Poetry By Heart 2021-22 – Open For Business

Poetry By Heart 2021-22 - Open For Business

Hello and a very warm welcome to Poetry By Heart 2022. Here’s wishing everyone a smoother, calmer year with lots of time and opportunity to take part in Poetry By Heart. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you this year:

1. A new Poem-A-Month wall calendar
The ink is drying at the printers and if you registered in 2020 or 2021 yours will be in the post very soon. This time it includes a challenge for your pupils each month – pick one, none or all of them to help inspire your students with creative ideas for the Freestyle competition category.

2. Shakespeare’s Globe, London
We’re delighted to say that next year’s Finalists Celebration Event will be at The Globe again. Lots more details soon but in every competition category there’s a chance of being selected to perform there. All expenses paid.

3. Plenty of time
The deadline for video entries is midnight on Thursday 31st March 2022. And the Finalists Celebration Event will be in the Summer term, date to be confirmed but likely to be late June or early July.

4. More entries per school or college
We’re learning all the time and many of you have told us you need a bit more flexibility with the number of entries. So we’ve expanded it as follows:
Classic – up to 3 entries per school/college per key stage
Freestyle – up to 3 entries per school/college per key stage
Showcase – up to 9 entries per school/college, all key stages
All School Staff – up to 3 entries per school/college/university

5. Clearer competition categories – classic and creative
In the Classic 2-poem National Championship young people learn two poems from the Poetry By Heart website – one published in or after 1914, and one from before 1914. It’s a solo competition for individuals performing in a simple, classic style – just the young person, their chosen poems and their natural speaking voice or signing style. National Championship judging focuses on voice, understanding, performance and accuracy.
In the Freestyle 1-poem celebration people learn any one poem from the Poetry By Heart website. They can enter solo, in pairs, small groups or whole classes. Original performance styles are strongly encouraged. Celebration judging focuses on a compelling original performance of the poem. The monthly challenges for each poem in this calendar illustrate some possibilities for this freestyle category where anything goes as long as the poem is out loud and by heart.

In the Showcase non-competitive option young people perform any other poem not on the Poetry By Heart website. This could be a poem they have written themselves, or a poem written in another language, or a much-loved poem from any other source including web collections available at CLPE’s Poetry page, Children’s Poetry Archive or Poetry Society.

In the All School Staff 1-poem challenge any member of staff or trainee teacher learns any poem from the Poetry By Heart website and performs it in any style, solo, in pairs or any size group.

See more in the competition guide now in the Teaching Zone for download (and in the post soon if you’ve registered).

6. Poetry Forums – let’s talk poems
Last year’s Virtual Staffrooms become this year’s Poetry Forums. The difference? As well as coming together online to share ideas about taking part in Poetry By Heart, we’ll also be making space to talk about that month’s calendar poem in an informal, friendly way with the emphasis on reading for pleasure. Teachers of all key stages and all levels of poetry interest and experience welcome, including trainees.

7. New poems
As fast as we can, we’ll be adding quite a few new poems across the website. 20 more poems will be added to the Mix It Up collection, including some more suited to the younger end of key stage 2 and even key stage 1 (though there’s no competition entry for them just yet). We’ll also be bringing the red timeline for 14+ pupils up to date with more poems published within the last 10 years. We’ll also be going live on the 1st December with our new 2021 Advent Calendar – and there’s a chance for your pupils to create a poem performance video to be featured in it. More on that soon.

If you want to check whether or not you’ve registered, want to tell us what you have in mind for this year’s Poetry By Heart, or ask any question large or small, please get in touch. Fire us an email or or call us on 0117 905 5338.