There was a lot of tension in the air at the Norfolk final of the Poetry by Heart competition which took place at Norwich Arts Centre on Tuesday 21st January. Nervous competitors silently mouthed their verses while teachers and supporters tried to keep calm.

Our entrant Tammy Mahere (Year 11) began her recitations with a pre-1914 poem called “The Rights of Women” which was very stirring. Her second poem was a sonnet called “Still Life” which had a beautiful and serene mood. In the third round of the competition Tammy recited a First World War poem which had a strong marching rhythm. Her choices gave her lots of opportunity to vary her voice and style of presentation.

Tammy said, ‘everyone was really good at reciting the poems which made the competition very intense. In the end I was awarded runner-up and it was a fantastic experience.’ Tammy’s prize was a poetry anthology.

Tammy’s achievement was amazing – in the middle of her mock exams she had learnt three poems off by heart. She was prepared to stand up in public and recite – not many of us would have the confidence to do that.

Thanks to Tammy’s school competitors who took part in December, to Mrs Richards, who coached Tammy and to Mr and Mrs Crump for coming to support her on the night. Mr Crump said,

‘On a night of extremely high standards, Tammy really shone out as she recited three poems perfectly. She recited with passion, with clarity and with a real depth of expression. Apparently the judges had great difficulty in deciding who was the overall winner – we congratulate Tammy on being the runner-up; she was a real credit to the school and we should all feel very proud of her.’

Mrs Young, Head of English