Diane Morrison, facilitator for the Poetry in Motion Schools project, writes about working with the P7 class in St James’ Primary, Whiteabbey.

Poetry in Motion Schools is a project I have been proud to facilitate over the last 6 years with CAP.

It is a privilege to use poetry and spoken word to inspire creative thinking and experience the exciting ways in which students engage and respond to the world around them. Every student and class bring something new to each anthology and performance and this year has been a joy to see the classes flourish.

In particular it was wonderful to hear talented pupil, Sarah Syeda, from P7 in St James’ Primary Whiteabbey being announced as the Seamus Heaney Award for Individual Achievement recipient this year.

Sarah was among many in that class who gave their very best and she demonstrated passion and enthusiasm in every session. Her poem ‘Who could I be?’ encapsulates her imaginative use of language, sound and performance in a humorous manner, fitting the suggested task perfectly.

Each member of the class wrote a kennings poem about an animal and we had lots of fun guessing what they were describing from their poetic riddles. To avoid any spoilers you’ll have to get a copy of the anthology to guess what Sarah wrote about!

The class as a whole should be very proud of their achievements and this is in no small part down the hard work and dedication of their teacher, Mrs Donaghy, who supported the sessions brilliantly.

Seeing their class poem created from a mind map of interesting smells, everyone had a part to play in creating, editing and developing the poem into a performance piece, complete with costumes and props making it an really enjoyable experience for everyone watching at the Ulster Hall.

Their line that burnt cake “…smells like Primark!” really helped bring the house down.

I hope Sarah and the rest of the class are feeling very proud of their accomplishments as a result of this process and continue to enjoy their writing and performing in the future.

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