Poetry in the Primary Classroom Blog: Confidence and motivation 

Workshop 2: Learning confidence and motivation

We could all use a confidence boost right now, couldn’t we? Which is probably why our second workshop for the Poetry in the Primary Classroom Programme couldn’t have come at a better time. In March 2021 in collaboration with CLPE, we ran the second workshop of the programme. This was focussed on self expression, the balanced use of non-fiction texts in the school curriculum, and confidence building whilst creating poetry.

The workshop was split into two sessions online (due to lockdown restrictions), with the first one being run by CLPE, and the second run by the incredible poet Ruth Awolola. Although we would have liked to have the workshop take place in person, the benefits of working with a smaller group online were already beginning to show themselves. Teachers engaged with the texts and shared their own personal poems throughout.

During the first session, our teachers reviewed how their pupils felt about poetry and how to work together as a feedback group. This really set the stage for the second session, where poet Ruth Awolola took them through a number of exercises for constructing poetry and creating narratives inspired by some of her poems, to help teachers elevate their own personal pieces.

The whole workshop was a great opportunity for our teachers to gain confidence in not only teaching poetry to their Year 4 and 5 classes, but writing and performing it themselves as well. This will be invaluable going forward when utilising the teaching resources of other African and diaspora poetry texts.

We can’t wait for the next workshop – in the meantime you can read about the first one here!


I have always wanted to be nocturnal,

To Live by the light of the moon.

There’s something about the stars – they’re eternal.

I pray the sun sets soon.”

-A Love Letter to the Stars by Ruth Awolola


Olivia Danso

Education Programme Manager

14 April 2021

Image caption: Africa Writes Young Voices showcase, 2019. Image by Ivan Gonzalez