News & Events

Amnesty International Honours National Poetry Day

The Arts, including Poetry, have a unique power to bring people together and to promote change. During Friday’s Assembly the Amnesty youth group used their collective voice to shed the light of

truth (a highly appropriate theme for National Poetry Day 2019) on some of the dark corners of the world.

The Year 7s and 8s performed the poem Greta Thunberg by Liz Brownlee. Greta was recently awarded the 2019 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.  Our senior students enacted Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s This Poem is Not About Parakeets, a poem which both explodes some of the refugee myths which surround us and celebrates the richness refugees have brought to our society. Aleeya’s (Lower Sixth) posters served as a backdrop. These works of art were part of Aleeya’s GCSE submission. She explained that she ‘is interested in portraying conflict in Art’ and feels it is ‘important to spread understanding of the refugee situation’; she was inspired by her visit to Palestine a couple of years ago when she saw street art as a means to express struggle. Tasia’s (Lower Sixth) personal poem Sticks and Stones gave an insight into the power of words to lie or to uncover truth.

Mr Noakes spoke about the power of words to change lives, recounting the story of Hussein Manawer. A pupil from a previous school, Manawer found his creative voice at GCSE and now writes and performs meaningfully on the topic of depression, loss and mental health. Mr Noakes gave a dramatic rendition of Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, a poem which explores some of the difficult truths of life and death.

During the day itself, pupils enjoyed the opportunity to explore poetry during tutor time and in their English lessons.  Poetry flash mobs also surprised and entertained with guerrilla performances of “Matilda” during the day.

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