Poetry By Heart 2017
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Yasmin Atherton, Joe Lucas, Olivia Shaw and Paige Wiseman - all year 12 English students -  battled it out to become winner of the third annual SJR Poetry by Heart competition.

They recited their chosen poems (one pre-, one post-1914) in front of an experienced judging panel consisting of Principal Peter McGhee, 2015 college champion and published performance poet Eva Curless, 2016 National Poetry by Heart champion and current year 13 student Jess Mason, and Head of English Chris Chandler.

The event was a wonderful celebration both of our students’ outstanding commitment to everything they do and the beauty of poetry as an auditory art form. Principal Peter McGhee said: “In my three years of judging this competition, I can honestly say that the quality of performance has never been as consistently high. All competitors deserve enormous congratulations for their fantastic efforts.”

In a very close-run competition, the thoroughly deserving winner was Olivia Smith who recited ‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold and ‘Strawberries’ by Edwin Morgan. Olivia will now have her performance filmed for judging by the Poetry by Heart organisation.

Does another appearance at the national finals await? If so, Jess will also be there – she has been invited by the competition organisers to be a part of the finals weekend!