This is a poetry anthology for schools to support the English Framework and teach literacy through poetry. It covers Key Stage 3 requirements and prepare students for the Key Stage 4 emphasis on poetry. More than an anthology, it includes background information on poets and poems, illustrations and activities. The main features of the book include the following: a range of short poems that are widely different in form for the students to study and discuss; well-known and new poems showing a range of styles and genres; all pre-1914 and post-1914 National Curriculum set poets; a few poems written by children; thematic contrasts, showing different attitudes to diverse topics; and National Curriculum attainment is listed on a one-page chart at the front of the book. Activities are divided by word level, sentence level and text level, with a literacy focus given for each poem and/or groups of poems and English Framework matches highlighted. The activities for each focus on a particular aspect of the poem's theme or technique so that the students gain a clear grasp of what skill they are learning as they study each poem.
Written, reading and speaking and listening activities are clearly marked. Suggestions are provided for reading poems linked by theme, author or form. As this volume covers the whole of Key Stage 3, there should be progression from one unit to the next. The book also looks forward to Key Stage 4 and prepares students for GCSE work on poetry.
Wendy Bardsley is a former Literature, Drama and Poetry Advisory Teacher and published poet. She has adjudicated national poetry competitions and had schemes of work published by Manchester LEA. Laura Sanderson is an English teacher at Boston Spa Comprehensive School.