Year 9 students Miracle, Garry and Isaac have been chosen as finalists for Poetry By Heart’s 2023 Grand Finale, where they will be representing West Bromwich Collegiate Academy at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in June. They will be presenting their mixed media rendition of John Agard’s ‘Checking Out Me History’ as part of the competition’s freestyle category, where performers can use a variety of mixed media including dramatisation, dance and music.

A national poetry speaking competition for schools and colleges across England, Poetry By Heart aims to develop a love and confidence for poetry among young people, making it more engaging and accessible.

The competition saw over 2,000 entries, with over 37,000 pupils taking part.

Organisers from Poetry By Heart commented: “They should be incredibly proud of themselves. They are all winners because they all now have a poem in their heart.”

The finale will take place during a two-day festival programme on the 25th-26th June, featuring a range of poetry and drama performances.

For finalists, the programme includes an exclusive guided tour of the theatre, an opportunity to see the best professional poets perform their works and a performance of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Comedy of Errors’.

George Faux, Principal of West Bromwich Collegiate Academy, said: “We are hugely proud of our students who have excelled in this competition and grateful to Poetry By Heart for this amazing opportunity.

“We always say at our Academy that our students can be the equal of anyone, locally or nationally and these students are a perfect example of what you can achieve when you seize the opportunities in front of you.”

Poetry is a unique art form that can connect with people in profound ways, telling stories in a new form which resonate with many using a variety of different methods.

Often cherished by those who appreciate the beauty of language and its ability to convey complex emotions and ideas, poetry is a timeless and invaluable art that enriches our lives.

The opportunity for students to explore poetry and find those that strongly resonate and speak to them is a truly significant experience. Like many forms of written literature, poetry has the power to shape our thoughts, philosophies and beliefs, becoming a personal and invaluable part of who we are as individuals.