Article by Mrs Kruschandl, Head of English in the Senior School
Pupils in the Prep School have entered the National Poetry Day competition, producing creative and beautifully presented poetry.
In October I had the pleasure of leading an assembly in the Prep School, in which I spoke to the girls about the magical book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Some of the girls already knew the book, and all enthusiastically shared their impressions as I read. This beautiful book was written five years ago and was gifted to me by teachers in my department.
Full of stunning illustrations, the book celebrates the names of nature which we find in Britain. The author – or should I say poet? Or maybe magician? – created the book as he feared that some of these words might be falling out of use in a generation of children who spend less time outdoors and more time online. Robert Mafarlane calls his poems ‘spells’, as he suggests that by reciting names we remember, bring to life and care more about our British wildlife.
Following the assembly, the girls were invited to complete an optional homework task: to go outside and re-examine a favourite plant, insect, animal or bird to write about, or even find a new one. I suggested they look closely at the colours, movement and shapes in nature. After exploring the unique qualities of the wildlife, girls wrote an acrostic poem and decorated their competition entry.
I was overwhelmed by the number of entries and the quality of the work. The girls wrote about a wide range of nature, describing the world around them with interest and passion. The poems and the artistic presentations were inspirational. There is no doubt that the girls in our Prep School have been taught by their fantastic teachers to be both nature enthusiasts and creative wordsmiths.
I have sent the entries off to the competition, and we wait with crossed fingers that one might be recognised externally. You can view some of the lovely entries in the gallery below!