The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts’ PoetryQuest project is supported by the MariaMarina Foundation and introduces 720 7-11 year old children from across the UK to performance poetry. The charity builds sustainble relationships between art venues across the country and their local schools to help to give schools the means and motivation to take their class into a new and inspiring environment. ach arts venue works to engage 4 local schools and 2 classes of year 5/6 students from each school.
This year PoetryQuest selected Francesca Beard and BREIS (plus Josh Solnick shadowing) at Kings Place, London; Levi Tafari and Mandy Coe at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and our very own Dead Poets (Mark Grist and MC Mixy) at Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire.
PoetryQuest aims to give 720 children, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, the chance to work with a local performance space and professional poets to develop their poetry writing and performance skills. A pupil from The Royal Exchange Manchester said: “I feel now that I can do anything, be anything and could be whoever I want to be”!
The poets worked with the pupils over several weeks with the goals of encouraging them to get to know and enjoy poetry writing and performance, to help them feel comfortable in a performance space by using writing and performance techniques to inspire and engage them both in the venue and back at school and to encourage children to write and perform their own poems. The wider aims of PoetryQuest are to impact positively on children’s academic interest, attainment and creativity, teaching the children skills which will build their confidence and self-esteem and inspire them to visit the venue with their families after the project has finished.
In addition to working with the children, the poets also provided 24 Key Stage 2 teachers with training in using poetry within the classroom to inspire their class’s creativitywhile still meeting curriculum targets.Teacher Will Power said: “Working with poets as part of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts’ project ‘PoetryQuest’ I saw how my pupils were energised and inspired to look at their lives in a different way and to articulate this through rap and poetry”.
PoetryQuest is a fantastic project - building community links between poets, venues and schools, as well as giving children and teachers the opportunity to be part of something very special indeed! We caught up with Mixy (Dead Poets) after the event and he told us, "It was inspiring to work so closely with the schools around our own area, and a great feeling to see the high level of ability the students were able to achieve. A great project, run by great people".
For further information on PoetryQuest please visit their website.
For further info on the Dead Poets please visit us at Book a Poet.