Poetry recital competition is back

There is a buzz of excitement and anticipation up and down the corridors, in the classrooms, and throughout the hallowed halls at Fyling Hall; the Daisy Hardy poetry recital competition is back! 

That’s right, back to her original format at last, the Daisy Hardy competition is coursing through the school breathing fresh energy, vigour, and joy into the hearts of every Fyling Hall student. 

Covid, that tiresome and dastardly malady, had hobbled our competition for the last two years which meant that the competition was carried out remotely with students videoing themselves reciting a poem from memory. I, unlike many others, won’t go so far as to say that it is largely thanks to the Daisy Hardy competition that we, as a community at Fyling Hall escaped many of the worser ravages of the disease experienced by our neighbouring schools…but I certainly shouldn’t like to gainsay the theory either. 

So, this year, every student from the youngest to the oldest will be competing, in their respective age categories, for the fame, the glory, and the adulation of the masses that is synonymous with winning this most coveted of competitions. The students all choose a poem from their list which they commit to memory and then, when their moment arrives, recite it to their peers and a panel of judges who will be looking to see if the students can bring their poem ‘to life’. In particular, judges will be looking to see that: 

  • The student clearly understands the meaning of the poem, and that they show this through their delivery? 
  • The student uses eye contact, tone, gesture, volume, pace appropriately. (Remember however, that students are not expected to dramatise the poem! – but can if they so wish). 
  • The student ‘plants’ their feet on the stage and uses confident body language and should try not to fidget or sway while reciting the poem as this distracts the audience from what is being said. 
  • The student has clearly spent time practising the poem.  

Above all, students should just try their best. Although there are judges, Daisy Hardy is not just a competition and the skills attained through putting oneself outside one’s comfort zone and speaking in front of an audience is a life skill worth having – not to mention that, for the senior students, the poems that they will be learning are taken from their GCSE poetry anthology so having one or two memorised will help hugely in their GCSEs when they reach year 11. 

All winners will be announced at the prize-giving event. 

We are truly delighted that the Daisy Hardy poetry recital competition is back! What better way to round-off this academic year? 

Chris Thomas, Head of English