The Poetry Slam Finals at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham took place recently and saw over 100 Year 7 students compete against each other, in front of a packed audience of fellow pupils, parents, staff and governors, to be crowned 2018 champions. Following on from the initial workshops two weeks ago in the library, it was a keenly-fought, high-quality contest throughout, with three heats leading to a Grand Final comprising six teams.

The ‘Poem Punchers’ were the highest-scoring team in the first heat with their superbly-crafted piece imagining if everyday objects came to life. ‘Cow and Sheep for Life’ then triumphed in the second heat with their funny and dramatic tale about doughnuts, while ‘Infinite’ topped the third with their memorable poem about life as a diary.

The three highest-scoring runners-up, ‘Writing Wizzez’, ‘FBI Horses’ and ‘Yang Gow Shing’, also made it through to the final. Every heat was close, with all 17 teams of such a high standard.

The six teams in the final then faced the ultimate test – writing a brand-new poem in just half an hour! They all instantly got to work, as new tales were crafted and actions honed. The final saw the scores even closer – ‘Writing Wizzez’ finished third with their imaginative car trip, ‘Poem Punchers’ second with a brilliant depiction of Christmas and, by just one point, ‘Cow and Sheep for Life’ were crowned champions with their dramatic tale of a mountain climb that impressed both the judges and audience. Huge congratulations to James Doggett, Henry Perks, Katie Forman and Theo for their writing and performances.

Meanwhile, in the separate Alphabet Story category, the group entitled ‘Team Name’, comprising Tom Hughes, Daniel Garraway, Lenny Osler and Ben Cruickshank, triumphed for their well-constructed tale using dramatic acting and exceptional vocabulary of just 26 words, where each word started with the next letter of the alphabet. Again, it was a close-run thing, with just three points separating them from ‘The Terrible Threesome’ in second.

A huge well done to all the Year 7s throughout the evening who braved the stage and spotlights to deliver such wonderful creative poetry. ‘Cow and Sheep for Life’ and ‘Team Name’ now add their names to the illustrious Hardenhuish Poetry Slam roll of honour, as this showcase event for Year 7 continues to grow in prestige in its ninth year being held here.

Curriculum Leader for English, Dan Skirrow, said, “It was an absolute privilege to see Year 7 wrangling syllables and metaphors in such creative ways when working with Sara-Jane, both in the workshops and on the Finals Evening itself. The confidence and enthusiasm on display from Year 7 during the Poetry Slam was genuinely inspiring and resulted in a lively and enjoyable evening’s performance. Bravo Year 7!”