Column by Micklehurst All Saints CE Primary School . Images by Micklehurst Primary School
AT Micklehurst All Saints CE Primary School, we place great emphasis on immersing our pupils into the wonderfully wide world of literature.
Throughout their school journey, they will encounter a diverse range of authors, protagonists and genres and venture into worlds far beyond their wildest imaginations.
Recently, we’ve focussed on one particular strand of literature, with a day concentrating on the wonder of poetry with our resident author David Mason.
While poetry already has a valued role in our curriculum, with each class studying different styles of poetry throughout the year, we wanted to dedicate a full day to sharing as many poems as possible.
We have been working with David for a number of years and each time he visits he instils in our children a greater love for writing and vocabulary and an improved sense of independence and creativity.
On this visit, David spent time with each class, beginning with Nursery and Reception. Our EYFS children have been learning about Minibeasts and David was happy to bring to life for them a piece of spoken word about Bertie the Bee.
The children thoroughly enjoyed joining in with the actions and engaging with the rhythm of the story as David introduced them to a grumpy bee who eventually discovered what his very important job was.
The smiles on the faces of our youngest pupils said it all and they were keen to share their thoughts in a Squiggle and Write session afterwards.
“I was Bertie Bee and picked all the pollen in my baskets. It was amazing,” said Pixie, Nursery class.
Year 1 were treated to two pieces of performance poetry with a fantastical theme – the first piece was a rhyme about a crocodile which captivated the entire audience and the second was the familiar tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
In Year 2, David focussed on developing the children’s awareness of what makes a good poetry performance, and they particularly enjoyed his comical poems.
In Year 3 and 4, David shared a wide range of poems, with one in particular seeming to stand out to the children – it seems what the teachers get up to in the staff room was especially interesting to our pupils and David certainly captured the children’s imaginations!
The focus for Lower Key Stage Two children was on developing their awareness of performance poetry techniques and David used his voice and gesture to model this specific skill.
The tale of Ba Baa Rap Sheep proved a huge hit with Year 5 and they were soon engrossed in a task of their own as David set them a challenge to write a poem inspired by a location and a memorable moment of freedom. He placed particular emphasis on writing independently and developing the use of descriptive vocabulary.
The children were very proud of their masterpieces and took them home to share with their families.
For Year 6s, the transition to high school is on the horizon and David used this as the stimulus for his session. He shared a number of poems intended to bring a smile before turning the children’s attention to how poetry can help us feel less anxious and be an outlet for worries.
“David has inspired me to read more poetry and get even more interested in books,” said Joseph, Year 6.
“David inspired me to feel more confident about my transition to high school and he used the power of poetry to remind me that everyone has some sort of anxious feelings inside them,” said Carys, Year 6.
As a school, we’ve been thoroughly inspired by our day of poetry and are looking forward to finding even more opportunities to put pen to paper and celebrate our creativity.