FCC secures Poetry By Heart Finalist

Jasmine Mack, a student in Year 13 at Faringdon Community College (FCC), has secured a place in the Poetry By Heart final.

Poetry By Heart is a national competition, in which students are required to learn either one or two famous poems off by heart, then recite them in front of an audience with all the emotion and emphasis that the poet intended. Schools are required to host an in-house event, in which they select some winners to be uploaded to the Poetry By Heart website, who are then in with the chance of going through to the Grand Finale.

The Grand Finale is a very prestigious event, in which the finalists then have to present their poem recitals to a large audience of approximately 900 people at Shakespeare’s Globe. There will also be members of the Poetry By Heart Consortium team, made up of the Poetry By Heart team, CLPE, English Association, Forward Foundation, Poetry Society, Poetry Archive, Homerton College and Stephen Spender Trust – as well of course as Shakespeare’s Globe.

There will be top UK poets including Jean Sprackland, Daljit Nagra, Patience Agbabi, Valerie Bloom, Liz Berry, Glyn Maxwell, Simon Armitage and Joe Coelho. There will also be families and guests from schools, colleges and universities; poets, poetry publishers and people from other poetry organisations; media and VIPs.

On 15th March, FCC hosted its Poetry By Heart event, in which thirteen students of different ages partook in the competition. There are two categories – Freestyle and Classic. Jasmine learned two poems ‘ What If,’ by Benjamin Zephaniah, and ‘Remembrance’ by Emily Bronte, which were delivered with precision and eloquence.

The winners were announced on Wednesday 1st May, with Jasmine securing her place in the Grand Finale on Monday 1st July.

English Teacher Katy Smith said: “Myself and the other Poetry By Heart contestants at FCC are going to be making a trip to the Globe on the 1st July to see Jasmine battle for the champion’s trophy. This is the first time that FCC has been entered into the poetry competition; with only approximately eight finalists chosen nationally out of many hundreds of schools who enter, we, as a school, are ecstatic that we have an FCC Poetry By Heart finalist. We are all rooting for Jasmine as she strives to reign national champion for Poetry By Heart!”.

Good Luck Jasmine!