Over the last two weeks, the senior team has had the joy of listening to a range of poetry presented by the children from Preschool to Year 6. Verse speaking has long been a tradition at Gateway and we continue to believe in the value that this brings to developing memory, confidence and self esteem. ‘Speaking and Listening’ is an important element of the English curriculum as well as a vital life skill. For some children, it is a real challenge to perform in front of their class and a member of the senior team whilst other children relish this opportunity to be in the spotlight, demonstrating a side of themselves we don’t always see. All the children however, rise to the occasion and feel a sense of pride and achievement, as well as earning the respect of their classmates.
We enjoyed the Year 6 performances of poems based around the theme of trees; inspired by their woodland walk. None of us had heard these poems before which made them even more enjoyable.
As always, Reception charmed us with their delightful, animated performances of the poem ‘Toys’ and, this year, some of the Preschool children wanted to have a turn too!
‘The Magic Box’ by Kit Wright was brought to life in Year 3 with some expressive performances showing changes of pace and tone. This was a much longer poem for the children to learn but they all rose to the challenge.
The lush green leaves of the rainforest curled around our ears in Year 4, with some exceptional performances bringing the wildlife and fauna to life for Mrs S Kemp.
In her first term at Gateway, Mrs Woods enjoyed enthusiastic presentations of a poem found in Roald Dahl's Matilda performed by Year 2. The children are becoming so much more confident in their delivery and it was a joy to hear them all.
Mrs L Kemp was delighted by the animated performances of Autumn Leaves by Year 1. The actions were confidently performed and all of the children knew the words perfectly.
Finally, to Year 5 who chose from a wide range of poems which celebrated African animals and linked very well to their English topic of African Tales. There were some super performances which used actions as well as changes in pace and tone to present confident and expressive poems demonstrating maturity and skill.
The student who memorises poetry will internalise the rhythmic, beautiful patterns of the English language. Poetry stocks our minds with a generous supply of the English language’s rich accumulation of words. Research suggests that the size of a child’s vocabulary plays an important part in determining the quality of his or her language-comprehension skills. Memorising poetry turns on childrens’ language capability. It not only teaches them to articulate English words; it heightens their feel for the intricacies and complexities of the English language — an indispensable attainment if they are to go on to speak, write, and read English with ease. (Susan Wise Bauer)
Next Monday we will find out the winners of the house poetry competition during our My Best assembly, but we will all be winners because we have all learnt and performed a poem.