Schools project opens eyes to power of poetry
Last year Write Out Loud published news of a schools poetry project involving poets Winston Plowes and Keith Hutson working with pupils in four schools in West Yorkshire. This year Winston and Keith have been back to continue their good work at two primary schools in Halifax.
Square Chapel Centre for the Arts community outreach team has been working in partnership with Children and the Arts to deliver its literacy project called PoetryQuest, aimed at increasing poetry awareness, access and knowledge.
From January this year Winston Plowes and Keith Hutson were artists in residence at Beech Hill primary school and St Mary’s Catholic primary school, working with over 100 Year 5 and 6 pupils. The children explored all different kinds of poetry and wrote their own compositions. Some of the children composed poems in their first language, including Czech, Urdu and Hungarian.
Earlier this month the two schools came together to perform their poems on the themes of The Animal Kingdom, Mayan Civilisation and Myself to an audience of parents, carers and friends at Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax.
Teacher Natalia Buckley, from Beech Hill primary school, said: “PoetryQuest and in particular, Winston, was absolutely fantastic. The children were extremely enthusiastic and constantly engaged. They looked forward to Winston’s workshops every week. The poems that they produced were brilliant – at a level that I really couldn’t have got from them.”
Picture shows pupils, from left to right, Chanelle and Lucas (Year 5, St. Mary's Catholic primary school, Halifax) and Aqsa and Shahzaib (Year 6 at Beech Hill primary school, Halifax).