Last week, Rydal Penrhos celebrated the power of the written word with a creative and thought-provoking exploration of this year’s National Poetry Day theme of refuge.
Over recent years, Rydal Penrhos pupils have become ever-greater enthusiasts of literature, not least because of the Accelerated Reader scheme, which has inspired many pupils to become voracious readers, to the tune of millions of words read per year. Last week, pupils enjoyed an opportunity to consider the special power of poetry as celebrations of National Poetry Day took place.
National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends. This year’s chosen theme, centred around refuge and refugees, challenged our budding poets to dig deep into their hearts and minds.
The day kicked off with an adventurous outdoor activity in our wonderful Forest School. Armed with a ‘precious object’ of their choosing, Year 6 pupils embarked on a mission to build their own ‘lifeboat’ that would take them across the water to ‘safety’.
Navigating these imaginative lifeboats across the metaphorical waters, pupils experienced stress and worry, followed by camaraderie and ultimate euphoria. When they reached safety, they were emotionally drained and agreed, what they needed was shelter, help and above all kindness.
Back in the classroom, our young wordsmiths poured their reflections onto the page. After a poem was shared with the class, each pupil took the opportunity to craft their own verse. The extension task, adding an extra element of fun and challenge, was to write their poems such that they could be read in both directions, changing the poem’s meaning.
The class voted Max Kaluza and Rose Robbins’ poems their favourites:
Leading with Kindness
by Rose Robbins
They don’t belong here!
Don’t be so stupid to think that!
we need to take care of them.
I know that for sure,
I am talking for real.
This is a big deal.
How would you feel?
So don’t make such a fuss.
This ends here
for it is very clear
they don’t belong here
so don’t you dare say
they have come an extremely long way…
(Now read it from bottom to top).
Leading with Kindness
by Max Kaluza
People here we all love and adore
be kind to one another
and don’t be dreadful and poor.
Everybody that’s scared or terrified,
well don’t be, ‘cause we are all on your side.
Kindness to each other is the thing we do,
so please don’t go
because we need you!
We share the love in every way
and don’t exclude anyone
‘cause they won’t be your friend.
We are immensely proud of Max and Rose, our Performers of the Week, and all our Year 6 class for their thoughtful exploration of this important theme. We look forward to sharing more examples of our pupils’ work as term progresses. In the meanwhile, we would encourage our pupils to keep reading and writing!