Performance poetry: top tech tips for getting started

On National Poetry Day, Caitlin McMillan explores the apps that can help children engage with and perform poetry.


Hip Hip Hooray
It’s National Poetry Day
And we’d like to say….
We think poetry is a key component of the English curriculum, but the manner of pupil engagement with it as an art form is evolving.


Slam poetry, or performance poetry, is becoming increasingly popular, especially with young people. Organisations such as SLAMbassadors (run by the Poetry Society) are harnessing this trend and bringing competitions and performance opportunities to young people across the country.

So why get children to perform poetry?

Aside from the self-confidence and performance skills that can be gained through this medium, performing poetry can help children to better understand and engage with the text itself.

Speaking poetry out loud allows children to engage with literary devices in a tangible fashion; having to get their mouths around the likes of alliteration, rhyme and onomatopoeia can help children to recognise these features and feel for themselves what effect they have upon a text.

How can technology help?

There are a number of apps out there which can help get children get started writing poetry. This list of some great digital poetry tools for the iPad is a good place to kick off from.

One of our favourites is the Word Mover App, which takes all the fun of fridge magnet poetry and puts it on the iPad. You can also find a similar, but slightly more limited, online version here.

Most children’s access to performance poetry will be through YouTube, so giving them the opportunity to create their own video content (using a tool such as iMovie) can be a great way of engaging them with the art form; children who would struggle with performing in front of an entire class are given the opportunity through film to gain performative skills (volume, pacing, pitching etc) without the pressure of a large live audience.

To get started with performance poetry in the classroom, check out Joseph Coelho’s brilliant YouTube channel.

Joseph is also involved with the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival writing project. Applications are open until October 19 2018, and more information can be found here:


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Upcoming CPD

New to subject leadership in primary school computing session 1, 2 and 3
New to subject leadership in primary school computing session 1, 2 and 3

This programme is designed for primary teachers who have recently taken on responsibilities and leadership for technology and computing. It will cover curriculum planning, tools and resources, methods for supporting colleagues and progression and assessment. Colleagues will be expected to attend all three sessions. The third session will be held in a school and will include classroom visits.

Further details for sessions 2 and 3 to follow:

Session 2: 9.30-11.30am Thursday 27 January (virtual)

Session 3: TBC (in person)

- 17:15
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...
Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools
Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools

Diving deep into all things computing, this conference will consist of two sessions. Participants can choose to join us for the full day, or book for just the morning or afternoon separately.

Online Safety & Data Security (am)
This session is for computing subject leaders, senior leaders, safeguarding leads and other relevant school staff. Falling in the lead up to Safer Internet Day 2022 (Tuesday 8 February), the morning of the conference will have a particular focus on online safety, bringing together a variety of external resources with expertise from within the CLC team to help schools get to grips with the complexities of online safety and data security.

Leading Computing in the Classroom (pm)
This portion of the day is for computing subject leaders and teachers interested in the use of technologies across the curriculum. It will include policy and curriculum updates as well as practical workshops and opportunities to hear from colleagues in other schools.

- 15:30
Business leaders, Computing subject leaders...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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