Recognising the achievement of schools which participated in Poetry in Motion Schools 2019/2020

Twenty nine schools, from the special school, primary and post-primary sectors across Northern Ireland, took part in the Poetry in Motion Schools Programme 2019/2020.

We would like to recognise the achievement of St Genevieve’s High School, Belfast.

You can see the class teacher, Sarah Marais, commenting on the school’s involvement in Poetry in Motion Schools in the video, and one of the students, Grace Kyles, reading her poem “It’s more than just a flickering light.” Grace was highly commended for the Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement for her poem.

Kelly Creighton, CAP’s poet facilitator for St Genevieve’s, says:

It was such a pleasure to facilitate poetry workshops at St Genevieve’s High School during the Poetry In Motion project in the autumn. Mrs Marais’s year nines produced a wide range of poetic work that hugely impressed me. They embraced their creative sides with confidence, understanding and flair. I am delighted that these young poets have won the schools’ award for St Genevieve’s. I hope they are all very proud of themselves, and that they keep writing!” 

Killowen Primary School, Rostrevor, was highly commended for their contribution to Poetry in Motion Schools. You can see some of their poems in the video.

The principal of Killowen,  Sheila McKeown, says: “I am blown away by the news that Killowen PS pupils have received this amazing recognition. It is such an honour, and really, icing on the cake. For me, what has been the most valuable aspect of this experience is that through the beautiful experiences and activities that Marion facilitated, the children came to a fuller understanding of the sheer joy they could have ‘playing’ with words creatively, with their friends and alone. They have come to understand that they have a unique way of looking and seeing things and that their outlook is not only valid, it’s a gift when they share it with others. Even the most reluctant of writers engaged thoughtfully and deeply, reminding me, as a teacher, how wary we should all be in thinking we can assess our pupils’ capacity and deciding what will and won’t appeal. Marion Clarke sparked fires that will remain burning in the minds and hearts of our pupils (and their teacher) long after they venture from our haven in the Mournes. 

And for this we owe her, the Poetry in Motion project, and Cap a debt of gratitude. Thank you”. 

CAP Poetry Facilitator Marion Clarke says, “As more of an ‘outreach’ facilitator, I am fortunate to find myself placed in schools that are often slightly off the beaten track and, on arriving at Killowen Primary School, I was sure that its pupils would produce some interesting work. Their location along the shores of Carlingford Lough between Rostrevor and Kilkeel had the potential to inspire some nature poetry and I was hoping that they would produce a few poems to reflect life in the local community.

The pupils’ excitement when I entered the classroom was palpable, mostly due to the enthusiasm of their teaching principal, Sheila McKeown. Such support for the PIMS project, and poetry in general, meant that the children had a very positive attitude as they embarked upon the workshops I’d prepared. They were obviously at ease with the different challenges each session brought and some of the best pieces resulted from working with illustrations to produce ekphrastic poetry and with ‘nature finds’ for haiku. Finally, their class poem ‘Seasons at Killowen’ was inspired by the rhythm of life in their wonderful location.

Well done to all at Killowen PS!”


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