Plethora of Poetry for 2021's Competition
A highlight of virtual Belhaven this term has been the Poetry competition. Though the current conditions prevented us from running the Mansfield Music Cup in its usual slot this year, the Poetry competition provided the children with a fantastic opportunity to perform nonetheless. The children spent the first half of term choosing and then learning their poems in English. The heats having taken place in lessons, we were presented with nineteen finalists during Friday assembly just after half term.
One of the advantages of running the competition online was in being able to welcome guests from further afield. We were pleased to have Mr Alexander Nash, Head of English at Radley College and former colleague of Mr Langton, as our judge.
It is difficult to single out individuals from such a strong field of performers – they all did so well. We were treated to a plethora of stellar performances full of verve and individualism. Everyone had done a superb job in learning their pieces off by heart. The children could be forgiven for having felt uneasy performing into a camera rather than to an audience, but without exception they rose to the challenge in creating an auditorium experience for all.
Following the entries we were delighted to meet another guest, the Poet Laura Mucha, whose poem ‘Dear Ugly Sisters’ was entered by Freya Chamberlain in Form 1. It was a wonderful experience for the children to hear Laura’s pearls of wisdom, and we look forward to welcoming her to Belhaven to run a workshop in the not too distant future.
Mr Nash had the unenviable task of picking a winner, and we are very grateful to him not only for this but for the excellent feedback that he gave the children. Honourable mentions went to Amelia Dewar in Form 4, Tom Watson in Form 3, Bee Smyly in Form 2, and Caroline Brodie in Form 1.
The winner of the senior category was Archie Jameson, for his dramatic and enthusiastic performance of ‘The Scorpion’ by Roald Dahl.
The winner of the junior category was Alexander Gray-Cheape, who in performing ‘Like an Airplane’ by Bernard F. Asuncion not only demonstrated his excellent diction, but a remarkable skill for the American accent.
The winners will both receive a copy of Laura Mucha’s latest collection of poems.
Well done to all the contestants. Huge thanks also to the children’s English teachers Miss Kidd, Mrs Parks, Mrs McGrath, Mr Wilson and Mr Marriott, not to mention their parents (!), for their efforts in preparing everyone.