26 August 2021 Share
Poetry by Heart is a national poetry recitation competition for schools and colleges in England. It’s also a website for teaching and learning about poetry – by heart and out loud, and with plenty of choice for young people to explore poems and find the ones they love.
In the national Poetry By Heart competition young people aged from 7-18, in key stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 choose poems they love, learn them by heart and perform them in a school or college competition.
Supported by free resources, teachers need to register by 31st March. They hold school heats, pick their school/college competition winner(s), make a simple video of their performances and upload them for judging. Every national competition entrant receives positive feedback from the judges and a certificate celebrating their achievement. The best will be invited to perform their poems in May in front of top UK poets at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – and the new Poetry By Heart national champions will be crowned.
Poetry By Heart is simple to set up and it’s all free. All the details are on the 2021 competition information page.
Schools and colleges can take part by uploading videos of pupils performing poems for sharing on the website, if a non-competitive option is preferred.
Poetry By Heart was founded in 2012 by poet Andrew Motion, UK Poet Laureate 1999-2009, and educator Julie Blake, and initially developed by The Full English with The Poetry Archive. This collaboration now been expanded to include The Poetry Society, the English Association, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, the National Association for the Teaching of English and Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Poetry By Heart is funded with the support of the Department for Education.