Worcester Competitive Arts Festival 2019
Yet again, Bengeworth Academy pupils shone at this prestigious Festival. Talented young people from all over the Counties of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire gathered to bring poetry and prose to life.
For our excited pupils, it was an opportunity to showcase the culmination of weeks of hard work.
As well as verse and prose, two very talented pupils entered the Devised Drama class and achieved no less than a Distinction for their very vibrant and humorous scene 'In the News.' The girls had composed the idea and much of the script themselves! Considering this was their very first acting experience at the Festival and they were competing against some very accomplished actors, such a high grade of Distinction was extremely impressive! The adjudicator commented 'You were funny and expressive and very believable. Very promising work indeed.' Congratulations, girls!
Now onto a different genre of the spoken word, poetry and prose:
There are few Bronze medals awarded these days, so pupils have the opportunity to compete for 2 places in most poetry/prose classes.
I am delighted to report that no less than half of our pupils were awarded Honours for their efforts, and everyone else achieved a Distinction! That is unprecedented!
It is rare for an adjudicator to directly comment to a teacher after the class had finished that their pupils are 'Extremely good at what they do.' But that's the comment I received from a VERY impressed adjudicator this year when two of our pupils were awarded both 1st and 2nd place in Verse and Prose 8 and under class. My reply was that 'little buds blossom into flowers and its beautiful to watch that process.'
Again, as with most years, most Bengeworth pupils were awarded 1st and 2nd places in the same classes! As usual, seasoned competitors comprised many local Independent schools from around Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
Just a few comments from adjudicators 'Your pace was just right, you emphasised and expressed perfectly and kept the sense going all the way through.'
'Your diction was crystal clear, you clearly understood your poem. You made excellent use of pausing and kept our attention throughout.'
And thats not all! Imagine our surprise when not just 1, 2 but 5 of our pupils were invited back to perform at the prestigious Gala Concert the following week, in the presence of the Mayor of Worcester and Lady Darnley, Patron of the Festival. It was a very late night, but 5 very proud children and their parents went home very happy after more outstanding performances!
Well done children, for representing Bengeworth Academy so well!
Little buds became flowers over the course of time and prove just how far they have blossomed on Festival day!
We are already looking forward to next year!
Pupils WOW Ofsted Inspector!
Ofsted Inspectors visited our school, Bengeworth Academy, Evesham
this week in order to re-accredit us with the IQM Centre for Excellence Award for the second year running. This meant the school was under close scrutiny for the day!
For myself and my poets, this meant giving another performance of pupils Poetry to Music projects as well as some Worcester Festival pupils reciting their poems again.
As a reminder, pupils composed Epic poems to recite alongside a piece of music they had chosen. There was drama, tragedy and emotion in their words.
Pupils were taken through the process of composing poetry and learned the true meaning of teamwork.
As with the festival, this was the first time pupils had composed a poem. Our special 'Poetry to Music Assembly' had impressed the whole school a few weeks before. Now it was time to perform again. Could this excellence be repeated?
Well, we are thrilled to say 'our' Inspector was 'blown away' with pupils' talents, saying she had never encountered such talent before in a Primary School. Apparently, our poetry performers had given her 'goose bumps' and 'really moved' her with their expert use of expression, pausing and the rich language used in their poetry compositions. How's that for making an impression? Congratulations everyone!
And by the way, our brilliant Outstanding Academy has been re-accredited with our IQM Centre for Excellence Award! We are one of just 200 schools in the UK to receive this honour. Achieved through hard work and dedication by all staff and pupils. How proud are we of our pupils and our wonderful school!
Poetry Zone 20th Anniversary Party! The Poetry Zone Anthology is here!
Around 100 poets gathered at the CLPE Headquarters in London recently to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of Poetry Zone. A very special Poetry Zone anthology was launched at the party, too. The book not only celebrates adult published poets, but many of talented children poets for whom PZ is a very important part of their lives.
Roger Stevens founded the site to encourage children to write their own poems by publishing them online. Today, Poetry Zone remains a go-to place for seeing your poem online. It's full of tips on how to be a better writer, information about poets whose poems you read about in anthologies and advice for teachers.
The party was organised by the publishers of the anthology, Troika.
Guests included the man himself, Roger Stevens, John Agard, Colin West, Liz Brownlee, Celia Warren, Jan Dean, Dom Conlon, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Ed Boxall, Laura Mucha, and the winner of The Caterpillar Prize, Coral Rumble, amongst many others, including me! Several poets read their work, including two of the children, which delighted the audience and gave the children a special opportunity to showcase their work. It was a wonderful night!
I am delighted to announce that two of my poems have been selected for the new LAMDA (London Academy of music and Dramatic Art) syllabus (publishing 2019)
Wonderful to think children all over the globe will be reciting my work!
We did it Again!!
Success at Worcester Competitive Arts Festival! March 2018
Once again, 19 of my pupils were entered for the Verse Speaking classes at this prestigious Festival. Pupils entered 9 classes between them and took 1st and 2nd place in all but one class! Many of the winners were first time performers too! So a total of 9 silver trophies and a host of Gold and silver medals were won by our talented group.
The adjudicators comments:
'These pupils really stood out from the crowd. You have been so well taught."
"You gave me what I was looking for. Your pausing was perfect, your understanding of the piece was obvious. Your teacher has taught you well."
The pupils were in competition with Independent school pupils many of them seasoned Festival entrants. Two of our winners were invited to the Gala end of festival Concert in the presence of the Mayor of Worcester as well as Festival Patrons, to perform their poetry once more.
Of course, it is the increased self confidence and enhanced self esteem which are the true prizes. Prizes every single one of the children has taken away with them, to treasure for ever...
We look forward to next year!
I am delighted to announce that a total of 22 State school pupils enjoyed success at this lovely local Festival last month. For all 22 children who entered , it was their first ever experience of performing, and competing against seasoned entrants from many surrounding schools.
Our pupils were awarded medals and trophies in EVERY class they entered!
Not only that.....one pupil took away a Silver Trophy for the Best Performance in Poetry and Prose Class throughout the Festival!! That's no mean feat when it's your very first time performing at a Festival!!
But of course, it's all about the valuable self confidence pupils gain with experiences like these, and the proof of that pudding? Even the most nervous of pupils has signed up for next year, with many more eager to join for the first time. That's a result!
"I Bet I Can Make You Laugh!"
Another of my poems
"How not to Impersonate Your Mum on the Telephone"
has been selected for inclusion in a new anthology published by Bloomsbury Education and edited by the wonderful children's performance poet Joshua Seigal.
Release date is scheduled for August 2018.
Poems about Families
Poems about Emotions
Both edited by the wonderful Brian Moses and illustrated by the hugely talented Eva Chatclain. Published by Wayland.
Consists of fantastic poems for children aged 5-7 by brilliant poets including James Carter, Joshua Seigal, Clare Bevan, Alison Chisholm, Brian Moses and Roger Stevens.
And of course...yours truly!
An Evening of Magic!
A wonderful evening of poetry was spent in the company of fellow poets at the recent launch of Brian Moses' latest anthology "Lost Magic." Held at the CLPE Headquarters in Southwark, South London. Guests included Michaela Morgan, Pie Corbett, Liz Brownlee, Clare Bevan, Cheryl Moskowitz and Macmillan publishers and Editors. "Lost Magic" is the compilation of poems charting Brian's life as a writer.
Brian read a selection from the book and guests were also invited to read their own work. It is fair to say that no-one wanted the evening to end!