National Poetry Day

From Forward Arts Foundation

Resource type: Event

Price band: Free

Key stage: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, Adult

Region(s): All of UK

This nationwide annual celebration of poetry takes place on the first Thursday of October, which in 2024 falls on October 3rd. Each year, National Poetry Day has a different theme and the theme for 2024 is Counting.

The National Poetry Day website provides a range of free resources to support schools. Resources for National Poetry Day 2023 included:

  • A Schools Toolkit and themed teaching resources from cross-curriculum experts such as CLPE and the National Literacy Trust designed to get all pupils in KS1 – KS5 reading, discussing, performing, and writing poetry.
  • A themed competition for pupils aged 8-11.
  • A selection of permissions-cleared poems that tie in with the year’s theme for schools to use.
  • Information about the National Poetry Day Ambassadors.
  • Posters and display material to raise awareness of National Poetry Day.

Cost: Resources are free with registration.

About the Forward Arts Foundation: National Poetry Day is organised by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity committed to promoting public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland. Other programmes include the Forward Prizes for Poetry and the annual anthology of the year’s best poems, the Forward Book of Poetry.

Further resources:

  • Get involved in this year’s Poetry By Heart Competition, an annual poetry speaking competition for pupils in KS2 – KS5 in England that launches on National Poetry Day.
  • Explore Michael Rosen’s YouTube channel to find performance videos of your favourite Michael Rosen poems. You can also find Michael’s tips on how to create a Poetry Friendly Classroom here.
  • Download the Digital Poet in Residence lesson plans from the National Literacy Trust with links to accompanying interactive videos by poet Simon Mole. Available with the free NLT basic membership.
  • Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho has produced Poetry Prompts, a series of weekly bitesize videos designed to celebrate and demystify the reading and writing of poetry. There are free posters and accompanying resources from CLPE to download.
  • Invite a poet into school to inspire and work with your pupils with the Poetry Society’s Poets in Schools service.
  • Get involved with one of the poetry competitions running this term.
  • Young poets can also submit their own poems to be published on the Poetry Zone website.
  • Find top poetry book recommendations for primary schools in this blog from Just Imagine.
  • The National Poetry Centre for Primary Schools provides a comprehensive bank of resources to support the teaching of poetry in the primary classroom.
  • Find inspiration and evidence-based approaches to help embed poetry in the classroom in the free Poetry in Primary Schools: What We Know Works publication from CLPE.
  • Explore the range of Poetry Resources for primary and secondary teachers on the BBC Teach website.
  • Get free access to the special poetry editions of Teaching English and Primary Matters on the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) poetry portal.
  • Find more resources to support the teaching of poetry here.

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Logo for National Poetry Day