During the very busy final week of enrichment activities, Fyling Hall held its annual ‘Daisy Hardy’ poetry recital competition. The recitals were the culmination of several weeks worth of work and lessons for Years 7 to 10 pupils, where they explored poetic techniques, their own interpretations of a selection of poems, the context in which they were written, before finally choosing which poem to memorise and prepare in readiness for the day of the competition.
There were five categories, each with its own anthology of poems to choose from: KS1 Junior, KS2 Junior, Intermediate (Years 7 to 9), Senior (Years 10 to 13) and International. All of the pupils delivered their poems on stage in The Barn in front their fellow competitors, teachers and the judges.
On Thursday, Mrs Claire White, Mrs Janie Gaffney and Dr Richardson judged the seniors, and they were charged with the incredibly difficult task of selecting the best performances from a range of recitals. As someone who trained at RADA, Mrs White was able to offer our pupils some excellent advice on the importance of annunciation, diction and understanding the meaning of the words that are spoken in order to deliver a successful and powerful recital.
The next day, the junior school pupils delivered their poems to Dr Williams, Mrs Gaffney and Dr Shafer and, just as the senior pupils had impressed the day before, the junior school pupils left their mark on the judges with performances that were confident, entertaining and incredibly charming.
As I mentioned to the pupils in the final assembly, I was very impressed with the hard work and, in some instances, courage shown by our pupils. As well as becoming independently immersed in some of the most beautifully written poems ever published, many personal battles with nerves were won and I hope that all the competitors gained a further appreciation of what each one of them is capable of when challenged. Particularly impressive, were the efforts of our international pupils, who delivered their poems in their 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th language.
Thank you to the judges for their time and constructive responses, and to Corbin Shearing, who delivered his winning and incredibly moving performance of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” during Saturday’s Prize Giving Day.
The winners of each category were as follows:
International: Sabina Cherevichenko (Year 13) “I Rise” by Maya Angelou
Senior: Corbin Shearing (Year 10) “If” by Rudyard Kipling
Intermediate: Lola Wilson (Year 7) “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
KS1 Juniors: Isabella Watson (Year 1) “I’m Not Scared of Anything” by Peter Dixon
KS2 Juniors: Tomas Richardson (Year 4) “George’s Marvellous Medicine” by Roald Dahl and Eve Harrison (Year 5) “I’m Not Scared of Anything” by Peter Dixon.
The overall winner of the Daisy Hardy Competition was Lola Wilson (Year 7).