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Woodhouse College
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Poetry By Heart at Woodhouse

Dated: 16 February 2016

Woodhouse hosted the London North Round of the Poetry by Heart Competition on Thursday, February 11th.
Poetry By Heart is a national competition designed to encourage pupils aged 14-18 and at school and college in England to learn and to recite poems by heart. Not in an arm-waving, props-supported thespian extravaganza, but as the outward and audible manifestation of an inwardly-understood and enjoyed poem. Poetry By Heart successfully engages young people from diverse social backgrounds and all types of school in personal discovery of the pleasures of poetry.
Each pupil is challenged to memorise and recite two poems – one published before 1914 and one in or after 1914 or one from a special collection of World War 1 poems as part of the centenary commemorations.. Pupils choose these from the timeline anthology of over 600 years of poetry on this website.
The North london round, held in our Millennium learning zone, was presented by Mike Dixon, a member of the Senior Project team for Poetry by Heart and the Regional Development Coordinator for the South East and London. www.poetrybyheart.org.uk
The evening was MC'ed by Allen Ashley and the judging panel consisted of posts Robert Seatter(Chair of Judges) , Sarah Doyle(Judge) and Elizabeth Duff.
In a very strong field from ten schools and colleges, Louise Aquino represented Woodhouse, reciting an extract from Paradise Lost (Book 1, II. 242-270) by John Milton and ‘Badly Chosen Lover’ by Rosemary Tonks.
Members of Woodhouse staff were also involved at the event- with Jenni Sykes as the prompt, John Nicholls as the accuracy judge and Margery Gretton keeping score.
Students Naomi Shoretire, Lucia John-Baptist, Ruqayah Juyel and Sanjer Sahid acted as stewards.
The competition was so strong that the judges had difficulty in coming to a decision but, ultimately, Celia Warre, from Alexandra Park School, won the round, with Rosemary Alebiosu, from Leyton Sixth Form College, as a very close runner-up.
Winner Celia Warre, from Alexandra Park School
Woodhouse student (and steward) Sanjer Sahid enjoyed the evening...
"Poetry By Heart is great as it's an opportunity to watch students just like me recite poems with which they truly feel a connection. Some contestants perform theatrically and capture the audience that way; others merely whisper and have the audience clinging onto every word. I found the event thoroughly enjoyable as each student performed in their own creative manner.
It was also exciting to meet and speak to professional poets who I one day aspire to join in my career as a writer. Some of the poets performed their poetry to us and we got free copies of their books!"

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