Daisy’s love for sharing poetry

Named after a former English teacher at who taught at Fyling Hall School from early in the 1940s to 1982, the Daisy Hardy competition was created to continue Daisy’s love for teaching and sharing poetry. Its aim is to celebrate high quality verse and to give pupils the opportunity to explore, enjoy and listen to poetry outside of curriculum requirements and assessments.

Every year, the English Department releases a carefully selected anthology of poetry which is given to all the pupils to read. Each pupil then chooses a poem and, with their English teacher’s guidance, they explore its meaning, commit the words to memory and practise delivering it to an audience in readiness for the Daisy Hardy event which takes place at the end of the school year.

The event itself is a highlight in the school calendar as pupils take to the stage in the barn to deliver their poem to a small audience that includes three judges who listen to how the pupils bring their poem ‘to life’.  

The judges are different each year and are personally invited by the English department to listen to all of the pupils recite their poems before selecting their chosen winners in each category.

This year the categories are as follows:

  • Years 1-3
  • Year 4-6
  • Years 7-8
  • Years 9-10
  • Years 10 +
  • EAL Pupils

I am delighted that this year’s guest judges of the senior school’s competition are: Mrs Jane Mitchell, Mrs Vicky Harrington and one of our school trustees, Mrs Jacqui Golland.  The Junior School judges this year will be Ms Marina Bowen, Miss Adele Gilmour and Mrs Jane Brine.

All of the pupils of the school are encouraged to take part in this very special Fyling Hall tradition, and if you speak with any pupils who have either left, or who have been here a number of years, it is an event that leaves its mark: not only can our pupils leave school being able to recite beautiful verse from memory, but their sense of self esteem and confidence when having overcome the nerves and delivered a poem on stage is truly remarkable.

Daisy Hardy is always a highlight of the year for myself and Mrs Woodhead, and this year will be particularly special as it will be our last; we are looking forward with great anticipation to our final year enjoying and celebrating poetry with the pupils of Fyling Hall.

Mrs Park, Head of English, Curriculum and Enrichment