of his own poetry for the children and also held an after-school book sale where pupils were able to pick up some of their favourite works.

Inspired by Neal’s visit, the pupils and their families then got underway with creating and performing their poetic pieces. With over 50 entries, teachers were overawed by the quality and quantity of the submissions sent in. From talking about their favourite pets to their experiences of Lockdown, there were several standout original entries from the children. 

Last Thursday, after much deliberation, the final six winners of the competition were announced to coincide with National Poetry Day. They were Xian and Yahya in Year 2, Leon in Year 3, Minal in Year 4, and Brooke and Henry in Year 6.

The winning pupils were presented with certificates and got to choose their own book from Goresbrook School’s special book vending machine, kindly donated by Care Vending. Throughout the day, pupils were also given the chance to listen to each other’s performances, taking the time to discuss what the poems meant and give each other some positive feedback on what they enjoyed most.

Giving pupils access to exciting and educational events like this is all part of how United Learning primary schools strive to deliver an Education with Character. This means instilling in pupils a love for reading and learning, giving them opportunities to take on new challenges, and encouraging them to develop their creativity and imagination. 

David Ellison, Executive Principal across Goresbrook School, Salisbury Manor Primary School and Winston Way Academy said:
“It has been fantastic to see so many of our pupils and families engage so wholeheartedly with our Virtual Poetry Slam and really celebrate their love of poetry. What was particularly great about holding an online competition like this was that pupils from our nearby schools were able to safely work together and learn from each other through the challenge. We were thoroughly impressed by all the children’s confidence and creativity and are looking forward to offering similar opportunities in the future.”


Posted: Oct 7, 2020,
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