P is for Poetry
John Donne Primary
Naomi has developed her poetry program for primary schools “P is for Poetry” which has been working successfully alongside the Literacy curriculum for over seven years.
The aim of her programme is to encourage all pupils to engage with words and confidently express ideas. She uses both classic and contemporary poems from around the world as the framework for her classes, encouraging pupils to speak clearly, convey ideas and develop their vocabulary, while gaining confidence with reading and sharing out loud. This work culminates in an end-of-term poetry assembly, enabling all participants to recite and perform their class poems.
The programme is currently present in three schools in Southwark, where she delivers in-class poetry sessions every week to classes from Nursery and Early Years to Key Stages 1 and 2. Her work has led to John Donne Primary (the very first school in her programme) winning the National CLiPPA Poetry Award and all of her schools continuing their successes in LAMDA’s accreditation exams with learner's passing with merits or distinctions.
Covid 19 forced her to think creatively about how her programme could continue to have an effect on pupils’ learning and love of poetry, and how she could turn a problem into an opportunity. So she has created a series of interactive online poetry classes for children to participate in, and began to share them more widely. Have a look at her wide range of fun and inclusive resources on her YouTube channel: Poetry with Ms Naomi
"[Naomi's poetry programme] has been inspirational throughout the school. Poetry is now held in high regard, pupils have a repertoire of poems they know by heart and the increased confidence in speaking and using complex language is very evident in pupils' own use of language. Seeing boys from Year 6 having the courage to stand in front of their peers individually and recite a poem which moves us all is a powerful event. Naomi has taken the idea and run with it so that it exceeds our expectations and enriches the whole school."
Evelyn Holdsworth - CEO, Communitas Education Trust (formerly Headteacher, John Donne Primary School)