The High Life with Spalding High School
After the success of last year’s competition, another Spalding High School student, Emma Howell, reached the national finals of Poetry by Heart; a poetry recital competition for 16 to 18 year olds headed by the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion.
The array of young talent on display at the finals – which took place at The National Portrait Gallery in London – was even more diverse and remarkable than at the birth of the competition a year ago.
The audience were treated to a glimpse of the powers of poetry throughout the ages; from the linguistic splendours of Middle English to a rich showcase of poetry from the First World War, as well as fresh, contemporary poems with the poets themselves occasionally in attendance to watch their works being brought to life.
Emma gallantly took up the challenge of learning (by heart, not rote) three poems, two of which she performed at the national finals weekend.
Having already fought off stiff competition at the school and county rounds, Emma wowed the audience of her regional heat with two poems of equally powerful resonance.
Emma provided the judges with a sharp contrast of poems: the intensely moving ‘Slavery’ by Hannah More, alongside the bitingly witty ‘God: a Poem’ by James Fenton which was highly commended on the Poetry by Heart twitter page as being performed “with great humour and aplomb”.
Despite not progressing through to the final rounds, Emma was still able to enjoy a weekend of dazzling poetry performances, as well as her accommodation in Covent Garden, an open top bus tour around London, a visit to Westminster Abbey and a meal at the famous Planet Hollywood.
A huge congratulations must go to Emma for holding back her nerves to perform with such composure and allowing us to experience the thriving heart of poetry.
* Last Tuesday, the Year 9 pupils had the chance to develop their creativity through a range of mediums.
They chose between a day exploring art, music or drama and set about their creative challenges.
The drama bunch were split into small groups to do stage make up before spending the afternoon in pairs where they had to tell a story using dance, facial expressions and a chair.
Other activities during the session included sculpting, developing performance skills and delving deeper into their chosen area of interest. Overall the day was a great opportunity for all students to express their personalities.