At St Chad’s C.E. Primary School we understand the importance of poetry in our curriculum. Poetry can support us to grow our hearts and minds in so many ways. It often breaks the rules of grammar and punctuation, teaching our children that not everything is uniform and to think outside the box. We know that poetry can be a brilliant resource for reluctant readers and have ensured that our school library has poetry books for the children to choose for reading for pleasure.
We know that wordplay, rhythm and nonsense vocabulary are wonderful poetic features and that poetry allows you to play with language and sentence structure. This creativity teaches children to experiment with language and to find new ways to communicate. The use of rhythm, rhyme and repetition is also brilliant for speaking aloud. A poetry lesson is an ideal opportunity for speaking, listening and performing.
Poetry starts in the Early Years, where there is a huge focus on rhyme. Our children enter school not always knowing traditional nursery rhymes, so we ensure these are taught to our children. We provide opportunities for parents to engage with this, by sending home weekly nursery rhyme cards in the children’s book bags to add an extra layer to the home shared reading experience.
In keeping with our writing curriculum, we have selected the ‘Pathways to Poetry’ units to teach our poetry throughout school. These units begin in the Early Years, where the objectives are linked to ‘Development Matters’ and progress through school right up to Year 6. The units follow the same format as the writing units, beginning with a gateway, teaching the pathway and finishing with a mastery write. The poetry keys (objectives) are taught in a sequential way, ensuring there is progression in poetry throughout school.
Our children leave primary school being able to recall and recite familiar rhymes and poems. They can discuss a range of poems and how they make them think and feel. Our children demonstrate the importance of intonation and expression when performing poetry and leave with a newfound confidence when it comes to poetry. Children leave St Chad’s C.E. Primary being able to write a variety of poems and can experiment with their punctuation and language choices for the affect on the reader.