Inspiring words from seven poets.
On Thursday 26 January our English Faculty took 85 Year 11 pupils to the Poetry Live! conference at the Forum, Bath. The day was filled with inspiring words from different voices, from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to AQA English chief examiner Tony Childs.
Each of the seven poets gave an insight into their own poetry and the ‘voice’ they have created within their writing. Many of the poets we study for GCSE English Literature were at Poetry Live and pupils were able to ask questions about specific elements of the poets' work. All of the poets - Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Daljit Nagra, Owen Sheers, Simon Armitage and John Agard - were reading from new works, as well as from the poems we have studied in class, thus giving us a new appreciation for their collected writing.
Through a session with the exam board chief examiner, our pupils had the chance to gain critical insight into the poems they have studied and to revise the key elements needed before they sit their exams in May. They also had the opportunity to reflect on how poets conceive their ideas, how we (as readers) can develop the ideas of the poet further and how ideas can evolve over time.
The final part of the day was led by John Agard, the pupils’ favourite performance poet. Greeted by rapturous applause, he finished with a key message for everyone: No matter what job you do in life - be it a mathematician, scientist or footballer - you cannot escape language. Words will always be with you and so you should ‘make language your ally!’
‘The Poetry Live trip was an inspirational experience has which motivated me to do well in my exams.’ Kirsty
‘The trip helped me to question my own theories about certain poems and to consider other ways of looking at them.’ Adam