The Poetry Extravaganza at Northampton High School

Excited students researched and learned their poems in just a few days ahead of a special performance at the end of the week

The Arts are a passion at Northampton High, with the school continually offering exciting opportunities for students to learn and develop in all areas of the arts. Educational trips such as annual visits to galleries and exhibitions are a given, as are the plethora of workshops hosted to spark curiosity in a whole range of creative disciplines. However, one of Northampton High’s signature events is the ‘Play in a Week’ spectacle!

Play in a Week sees students in Years 5 and 6 learn and rehearse a famous play, before performing in front of parents at the close of the week. In an activity that helps to develop confidence, deeper thinking and teamwork, students rise to the challenge each year, wowing audiences with the level of performance produced in the space of just a few days. Unfortunately, the Play in a Week couldn’t proceed as planned this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, but keen to continue this exciting tradition the ‘Poetry Extravaganza’ was born!

Following the same pattern as previous years, the Poetry Extravaganza saw pupils explore a variety of different poems ahead of a performance at the end of the week. “It is always a pleasure to work creatively with the pupils at Northampton High School,” said Year 6 Teacher Karen Fordham, continuing, “their focus, drive, and determination, coupled with their ability to think outside the box, guarantees that the work they produce is of the highest standard, and this week has proved to be no exception”.

Following on from an inspirational workshop early in the week, delivered by the writer, Jo Stokes, students explored four issues that are close to their hearts; themes that are often discussed within the classroom setting and, we are sure, across the dinner table at home. From saving the planet, examining the power of girls, celebrating diversity, and surviving the Covid-19 pandemic, the pupils had meaningful and insightful discussions about these important issues and encapsulated their feelings in a number of thought-provoking poems, delivered with such conviction that they could not be ignored!


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