Poetry By Heart is an inspiring competition for students in Years 10 to 13 in schools and colleges in England to learn and to recite poems by heart. Year 10 student, Frankie Docker, won the schools round of the competition, going on to win the county round and then gaining a place at the prestigious national finals!
This took place on the weekend of 22 and 23 of April at the British Library in London and was a fabulous, glittering affair with visiting actor, Freddie Fox.
Many previous winners also attended including the French Poetry By Heart Champion and a large group of well-known poets including Jean Sprackland, Daljit Nagra, Patience Agbabi, Glyn Maxwell, Tim Dee and Cambridge academic David Whitley who acted as judges.
Most of the competitors were in Years 12 and 13, yet Frankie performed brilliantly on stage watched by a very wide audience. Sadly, there can only be one winner and she was a very sophisticated 18 year old! So Frankie really held her own against such competition.
The poems Frankie recited were 'The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel' by John Betjeman and 'On being cautioned against walking on a headland' by Charlotte Smith.
Frankie enjoyed the competition immensely. She said: 'Poetry recital is not as common as it once used to be, but I feel Poetry by Heart brought a new life back into the practice and really got young people such as myself to explore the different pathways a poem can have. Performing it was amazing and the support and kindness of everyone there made the weekend an unforgettable experience!'
This is the third year in a row that Sheffield Girls’ has been represented in the national final of this competition, and we will definitely be competing again in this wonderful event.