The whole School gathered in the Centenary Hall for the greatly anticipated poetry competition. Every year each pupil learns a poem in the Christmas holidays and returns to school to perform it in front of their fellow class mates. The most accomplished performances then go onto the semi-finals from which the very best are selected to perform in front of the whole School at the finals.

This year’s finalists were exceptional. Alba was the very first to perform and at just age 8, she had the audience giggling and sniggering to her recital of what pupils could do with their grumpy teacher; Mr Shelley better keep his wits about him!

Eddie, also aged 8, reminded us to perhaps consider our own behaviour before asking impertinent questions of a Zebra when reciting Zebra Question by Shel Silverstein.

The intermediate section was full of humour.  Adjudicator Mrs Ruth Frett had a really tough job choosing a winner as they were all thoroughly entertaining. A special mention must got to Molly who delivered her poem (George, Who played with the Dangerous Toy by Hilaire Belloc) with purpose, wonderful diction and a great deal of presence.

Head girl Maia convincingly played both irritated mum and frustrated child in the poem Shoes. Flipping between characters with ease; many in the audience could relate to similar situations whether they were the impatient parent or disorganised child!


Mrs Ruth Frett said, “I really enjoyed the afternoon. The standard of performing was exceptionally high. Pupils must be commended for not only remembering an entire poem but also performing in front of over 330 parents, staff and pupils – quite an achievement! As well as being great fun, the poetry competition also gives the whole school the opportunity to encounter some wonderful literature they perhaps might never have discovered.”

Mr Robert Shelley, Head of English added,  “ The final was a delicious cake consisting of the following ingredients: 15 superbly confident and expressive performers, 330 attentive, appreciative members of the audience and one astute, encouraging adjudicator – Mrs Frett, Headmistress of St.John’s-on-the-Hill.  Well done to our three winners: Alba, Isaac and Maia.”