Year 11 pupils experience live poetry
On Wednesday 28 November 2019 our English Faculty took 45 Year 11 pupils to the Poetry Live! conference at the Forum, Bath. Throughout the day the pupils listened to inspiring words from different voices, from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage to AQA English chief examiner Tony Childs.
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. When asked where she found the ideas for her poems, Carol Ann Duffy said that the subjects of her poems 'come out of simply living a life' and 'Everything is a subject'. All of the poets - Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Daljit Nagra, Simon Armitage, Grace Nicholls and John Agard - were reading from new works, as well as from the poems we have studied in class, enabling us to gain more of an appreciation of their wider collections. A highlight was when Grace Nicholls engaged the whole theatre with some audience participation during her topical new poem about Climate Change.
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.
It was Poet Laureate Simon Armitage who received the warmest welcome this year – especially from some of our pupils. His inspirational words were a reminder to us all of the importance of poetry in our lives especially in the modern world we live in: 'I hope to celebrate poetry. When we live in a world of 24 hour noise one person speaking about something they care about is more important than ever'.
“Really enjoyable and useful day – especially with the mocks coming up!” Meg
“The poets were enthusiastic, informative and inspiring.” Maya
“The poets were inspiring and the examiner's comments were helpful. It was great to hear from the poets themselves.” Mary
Mrs Voss, English Teacher