Not only is it sometimes a challenge to understand poetry, but to memorise a poem and then recite it in front of a 40 plus audience AND three judges? Incredible. Every time one of our pupils took to stage, knees trembling, to face the audience and very often, their own fears, I could have burst with pride. And then to actually hear their recitals – often eloquent, full of understanding and emotion – was an absolute pleasure. Yes, I am an English teacher and yes, I love poetry – but I defy anyone to have sat in the audience and not to have been moved, impressed and charmed (in equal measures) by what they saw and heard.
As ever, I was relieved not to be the one called upon to judge and choose winners – and I know from the pained discussions that took place after each category, that the judges this year found the experience just as bitter-sweet as judges from previous Daisy Hardy celebrations. (The sweetness of the performances followed swiftly by the bitter task of selecting only a handful to be named ‘winners’!)
I would like to thank Miss Gilmour, Mrs Brine, Ms Mitchell, Mrs Harrington and special guest judges, Ms Marina Bowen, Mr Thomas and Mrs Jacqui Golland for being brave enough to accept the challenge of choosing the first, second and third place winners, and for giving up their time to take part in our school’s celebration of poetry.
I would also like to thank all of the Fyling Hall teachers who helped to prepare (and sometimes persuade!) the pupils in readiness for the 3 separate events and most importantly, I would like to thank the pupils themselves: for their bravery, their enthusiasm, their commitment and for making my last Daisy Hardy competition a memory that stay with me for a long time.
1st Alyssa Kelly
2nd Evie Hodgson
3rf Betsy Wooster
1st Henry Pastor
2nd Anya Legg and Mabel Instone
3rd Bella Watson
1st Zeta Normanton
2nd Ali Elhawary
3rd Caroline Radford and Gracie Boocock
1st Connie Bradwell-Moore/Sophie Ferrer
2nd Hyunbee Jung
3rd Arthur Watson/Trafford Newman/Jeremy Normanton
1st Matthew Donnart
2nd Anisia Fedotova/Stephanie Sinko
3rd Minsung Kim/Giorgi Kvaratskheluia/Jaehyeok Hur
Head of English, Curriculum and Enrichment