Poetry in the Primary Classroom

Our education & outreach programme has grown and flourished since it was established in 2016. In the past four years we have developed a strong network of schools, teachers and cultural organisations who share our aims of improving diversity in the curriculum.

Between 2017 and 2019, we have engaged poets, pupils and teachers in our successful programme Africa Writes: Young Voices. The programme pairs diaspora poets with schools to deliver creative writing workshops, curated book packs, engagement with school libraries, showcase events and production of digital anthologies. This work has had a real impact on the knowledge, confidence and skills of both young people and teachers, and enhanced learning about African and diaspora literature in the classroom.

We have now 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.


Interested in getting involved?

We are currently recruiting teacher participants from primary schools in the London boroughs of Lewisham, Enfield, Haringey and Lambeth. If you are interested in participating in the CPDL programme, please email Marcelle Akita at ras_education@soas.ac.uk.

This project is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.