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National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day, which this year is on 28th September, is an annual celebration of poetry and all things poetical. It’s about everybody sharing poetry, reading poetry, writing poetry, and enjoying poetry! For schools this can be a chance to make more of something already enjoyed throughout the school or it can be a launch pad for new experience and enjoyment. 

Through poetry we get to read for meaning, to explore different ways in which words can work together, and find out more about feelings. By celebrating National Poetry Day schools can give their pupils opportunities to find their own connections with poetry, as well as inspiration for their imaginations and creativity. And, as poet Joseph Coelho, one of National Poetry Day's Ambassadors says: ‘Poetry literally breaks reading and writing into bite-sized chunks. It is a fun, non-threatening way for children to become more literate. In poetry sessions I’ve seen elective mutes stand up at the front of their class and read, been told by countless teachers that ‘that student never normally puts pen to paper’, watched children cry and laugh and think together.’ 

There are a wealth of special resources around this year’s National Poetry Day theme, Freedom, available free for librarians and teachers on the National Poetry Day website: a range of inspiring lesson plans for key stages 1 – 5 and a useful toolkit full of hints and tips to get your school celebrations started.

There are also wonderful posters created by Sophie Herxheimer, the National Poetry Day artist/poet. Sophie’s posters will brighten up your walls and form great centrepieces for poetry displays. Sign up via the National Poetry Day website to be sent free display packs, or to download them. Participants are encouraged to post photos of your displays online #nationalpoetryday so that everyone can admire them.


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