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Wells pupils learn the art of poetry

PUBLISHED: 15:55 13 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:14 07 July 2010

An acclaimed children's writer explained the power of poetic performance as she encouraged Wells youngsters to enter a school recital competition.

Coral Rumble has published three collections of poems for children and is also one of the writers of the CBeebies TV show Poetry Pie.

An acclaimed children's writer explained the power of poetic performance as she encouraged Wells youngsters to enter a school recital competition.

Coral Rumble has published three collections of poems for children and is also one of the writers of the CBeebies TV show Poetry Pie.

She arrived at Wells Primary School on Wednesday for one of a series of workshops organised through the Poetry-next-the-Sea Festival, which returns to the town on May 7.

In previous years, festival organisers have arranged for professional writers to teach schoolchildren to write their own poems. But this year the emphasis is on performance as students were invited to enter a recital competition, with the finals to be staged during the three-day festival.

Coral guided the children through a raft of exercises on articulation, projection and memorisation.

She said she hoped to inspire an appreciation of poetry, but also to build confidence in public speaking which would serve the students well in later life.

“The bottom line is learning to interpret a poem, even if it is at a very simple level for the little ones,” she said. “After that, it is all about building confidence in presenting to a number of people, knowing how people respond to communication and how to make that happen. These skills will be useful in every area of their lives. It is all about being understood, and that is training which will help them succeed in any social situation.”

The competition will involve primary schools in Blakeney, Burnham Market, Langham, Hindringham, Walsingham and Wells and also Year 7 and 8 students from Alderman Peel High School.

Competing children will have to learn and recite two poems, one compulsory and one chosen from a prepared list.

After the workshops, the schools will stage their own internal competitions before sending the winners to a grand final.

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