After joining Hull Trinity House Academy this past September, I was very excited when I found out that the department were looking to run a Poetry By Heart competition. I volunteered and recruited the help of our brilliant trainee, Miss Lofts, and we then began promoting the competition to the students in our Academy and introducing them to the excitement and fulfilment that can come from reciting beautifully written poetry.
We met every Thursday after school to practise solo recitations, then in December we hosted our very first Poetry By Heart Recital with the help of year eleven students, Morgan and Charlie. Thirteen of our students in years seven to ten stood in front of their teachers, family and friends to recite their poems off by heart. It was a fantastic celebration of poetry that allowed our incredibly talented young men to show off their hard work and dedication.
In the new year we were able to submit our students’ entries into the national and official competition. The students had to learn two poems, one pre-1914 and one post-1914, we recorded them reciting the poems and uploaded these to the competition portal.
The students had enjoyed the club so much that we continued to run it and still met every Thursday, this time to work on choral recitations. It was on the 11th March that we heard back from the judges and were disappointed to find that our students would not be progressing to the national stage of the competition. Though this wasn’t the result that we had hoped for, the boys were not disheartened and said that they were excited to compete again next academic year and hopefully bring home a title. It wasn’t until May that I received a further email from the Poetry By Heart team and was informed that we had a winner in our midst all along!
Henry Timson in year ten recited The Rolling English Road and Dulce et Decorum Est. He memorised both poems and his recitals were delivered with passion and enthusiasm and demonstrated a great understanding of such complex themes, particularly those in Wilfred Owen’s poignant World War One poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est. Henry was a committed competitor with a flare for public speaking. I was therefore incredibly excited to find out that he had in fact been the East Riding of Yorkshire Regional Champion! Out of the whole of our county Henry’s efforts were recognised as the very best. As much as this news came as a surprise to me so long after the competition had ended, I am not surprised at all at his success, but feel incredibly proud and grateful that he has received the recognition that he deserves. The judges commented that ‘Henry’s understated recitation was very well controlled and delivered with fluency’ and that he ‘made very good sense of the famous first world war poem and offered a strong recitation.’
The English Department and the wider school congratulate Henry for this incredible achievement, we feel so lucky that he is part of our Trinity team. Well done Henry, this year’s East Riding of Yorkshire Regional champion in the Poetry By Heart competition! Let’s see what next year brings.
Miss Jessica Barker