St George’s International School

Beloved children’s author, poet inspires St George’s students

St George’s International School Reception students wrote and recited their own poem based on Michael Rosen’s much loved  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt .  (Credit: St George’s International School)

St George’s International School Reception students wrote and recited their own poem based on Michael Rosen’s much loved We’re Going on a Bear Hunt .  (Credit: St George’s International School)

Renowned children’s author and poet Michael Rosen, whose work includes We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Sad Day, will be a special guest at St George’s International School today to celebrate National Poetry Day.

Mr Rosen will speak with Primary students via Zoom at an assembly dedicated to poetry performance. The students have been hard at work writing their own verses, listening to and sharing their favourite poems in preparation for the event.

St George’s Primary English coordinator Lauren Hughes said celebrating National Poetry Day was a way of encouraging everyone to share and enjoy the world of poetry, and having a much-loved author and poet as a special guest would bring extra excitement for the school community.

“As a form of expression, poetry captures our excitement, our imaginations and our wonder,” Ms Hughes said. “The variety, flexibility and potential inherent in learning about poetry and utilising poetry means it has relevance across the school and the curriculum.

“The teaching of poetry covers many of the milestones across the curriculum, from nursery rhymes that cover mathematics through counting, to the examination of war poems further up the school. The potential of poetry to offer a window, an access point, into serious societal issues makes it vital when approaching certain topics in a considered and empathetic way. Older students, for example, have been examining perspectives on refugees through the unique form of reverse poetry.”

Fellow Primary English coordinator Clare Jennings said Mr Rosen’s guest appearance had been the talk of the school since it was announced last week and students had been working on questions to ask him during the event. His poems, many of which are about his life between the ages of 2 and 12, have also been the basis of classes as students prepare for the assembly and National Poetry Day.

“Poetry has a wide range of benefits both educationally and developmentally,” Ms Jennings said. “We start learning poetry from a young age as we are taught nursery rhymes, which help teach patterns and develop early language skills. As children progress through school those skills evolve as children play with language and sentence structure. 

“Engaging with poetry opens a world of possibilities in terms of how and why we communicate and encourages experimentation and expression in forms of written and spoken language,” she said.

One Reception class, with students aged 4-5 years, wrote and performed their own poem based on Mr Rosen’s much-loved We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Their teacher Johanna Kekki used it as an opportunity to practise handwriting, with each student writing a line for a poster to be placed on the classroom wall.

Primary students have been asked to bring their favourite poem in their pocket today to share with students and staff. Parents have recorded videos of themselves reciting poems from their home countries and languages, and students in all year groups will take part in creating a performance poem together.

St George’s International School is an inclusive, vibrant international community of 875 students aged from 3 years to 18+ years, representing over 60 different nationalities. This rich diversity provides a unique and exciting learning environment for every child. To prepare our students to be outstanding 21st century global citizens, we nurture strong values in our students, based on mutual understanding and respect. Find out more on our website.