CLPE at the Guardian Reading for Pleasure Conference on 9th November

The second Guardian Reading for Pleasure Conference for Primary Schools was held on November 9th and hosted 40 primary teachers, librarians and educationalists, as well as poets, illustrators and independent booksellers. Chaired by Julia Eccleshare, CLPE patron and Guardian’s Children’s books editor, the conference explored ways to engage young people in reading, with an emphasis on putting books at the heart of learning.

Our Learning Programme Leader Charlotte Hacking attended, delivering a keynote speech and workshop based on CLPE research into The Power of Poetry. Highlighting poetry as an important branch of literature in its own right, the talk and accompanying practical workshop looked at poetry through a whole curriculum strategy and foregrounded it as a key tool to raise confident and emotionally articulate readers and writers. Participants explored how to use rhythm, how to incorporate a range of voices and dialects, and strategies to engage children with deeper emotions and themes.


Photo: Mena Sultan for the Guardian.

Research from the Power of Poetry project has shown that many teachers, especially in primary schools, often lack confidence when teaching poetry: a gap in subject knowledge which limits how children encounter and relate to poetic language and forms. Understanding the variety and quality of poetry on offer - and how best to use it - is at the heart of our programmes and accessible via our free PoetryLine resources.

Charlotte has also worked with A Productions and Joseph Coelho as the educational consultant for the ten-part BBC Teach series Understanding Poetry with Joseph Coelho. The Power of Poetry research summary is at the heart of the programme’s aims and objectives.

For more insight into CLPE's work with poetry view our video: Poetry at CLPE, with poets Joseph Coelho, Karl Nova, CLPE Chief Executive Louise Johns-Shepherd and Learning Programme Leader Charlotte Hacking.

Read how to foster reading for pleasure through poetry by downloading our Poetry in Primary Schools: What We Know Works guide

The CLPE is the National Poetry Centre for Primary Schools.