Poetry in the Primary Classroom

We have secured funding to embark on an exciting new project, Poetry in the Primary Classroom in partnership with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) which will run over two years between September 2020 and December 2021.

The project aims to offer primary school teachers a rich Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) programme to enhance their enjoyment of and practice with poetry from Africa and the diaspora. Working closely with poets from our Africa Writes festival community, we will develop educational workshops and resources to inspire new ways of working with poetry in the primary classroom. This work seeks to enhance creativity in the classroom, increasing children’s participation in the arts while shining a light on exciting work by poets from Africa and the diaspora.

About the programme
This 5 day training programme uses poetry from Africa and the diaspora and proven creative teaching approaches to support primary teachers to diversify the curriculum and embed artistic practice in the classroom, to improve children’s engagement in creative writing. This training will be delivered by our highly experienced team of teachers, as well as 3 professional poets who will share a wealth of techniques and creative approaches. This training meets all requirements of the National Curriculum and will cover:

  • How to approach poetry in a learning environment
  • The importance of reading poetry aloud
  • Expanding range and diversity of poetry in the classroom
  • The importance of inspiration and finding your voice
  • The importance of personal reflection and response
  • Teachers’ writing skills and confidence
  • The opportunity to work with 3 leading African diaspora poets
  • Poetry as a vehicle to explore identity

Participants will also receive Poetry in the Primary Classroom book packs, with accompanying teaching plans and resources, to develop participants’ knowledge and understanding of African and diaspora poetry. At the end of the course will be the opportunity for teachers and children to share their work as part of the Africa Writes festival 2021 at the British Library.

The course is part-funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and costs just £375 for 5 days training, the equivalent of £75 per day. The 5 sessions will take place between January and June 2021.

Interested in getting involved?

We are currently recruiting Year 4 and Year 5 teachers from primary schools in any London borough. Two teachers from each school are required for the school to be eligible. If you are interested in participating in the CPDL programme, please register your interest.


This project is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.