Going for goal! Man City conference looks at how poetry can improve pupil language skills

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A conference on Friday 15 January for primary school teachers and heads at Manchester's City's stadium will discuss the potential for raising attainment in English by bringing live poetry and poetry performance to a younger audience.

The event at the Etihad Stadium is a partnership between the football club’s charity City in the Community, North West District headteachers and Write Out Loud. Particular focus will be on encouraging children to write and perform their own work.

Key inputs will come from Dawn Robertson, an expert on using poetry with primary school children; Sam Waterhouse of City Stars Literacy Project; poet Andrew McMillan, and children’s book festival director Kaye Tew - both from Carol Ann Duffy’s Creative Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University - and performance poet Louise Fazackerley.

Julia Clark, head of Lily Lane primary school, Manchester and a Write Out Loud director, will be describing the Marsden the Poetry Village project which has twinned her school with Marsden’s primary schools, with children working together on their poetry. The project has seen children’s poems on posters in village shop windows during Marsden’s famous jazz festival, children performing their poems together during Marsden Cuckoo festival and special Marsden the Poetry Village workshops being run in the village, with selected poems to be included in an anthology that will also contain winners and runners-up from the initiative’s upcoming international poetry competition on the theme ‘Together’.

Although of particular interest to primary teachers and school heads, poets and others interested will be welcome. Booking essential. See below.


Conference: Raising Attainment in English Through the Teaching and Performance of Poetry, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, 15 February, 9am-4pm. Whole day ticket £110; afternoon only £75; more info and tickets from m.ahmed@lilylane.manchester.sch.uk.


Picture shows pupils from Lily Lane performing at Write Out Loud’s poetry jam at Marsden jazz festival


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