A Whole School Poetry Focus

Poetry provides the gateway for so many young readers and writers in their journey towards becoming literate; delighting, supporting and engaging children as they build a love of literature. 

Creating a poetry friendly school means developing an environment and an ethos where children have the opportunity to listen to, share, hear and see a range of poems in a range of circumstances. Exposing children to poetry regularly in formal and informal ways helps them to develop an appreciation of many kinds of writers and forms. Enjoying, reading and hearing public poetry regularly develops a shared culture and an acceptance that poetry is important. 

The best way to help children to become comfortable with poetry is to make sure they hear poetry as often as possible from as wide a range of books and anthologies as possible and from as many different voices as possible. Poetry is many children’s route into reading. Its rhythms and patterns introduce children to a range of reading skills. Children naturally pick up rhymes and rhythms, they want to join in, they enjoy the experience – and a rich experience of hearing and learning poems is a fantastic way of learning how language works and benefits all areas of learning.

Through poetry writing children are encouraged to reflect on their experience, to recreate it, shape it, and make sense of it. In a poem it is possible to give form and significance to a particular event or feeling and to communicate this to the reader or to the listener.

The resources on this page are drawn from CLPE's Arts Council funded project The Power of Poetry and are designed to support teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders in taking a closer look at how poetry is represented and responded to in classrooms and in schools, offering ideas in how to engage children in all aspects of poetry.