Postcards, Paintings, Picnic, Competition & Light

Thursday 8th October, yep! – that is next week and the second last day of term.  “Yipee!”, I hear you say.  So, next Thursday sees us returning to our annual celebration of poetry with the return to the tried and tested Poetry Picnic format.  It will be held in the school library at lunchtime (12:25 – 1:30pm).  Snacks, tea and coffee will be available (for small donation towards costs) as well as general banter about poetry on this year’s theme of ‘Light‘ (and maybe just general banter) in celebration of National Poetry Day.

What can you look forward to?

Sharing Poetry – Poetry postcard deliveries will take place during periods 1 – 3 next Thursday 8th October.  Where teachers will ‘drop everything and read’ poems from this year’s (or previous years poetry postcards) if convenient, otherwise the poem will be read out at the end of the lesson.  We will require some S6 volunteers to help deliver these cards.

Poetry Competition – Write a poem on the theme of ‘Light’.  Poem can be based on your own thoughts, feelings, etc. on ‘light’ or use one of the paintings on display in the library and write a poetic response to it.  Staff and pupils can enter.


Poetry & Plagiarism – As part of the introduction to the poetry competition, S2 pupils have been given a chance in English Library / Literacy periods to start to consider writing a poem about ‘Light’.  Pupils respond to a painting which has clever use of light or has a title with ‘light’ in it.  They write 5-6 lines of poetry. 

They are then asked to swap their work with someone else.  The pupils then writes their name on the piece of work they got.  Pupils head off to do 10-15 minutes of personal reading whilst the teacher and librarian go round and look at the poetry giving out up to 3 stamps each for work which shows promise or is looking good… based on initial impressions.  Those with the most stamps get a peedie prize (sweetie). 

The outcry is tangible as pupils are getting ‘rewards’ for something they didn’t write.  We then have a short discussion on what was wrong with this and why, including how it makes people feel.  Thus, they get a feeling about exactly what plagiarism is and why we insist on pupils using their own words and ensuring they reference their sources of information.  Thank you to the ever useful School Librarians’ Network forum for the idea.

Poetry Picnic – Come along to the poetry picnic held over the whole of lunch. Pop in for a short while are stay the full 40 minutes of your lunch.  We might even bring back the popular ‘tongue twister’ competition. 

Pupil helpers – There will be a requirement for some pupil volunteers to help with the poetry picnic and to tidy up afterwards so anyone interested should get in touch with Mrs Sinclair. (NB. We have three already so one or two more would be helpful.)

Playing with Light – We are also hoping to enlist the help of the science department so that a small display or quick experiments in light can be done during the poetry picnic.  Watch this space!

Display with poetry competition images and poems from the poetry postcards.
Display with poetry competition images and poems from the poetry postcards.

So, a lot is planned and without you, the pupils and staff, this event wouldn’t work so well.  Let’s see if this can be our best yet.  See you next Thursday!

Poetry Picnic


The annual Poetry Picnic took place yesterday, Thursday 3rd October and was attended by around 20 pupils over the course of the lunch break. This is now the 11th year we have been celebrating National Poetry Day. The Poetry Picnic idea didn’t really start until 2006, but we did have a ‘Poetry Feast’ back in 2004 when the theme was Food.

In the run up to NPD, during library periods, pupils in S1 and 2 did some keyword brainstorming around this year’s theme of water then wrote a few lines of ‘poetry’ which were then used to create tag clouds. The lines of poetry also informed the Cento (group poem) which produced on the day, although this will still be a work in progress with more lines hopefully being added before the end of term next week.


The Lower library was rearranged so that pupils could all sit around a large table, indulging in snacks as well as having the space to play the poetry pairs game (downloaded from the National Poetry Day website) and attempt to fit the poetry postcards, from The Scottish Poetry Library, together into a pattern – a postcard jigsaw!

Pupils also took turns in reading out some of the poems from the postcards as well as those from the pairs game. One pupil fortuitously grabbed a book off the poetry display (The Upside-Down Frown  : Shape Poetry by Andrew Peters, Wayland 1999) and happened to turn to a watery themed poem… totally unplanned as far as we were aware.

In the afternoon, the last S1 class of the week, spent about 15 minutes at the end of their library period playing the poetry pairs game and looking at the postcards.

It was awesome (S1)

We could write lines of poetry (S3)

It was fun (S3)

Great fun (S1)

Blumin lovely (S6)

Brilliant as usual (S6)