National Poetry Day

Article Written by Mrs Corrigan, Head of English. 

As an English teacher, I have a tendency to be hyperbolic and today I am going to continue to conform to this stereotype. National Poetry Day at Westholme never fails to be a unique experience; pupils embrace the poetry challenges with genuine enthusiasm and creativity.

This year pupils were given the theme of ‘Vision’ and members of the English Department were delighted to be treated to some of the best poems that we have ever read. Pupils took this theme and interpreted it in diverse ways. We read poems about visions of perfect futures, lost vision, dreams, visions of pets, and visions of success. Covid-19 has stifled many aspects of our lives, but not the creativity of our pupils. The different approach to poetry day confirmed my suspicion that Westholme pupils possess a strength of spirit that can never be sullied. Six poems, performed by pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9, were featured on Westholme’s own broadcasting station and pupils were able to vote for their favourite poem. Thank you to Mr Oracz and his team for delivering this special edition broadcast. Westholme’s poet of the year will be announced next week. We can not wait to hear the result.

Notably, this positive spirit has spilled over into our intrepid teachers. If I could bottle and sell my experience of poetry day, I could become a millionaire! At 10am and 2pm, a tannoy reminded teachers to ‘Drop everything and read!’. Maths texts were discarded, pens were dropped and all activity ceased for two minutes to hear our very talented teachers share their favourite poems. Seeing Mr Purdy reading his poem was very uplifting and Mrs Bowker read a beautiful poem from Ruby’yat of Omar Khyam that gave an universal message about the ability to move forward and move on.

I have been particularly inspired to hear that Mrs McConnon read a poem written by her own son; I am delighted to hear that the Head of Maths, at Westholme, has clearly inspired her son to become a poet.

But one of the most special moments was seeing Mr and Mrs Oracz read the poem to their classes that Mr Oracz read to Mrs Oracz on their wedding day. Mrs Oracz also read a poem during her virtual lesson with our Sixth Form students via a zoom call.

It was a fantastic day celebrating poetry and thank you to everyone involved!