Poetry By Heart is an inspiring competition for students in schools and colleges to learn and to recite poems by heart. Not in an arm-waving, props-supported thespian extravaganza, but as the outward and audible manifestation of an inwardly-understood and enjoyed poem.
The competition is a pyramid of participation from individual classrooms to whole school/college contests, then county contests, regional semi-finals and the grand final. In the process, pupils foster deep personal connections with the poems chosen and bring poetry alive for their friends, families and communities.
Poetry By Heart successfully engages young people from diverse social backgrounds and all types of school in personal discovery of the pleasures of poetry. Teachers who have organised Poetry By Heart competitions have told us it:
*was a catalyst for new approaches to poetry teaching, learning and enjoyment
*helped them to raise the profile of poetry in school/college
*helped them to focus pupil attention on the sounds of poetry as part of its meaning and pleasure
*gave their students a valued opportunity for local and national recognition
They also said their students:
*enjoyed poetry more
* were more willing to take on new challenges
*had a better understanding of how poetry works
*were better able to use memory techniques
*were more confident about speaking in public