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English and PSHE

This week, our focus is going to be poetry as we are building up to writing a river-based poem on Friday. However, I wanted to start off Children's Mental Health Week by thinking about how poetry allows people to 'Express' themselves.

       I'm sure many of you are aware that just a couple of weeks ago in the United States of America, there was a ceremony called an inauguration. This is when Joe Biden was sworn in, which means that he officially became the next President of the United States.

       I watched this ceremony and was really inspired by many different things - including Kamala Harris being the first female, African American and Asian American Vice President! But it wasn't just this that I was inspired me. I was completely silenced and lost for words (yes, Miss Constantine who doesn't stop talking) by the incredible poem written and recited by the youngest Poet Laureate called Amanda Gorman.

       What I really liked about this poem and its delivery is that I felt like I knew Amanda Gorman. She connected with her audience because her poem really expressed how she was feeling in response to recent events in the USA, reflecting on these and then sharing her vision for the future.

       This is one of the joys of poetry as it really allows you to Express Yourself and give voice to your inner thoughts and feelings that often stay a little tucked away.


You may wish to watch Amanda's poem below before you move on to hearing about my thoughts on poetry.

Amanda Gorman reads inauguration poem, 'The Hill We Climb'

My Thoughts On Poetry

Poetry is a powerful tool because it is limitless.

Unlike a letter,

an information text

or a story,

a poem has no rules.


Your poem might include repetition -

but it doesn't have to.

Your poem might have a rhythm or use a rhyming pattern -

but it doesn't have to.

Your writing might include punctuation -

but it doesn't have to.


Your poem might be 5 words long,

5 lines long,

5 stanzas long,

5 pages long,

or it might take 5 hours long to read it.

All of these would still be poems

all the same.


What I have just written above is a poem. I've expressed my thoughts about poetry. I've used some poetic devices, including repetition. Instead of writing in paragraphs like I usually would, every time I paused, I moved on to a new line. But guess what - a poem doesn't have to do that either.



Today, or even over the course of this week, I would like you to try to Express Yourself through poetry. You might want to write about a particular feeling that you are experiencing - your thoughts and how your body responds. You might want to write about the lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic - how this has affected everyone's lives, your appreciation for Key Workers, or perhaps a poem of hope for the future. You might even want to write about someone is really important to you and show them what they mean to you.

       Please feel free to read or listen to the small selection of poems that I have included for inspiration - or simply to see just how different different poems are.


Please send your poems to me by Thursday 11th February. I will be entering your poems into the Live Canon Children's Poetry Competition 2021. We Ethelberters enter this competition every year and a small selection of our super talented children have had their poems published in an anthology (a big book of poems). Perhaps this year, it will be you who gets their work published!