Poetry By Heart Scotland was first launched by the Scottish Poetry Library in 2014 as a new, pan-Scotland competition, encouraging and maximising secondary school students’ engagement with the richness of past and contemporary poetry. Participating students are challenged to learn and perform poems from our specially curated competition database.
Feedback shows that participating students develop confidence in public speaking and also deepen their relationship with, and appreciation of, poetry in general. 2016 Joint Winner, Craig McCorquodale said:
‘I’m not sure that PBHS was about who was given first place; it was about the power of having a voice. It was about sharing something with others, and making a concentrated form of language a rather simple one.’
On the SPL website we have a short film (6 minutes) which showcases students from the 2015-2016 finals. Students, teachers and poets talk about what they have enjoyed and what the benefits are. The film’s well worth a watch to get a flavour of the competition and a sense of its varied benefits. You can watch it here.
Keen to find out more? Below are details about PBHS, including how to register. If you have more questions that aren’t answered here, please do get in touch directly with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO takes part?
- Pupils in S4-S6 as competitors; non-competitors can also be given supporting roles in running your contest.
WHAT do competitors have to do?
- Memorise and recite poems by heart, bringing them alive for the audience. Poems can be chosen from the online Poetry By Heart anthology of 200 poems, the Scottish Poetry Library’s online anthology or from a combination of both lists (links available at scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/teachers ).
- See our film from the 2016 finals to get a flavor of the competition and its benefits for students at http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry-heart-scotland
WHEN is it all happening?
- School competitions by 16 December 2015
- Regional semi-finals Spring 2016
- National finals to be held on 18 March 2016
WHERE is the action?
- First rounds in any Scottish secondary school.
- Regional semi-finals in towns and cities across Scotland, in libraries, community arts centres or museums. Already we have schools signed up in Aberdeen, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. Schools in these and other areas are very welcome to join us!
- National finals at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh
HOW do we get involved?
- PBHS is completely free of charge to all secondary schools in Scotland.
- Schools MUST register in order to participate – email Gill@spl.org.uk to register or phone Georgi Gill on 0131 557 2876.
- After registration you will receive free resources to organize your competition and have fun!
Georgi Gill, Learning Manager, the Scottish Poetry Library