Poetry by Heart 2021

Celebration Competition - 1 poem

Rules and recommendations for the CELEBRATION one poem competition

The CELEBRATION competition is designed to celebrate and share many different ways of enjoying poetry aloud. A Celebration entry is less formal in its requirements than the Classic competition and it offers a more diverse channel for contestants to interpret and express their poems, individually or collaboratively. Maximum participation is the main goal. The requirement is one poem from anywhere on the Poetry By Heart website. Celebration contestants would usually share their poems aloud in front of others; this year that will often be done digitally.

There are three Celebration categories for young people:

individual;

small group (2-5 students);

large group (6+ students).

Schools and colleges may put forward one entry per category for the national competition – so if you have lots of entries you do have to choose but you have three categories for that choice! There is flexibility about how you choose your entrants.

Staff Celebration category

As before we are offering a competition option for teachers and librarians, and other members of school or college staff. The same rules apply  – individual staff members or groups recite 1 poem from the Poetry By Heart website. Any member of school staff can take part, and so too can PGCE tutors and trainees. We have an additional special prize for PGCE trainees this year.

The poems should be those chosen by the contestants although teachers and librarians may offer recommendations. Contestants may choose poems from any timeline – or any of the showcase collections – on the Poetry By Heart website. All these selections have been curated with specific age groups in mind so this may help to guide choices.

We only remind students, teachers, librarians and parents that reciting more advanced poems won’t offer any competitive advantage: an eight-year old struggling with Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ won’t get extra credit for her poem choice. A 17 year old A Level student would have to work quite hard to convince a judge that their choice of Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ – or a very simple six line children’s poem – was a wise choice for the key stage 5 national competition. But never say never – and what is most important is that the poem is right for the child or young person, and that they chose it.

For key stage 2 pupils, the recommended choices are set out for them in the Learning Zone (all free, no login needed) in Choose A Poem 7+

For key stage 3 pupils, the recommended choices are set out for them in the Learning Zone (all free, no login needed) in Choose A Poem 11+

For key stage 4 pupils, the recommended choices are set out for them in the Learning Zone (all free, no login needed) in Choose A Poem 14+

For key stage 5 pupils, the recommended choices are set out for them in the Learning Zone (all free, no login needed) in Choose A poem 16+