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Respecting Tradition

Inspiring Openness

Stimulating Curiosity

Nurturing Individuality

Crafting their literary Journey

The St. Edmund’s Poetry Recitation Competition is a cornerstone event in the school calendar.  Anticipation builds early in the Lent term as all the pupils from Forms 3 to 8 start to prepare.  Teachers help the children to source their poems, finding material that suits their different personalities, interests and strengths, as well as encouraging pupils to choose poems of different genres or structures.

In the first instance, pupils perform their well-rehearsed pieces to their cohort, in the classroom, where they are also given the opportunity to vote on their fellow classmates pieces, considering criteria such as pronunciation, delivery, interpretation and memorisation.  

The finalists have the honour of being invited to perform in the poetry final, where pupils perform to a much wider audience of parents and pupils. The build-up can be nerve wracking for some, whilst others take it all in their stride but teaching staff are on hand to help pupils to remain composed, calm and rehearse as much as possible in school, as well as encouraging practice at home. At this point we must thank our incredible parent body of current and former pupils, who tirelessly help their children to rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more!

This year our pupils set the bar exceptionally high, performing poems written by a wide mixture of poets, including: Robert Louis Stevenson, William Blake, Spike Milligan and even an innovative composition from a budding poet within our midst, Freya Carlin.

Mrs Record, Head of English in our Prep School fuelled pupils’ imaginations whilst the adjudicators conferred about which pupils deserved to win, reminiscing on St. Edmund’s illustrious literary heritage. The eminent playwright George Bernard Shaw lived at St. Edmund’s in the late 18th Century with our sitting room in the main school building being named after him.

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Poet W. H Auden was a former pupil in the 1900’s, alongside playwright Christopher Isherwood who also walked the hallowed halls of St. Edmund’s, leaving an indelible mark on our literary legacy. Nestled amidst a landscape teeming with literary giants including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Flora Thompson (author of "Lark Rise to Candleford"), St. Edmund’s continues to stand as a beacon of literary excellence, nurturing the talents of future wordsmiths.

A blue plaque on a brick wall

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