Electric atmosphere at our ‘Evening of Poetry’ event

Our Poetry Club, named by the students ‘Pages for Ages’ and setup by Mrs Amy, Teacher of English, recently celebrated their poetry writing at an ‘Evening of Poetry’ held in the school library.

The students invited their families along to watch them perform the poems they have recently written during their school poetry club sessions. Prior to the performance, local published poet, Andy Willoughby, ran a warmup workshop with the students and gave them tips on how to deliver the poems to their audience.

Andy commented: “I have held several workshops at JCSC and it always proves an inspiring experience working with the students. I was really impressed by the level of engagement from the group and their willingness to perform their poems in the impressive library space. The atmosphere was electric and the library is a great space for the children to project their voices to an audience.”

Andy continued: “It was really heartening to see the great work the staff are doing to establish extra-curricular clubs that help to further the expression, engagement and well being of young people. I know from my many years of experience that creative practice can enhance the curriculum and the development of students.”

Mrs Amy, English teacher at JCSC, who established the poetry club which meets once a week in the library, explains: “Last year we were involved with a pilot ran by The Poetry Society, called ‘Steph’s Poetry Space’. This initiative was a project that offered students and teachers from selected schools, the chance to explore creative reading and writing with a visiting poet, through workshops at the school. The visiting poet was Andy, who kindly came back to visit us for our evening of poetry event.”

‘Steph’s Poetry Space’ was a programme organised by The Poetry Society in conjunction with Steph Lampl Foundation, a foundation setup by the parents of Steph following her untimely death. Steph loved poetry and the foundation in her name focuses on young people who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience poetry.

Mrs Amy continues: “Following these poetry workshops the children were keen to express themselves through writing their own poetry so I setup the poetry club. It has proved to be a popular club with students and I’m so proud of their engagement and work. One of our newest members told me that she has found getting her thoughts and feelings down on paper a really helpful way of making sense of things.

“The ‘Evening of Poetry’ was a great opportunity to showcase the work they have done to their families and it was fantastic to see how excited and proud they were! It gave me goosebumps when one of the students at the event said: “I‘ve never stayed for anything after school before and I’m so excited to be here!”

All students who performed received a printed copy of all their poems and an anthology of published poems from The Poetry Society. Andy Willoughby also kindly donated a signed copy of one of his books to the school library for all children to access.

The students and staff involved would like to thank Andy for his participation in the event and for all of the families who attended to make the evening such a success. A massive well done goes to all of the students who took part and Mrs Amy for inspiring the students through poetry.

If your child is interested in joining the poetry club, please see the school MCAS app.

For more information about The Poetry Society and the Steph’s Poetry Space visit here.

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