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Announcing our 2022 National Finalists!

Announcing our 2022 National Finalists and selected Showcasers!

Thank you to everyone who took part in Poetry By Heart 2022! After all the difficulties of keeping the competition going in the last two years, and all the ongoing challenges for schools and young people this year, you overwhelmed us – in a good way – with way over a thousand videos, more than we’ve ever had before. And the standard was unbelievable, the variety of poems and performance incredible, and the integrity, intelligence and sheer heart of all the pupils was a joy to watch.

We always judge every entry really carefully. We began by checking every video worked and we gave a score from 1-4 for accuracy. Then our team of first-round judges, drawn from all our project partners and the PBH team, watched every video, scored from 1-7 for voice, understanding and performance – and wrote comments, one appreciative of what was achieved and one giving advice for making it even better. On this basis we then selected the best entry in each category for each school, where you’d sent us more than one.

We’re all former teachers, used to assessment (with a former Chief Examiner on the team too!), so we then did a lot of moderating to make sure all the scoring was consistent. And once we’d done that, we went through each competition category and selected the best and the most promising performances in each county and then in each of the 9 English regions. By selecting at least one student from each region we ensure that the national competition is truly national as every region will be represented. We paid attention to diversity and school type too.

That all took a huge team effort and I’d like to publicly thank all of the Poetry By Heart core team – Tom, Lily, Fiona, Tim and Mike – who have done more judging, video processing and sorting comments than they will care to remember after tomorrow! I’d like also to thank our brilliant team of partner judges – Judith Palmer from the Poetry Society, Maggie Sullivan from the Poetry Archive, Jonathan Morgan from NATE, Charlotte Hacking from CLPE, David Whitley from Homerton College Cambridge, Elizabeth Draper from the English Association, Mo Parle and Jay Bhadricha from Forward Arts Foundation/National Poetry Day, Karen Lockney and Alison Powell from the wider Poetry By Heart team.

We say every year when we announce the finalists ‘everyone’s a winner’. We mean that because if you have a poem in your head, you’ve already won something valuable! But we know it’s still a big disappointment for teachers, librarians and pupils not selected as finalists. So this year we’re saying again ‘everyone’s a winner’ but we mean it in a bigger way this time. Now that Covid restrictions have changed, we can welcome many more of you to Shakespeare’s Globe on Monday 20th June. We can’t fund travel or lunch for non-finalists but if your school can take care of that, schools that took part this year will be able to book priority guest tickets for the event from next week. Watch out for our next newsletter which will contain details. And if you didn’t take part this year and want to come, we’ll open the guest list later – watch out for more news.

The list of Poetry By Heart 2022 finalists is below. We have already emailed the teacher or librarian at each school to inform them that they have a finalist and we’ve sent the registration forms to them too. Once we know how many finalists are attending, we will then review the Showcase entries and offer some additional invitations to perform from that category. By doing it this way, we can invite more Showcasers than if we just picked a few now – so please bear with us.

For every single pupil entered we will next be producing Poetry By Heart 2022 certificates and records of achievement which will give them their individual feedback from the judges. We hope they will use that to polish up their poems for their own pleasure and for sharing with others, and we very much hope they will enter again next year.

But for now, the Poetry By Heart team has judged more or less round the clock since 31st March and we will all be taking a much-needed break at the end of today. We’ll keep an eye out for any urgent questions from finalists’ teachers but otherwise we’ll be back at our desks bright and early on Wednesday 4th May.

Wishing you an excellent bank holiday weekend and again, thank you for taking part in Poetry By Heart!

Isla (Broadheath Primary School)
Alais (Easebourne CofE Primary School)
Rufus (Exeter Cathedral School)
Krish (Finton House School)
Luke (Hamsterley Primary School)
Emily (John Harrison CofE Primary School)
Georgia (Meopham Community Academy)
Florence (Occold Primary School)
Nanaserwaa (Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School)
Aurora (Stratton CofE Primary School)
David (The Wilfred Owen School)
Elspeth (Yanwath Primary School)

Inaya (Bancrofts School)
Jaiden (Brookfield Community School)
Alfie (Eastbury Community School)
Yafa (Hartismere School)
Arabella (Holyport College)
Zakaraya (Katherine Lady Berkeley’s School)
Zara (King Edward VI Handsworth School)
Olivia (Noadswood School)
Hui Xin (Parmiter’s School)
Henry (Ryde School with Upper Chine)
Alexander (Sacred Heart Catholic College)
Grace (Silverdale School)
Luke (Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys)
Laurence (Sir Thomas Rich’s School)
Joshua (Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School)
Jomi (Southend High School for Girls)
Lucy (St Gregory’s Catholic High School)
Marcus (Trinity Academy Halifax)
Phoebe (Whitley Bay High School)
Pavamaan (Wilson’s School)

Lucy (Beverley High School)
Ruby (Bristol Free School)
Frederick (Colyton Grammar School)
Celeste (Ecole Jeannine Manuel)
Bimbim (Framlingham College)
Iona (King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls)
Chum (Judgemeadow Community College)
Eve (Moor Park High School and Sixth Form)
Tilly (Shaftesbury School)
Darshini (St Anne’s Catholic School)
Shayla (St Crispin’s School)
Demi (St Hilda’s CofE High School)
Ethan (St James Academy)
Mohammed (The Petchey Academy)
Ryan (Wilson’s School)

Sophie (Clitheroe Royal Grammar School)
Trystan (Colyton Grammar School)
Julianne (Coombe Girls’ School)
Laurie (Hills Road Sixth Form College)
Stephaine (Huddersfield New College)
Charis (King Edward VI Handsworth School)
Luka (London Academy of Excellence)
Nicole (Loreto Grammar School)
Kacie (New College Pontefract)
Miriam (Rugby High School)
Harry (Shaftesbury School)
Oenone (Silverdale School)
Eloise (Southend High School for Girls)
Lucy (Whitley Bay High School)
Kadiatou (Woodhouse Grove School)

Jevan and Kohan (Burbage Junior School)
Hari, Neev and Neel (Elmhurst Primary School)
Harry, Rowan and Sebastian (Morpeth Newminster Middle School)
Eleanor (South Walney Junior School)

Ella (Churchmead CofE School)
Generation Girl (Crawshaw Academy)
Alexandre (Darrick Wood School)
Owain (Greenfield Community College)
Tianna (Harborne Academy)
Year 7 Winners (Netherthorpe School)
Hanifat (The Stockwood Park Academy)
Bethan (St Francis College)
Lucy (St Gregory’s Catholic College)
Lea (Upton Hall FCJ)
Caiden (Seven Kings School)

Ella (Caistor Yarborough Academy)
Ava (Eastbury Community School)
Jack and Amy (Greenfield Community College)
Memuna (Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre)
Massey (Orchard School Bristol)
Isobel (Southend High School for Girls)
Lily and Erin (The Abbey School Reading)
Chloe (The Link Academy)

Ashleigh (Linden Lodge)
Marcus (Norwich School)
Frey (Queen Mary’s High School)
Scarlet (Southam College)
Niamh (St Edward’s School)
Imogen (The Queen Katherine School)
Sophia (The Sixth Form College Colchester)

ARB Group (Budehaven School)
Year 6 (Eaglesfield Paddle CofE Primary Academy)
Jasmine and Friends (Ibstock Place School)
Year 5 and 6 (St Herbert’s CofE Primary and Nursery School)
Poetry Is Our Love (The Clara Grant Primary School)
The KS3/KS4 Pancakes (The Queen Katherine School)

Emily (Bedford Free School)
Wendy (Dartford Grammar School for Girls)
Lola (Exeter Cathedral School)
Damian (Hamsterley Primary School)
Damian (London Academy of Excellence)
Karen (Meopham Community Academy)
Sarah H (Orchard School Bristol)
James (Reach Academy Feltham)
James (Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School)
Jon (The Queen Katherine School)
Rebecca (Woodhouse Grove School)

We have chosen a small number of SHOWCASE entries to join us at Shakespeare’s Globe on 20th June, as follows:
Aubrey from Hope Valley College
Samuel from The Sylvia Young Theatre School
Selected pupils from St John Vianney RC School
Rhian from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School