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Announcing the Poetry By Heart 2022 national champions!

Announcing the Poetry By Heart 2022 national champions!

The 2022 national finalists’ celebration event at Shakespeare’s Globe London on Monday 20th June 2022 was another magical day where young people amazed us all with their spectacular performances and the living anthology of poems that they created was alive and buzzing with joy and sadness, light and shade, and everything besides.

We are proud to present here the national champions of Poetry By Heart 2022!

Key Stage 2 Classic
Alais (Easebourne CofE Primary School)
with the poems ‘The Witch’ by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge and ‘Tell me, tell me, Sarah Jane’ by Charles Causley

Commended: Nanaserwaa (Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School) and Elspeth (Yanwath Primary School)

Key Stage 3 Classic
Pavamaan (Wilson’s School)
with the poems ‘Silence’ by Thomas Hood and ‘What If’ by Benjamin Zephaniah

Commended: Laurence (Sir Thomas Rich’s School) and Jomi (Southend High School for Girls)

Key Stage 4 Classic
Bimbim (Framlingham College)
with the poems ‘We Wear the Mask’ by Paul Dunbar and ‘Border’ by Gillian Clarke

Commended: Chum (Judgemeadow Community College) and Ryan (Wilson’s School)

Key Stage 5 Classic
Oenone (Silverdale School)
with the poems ‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold and ‘Mr Bleaney’ by Philip Larkin

Commended: Charis (King Edward VI Handsworth School) and Laurie (Hills Road Sixth Form College)

Key Stage 2 Freestyle
Hari, Neev & Neel (Elmhurst Primary School)
with the poem ‘The Boneyard Rap’ by Wes Magee

Key Stage 3 Freestyle
Tianna (Harborne Academy)
with the poem ‘Harriet Tubman’ by Eloise Greenfield

Key Stage 4 Freestyle
Lily & Erin (The Abbey School, Reading)
with the poem ‘Your Attention Please’ by Peter Porter

Key Stage 5 Freestyle
Ashleigh (Linden Lodge School)
with the poem ‘A Chant Against Death’ by Mervyn Morris

All-School Staff
Rebecca Sharpe (Woodhouse Grove School)
with the poem ‘Passing The Time’ by Caroline Bird

Commended: Damian Hassan (Hamsterley Primary) and Damian Stanford-Harris (London Academy of Excellence)

Thank you to everyone who made the event such a spectacular joy fest, a veritable festival of poetry and young people. Here’s what some of the people who were there said about it:

“As I was sitting there in the Globe watching students perform from every part of the country I just thought – this is what education is really about! Poetry as time travel, political and personal expression, poetry as pure joy, as sadness, as wise observation – all brought alive by young diverse voices.”

“Thank you for inviting me to be part of such a joyful event. What a special venue and what amazing young people. I was so impressed by them all – their confidence and dedication, their feel for the poems, and – of course – their gorgeous buzzy energy.”

“I would also like to say thanks for the commitment to genuinely fair judging. I have taken students to school competitions before and have not encountered one with such a fair judging process.”

“A huge thank you for a wonderful and inspirational weekend! It was a true celebration of poetry and people and people coming together to speak poetry and listen to it and to make it a force for good in the world. Can’t thank you enough for yet more memorable moments for our students, for looking after us so well, and for giving us all something to believe in and be a part of.”