Poetry Picnic – National Poetry Day 2015


Thursday 8th October was National Poetry Day which was celebrated country wide judging by the high media (radio & television) and even higher social media presence.  Once again we celebrate poetry in the form of our annual poetry picnic which has been going since 2003/4.

This years theme was Light which gave an excuse for putting up some festive lights (not quite the right P1080658season for them yet), getting the candles out (battery operated, of course), and playing with torches, prisms and lasers (carefully).  Much fun was had by all, none the least Mrs Sinclair, the Librarian who was much amused by her purchase of remote control candles, let alone experimenting with passing light through prisms, faceted glass balls and water bottles.  We must than Mr McCaig, our science technician, for putting a tray of stuff together at the last minute as well as providing a fibre optic light.

P1080671We also read out some poetry for the poetry postcards from The Scottish Poetry Society as well as doing the tongue twister game – everyone in sequence reads a tongue twister.  If they stumble over words or get it wrong, they drop out.

In the run up to the day, all S1 and S2 pupils did some poetry writing during the library / literacy periods.  They were asked to have a look at some art work and write a few lines of poetry based on the image – what it portrayed? How it made them feel?

Some pupils then entered these for the poetry competition, with the closing date of Friday 30th October.


Poetry postcards were also delivered to classes during periods 1 and 2 with the teacher reading out the poem to their class.  This was a way of bringing poetry to a wider audience as well as trying to get the whole school involved.

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Some comments:

It looked like a medieval meeting but fun!

I like how you did the tongue twister game.

It was fun and exciting.

It was great.

I quite liked the ambiance.

A wonderful, cosy event. It was over too soon! Not much you can do to address that problem in a lunch break.

I think it was really fun, good, and interesting.  I loved all the lasers.  They were so pretty.

Participants were also asked for ideas for improvement and of those that commented on this, most that the event was “good as it is” and another suggested having a quiz.  Now there’s an idea to think of.

All in all it was a very successful event with the pupils and staff who attended appearing to enjoy it.  Acknowledgments must got to all attendees, the staff who read out poems to their classes periods 1 & 2, and the pupils who helped, whether it was delivering the poetry postcards or helping with photographs and tidying up afterwards.  Without you, these events would be more difficult to pull off.

Thank You!  FS

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)


Poetry Picnic

Yet another successful and enjoyable celebration went ahead  in the library last week on National Poetry Day (Thurs 6th October). Around 25 pupils attended over the course of lunchtime to enjoy poetry readings, a poetry pairs game and a tongue twisters game, as well as the snacks on offer.

The next event will be the ‘Spooky Happenings’ storytelling after the October holidays, most likely on Friday 4th November.

Games! Poetry!

National Poetry Day is coming up next week on Thursday 6th October. This year’s them is GAMES. The school library will be celebrating it in the usual way with a lunchtime Poetry Picnic to include poem readings and snacks and maybe even some games. All next week we will be promoting the playing of the available board games in the library at lunchtime.

Click these links to see previous years’ Poetry Picnics:



Poetry Winners

Well done to all pupils who entered the poetry competition. Some of the prizewinners are pictured below.


Here are some of the prize winning entries:


I’m so sorry

I’m sorry I’m late for work

I’m sorry I skipped school

I’m sorry I didn’t clean my dive kit

I’m so sorry


I’m sorry I didn’t clean my room

I’m sorry I didn’t clean the car

I’m sorry I didn’t cook

I’m sorry I didn’t cut the grass

I’m so sorry


I’m sorry I didn’t finish the course

I’m sorry I didn’t go to the Coop

I’m sorry I didn’t move my bike

I’m so sorry I just hate the work…




Damnit computer you just won’t listen

I shout blithering things, you don’t know submission

I click and I click and I click some more

You make my brain feel tired and small.


I gently kick you with my foot

If I could have my way with you you’d be ashes and soot

But alas my friend your end is not nigh

You are of property that is not mine.


Error occurred should I send a report?

No! I want you and your problem to have yourself sort

Why do have this problem you persist on me?

There is no error. That I can see.


Oh sod it I’ve had it you’re going to die

For this matter at hand I’m not going to lie.

I’ll put you on a battlefield against a javelin missile

Your CPU board I’ll be ecstatic to hear sizzle.


I’ll smack and I’ll wack you up against the wall

My extent of anger is infinitely tall

You are small but I am double

How’d you manage to cause this amount of trouble?


I don’t even know what you’re trying to say

I have to go home soon you’ve wasted my day

You have caused me an entire day of sorrow

This day has been hell and I’ll see you tomorrow.



Ha! Ha! Ha! Goes the sound of laughter on the TV

I have to clean 

EE! EE! Goes the sound of the mop as it mops up the muddy floor

I have to clean 

SH! CLICK! Goes the sound of the kettle and a clatter of footsteps followed

I have to clean 

SCRATCH! Goes the sound of the pens as it writes out the cheques

I have to clean 

CLICK! Goes the sound of the mouse on the computer

I have to clean 

DRIP! Goes the sound of the tap as the dishes are washed

I have to clean 

PURR! Goes the sound of the cat as it rubs against my leg

I have to clean

SIZZLE! Goes the sound of tea being cooked

I have to clean 

CLANK! CLANK! Goes the sound of money as it is counted

I have to clean

What a wonderful day everyone else has had

I STILL have to clean!!!!!