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Djanogly City Academy Joint Poetry Slam

In the wise words of Percy Bysshe Shelley ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’ and that was certainly the case during this project.

A fortunate group of pupils from both Nottingham High School and Djanogly City Academy took part in a maiden joint Poetry Slam as part of Djanogly City Academy’s annual Festival of Words. Consisting of pre-prepared poetry, group discussions, peer-assessment and individual performances across both schools, all pupils put aside any negative pre-conceptions of poetry and worked collaboratively and enthusiastically to make this event such a success.


The event, which saw all pupils celebrating and championing the power of poetry, was enjoyed by all.

The initial task, before the event itself, was for pupils to compose a poetry piece based on a song title of their choice. Many pupils recreated the meaning of the song in a different form whilst others sought to compose something original and creative based on the title alone. These variations of interpretation were both interesting and impressive.

At the event itself, pupils spent time in small groups discussing and assessing collections of poems completed by pupils from the opposite school, eventually selecting a winner for the final round. The discussions within this group work were excellently thorough and positive and all pupils should be commended for their contributions.

Following this, the six finalists from each school were given the opportunity to perform their winning poems for prizes and this is where pupils really shone.


The opportunity for the partnership was presented through strong links between the librarians at both schools.

English teachers supported the project before, during and after the event.

The first event took place in March 2015, with plans for this to become an annual venture.


The partnership has been a success due to positive engagement from pupils and staff from both schools.

Djanogly City Academy hosted the event, whilst a member of the English Department at Nottingham High School took the organisational lead for the event preparation and evaluation.


Aside from the competition element, assessment opportunities were available during the preparation work and during the collaberative discussion work.  Evaluation of the event was also carried out, evidencing the fact that many of the pupils enjoyed the collaborative nature of the afternoon.

“The poetry slam was a great way for different schools to compete in a literature competition.”

“A brilliant way to compete and listen to others from another school.”

“It was fun interacting with a different school and sharing our poems with them. I hope it happens again.”

This was a wonderful event, not only showcasing some of the clear artistic talent that some of the pupils have, but also demonstrating a love and joy for poetry and expression within the community.

This joint Poetry Slam was a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Pupil Involvement

There were 35 Year 7 pupils from Nottingham High School involved and a similar number of Year 7 pupils from Djanogly City Academy. Girls and boys were involved in the event.


Having taken place in March 2015 for the first time, the plan is for this to be an annual event.