School children taking part in a writing workshop on National Poetry Day

There are loads of ways to celebrate with poetry in school, but why not start with one of the below… If you’re stuck for ideas, why not take a look at our Toolkit for Schools.

Read a poem

We have a selection of poems on the National Poetry Day 2017 theme of “freedom” to get your class inspired.

Try an activity – use our free teaching resources

Take a look at our bank of online resources to get your class started on their poetry day and check out our new toolkit which is full of ideas and inspiration. We also have posters to decorate your classroom.

The Scottish Poetry Library also have a selection of poems, posters and resources that you can download for free.

Celebrate poetry live: online event with Roger Stevens

National Poetry Day ambassador Roger Stevens will feature on ReadingZone Live for an online poetry event at 2.30pm on Wednesday 27 September, to help set the stage for National Poetry Day on Thursday 28 September.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership between ReadingZone and The London Grid for Learning Trust.

The event will be hosted by a school in London with other schools joining by video conference and any school can watch the online event live. You can also send Roger questions in advance by emailing them to (subject Roger Stevens).

During the event, Roger will talk about his work and writing poetry and will share some of his poetry live. Children taking part in the event will then be able to ask Roger questions about writing poetry and his work. He will also answer the questions that have been emailed in advance.

Find out how to join in by following the link. The programme will show automatically on the website; you won’t need any passwords to view it on the day.

Write a poem

National Poetry Day’s artist,  the poet Sophie Herxheimer, has come up with a great activity to inspire a poem about Freedom, by using some very odd rules – invented by mathematicians and poets together. It works with anyone, of any age.

Oulipo is addictive: be warned!

Put on a Poetry Reading

Need advice on holding a poetry reading? Just download this invaluable toolkit by Andrew Parkes.

Create a display

We also have some wonderful posters by Sophie Herxheimer, the National Poetry Day artist/poet. Use Sophie’s posters to brighten up your walls and as the centrepieces of poetry displays. Sign up to receive free display packs, or download them now.

Takeover the school

What happens when a school becomes a seed-bed for poetry? With Forward Books of Poetry as the seed packets? In 2014/15, the poet Kate Clanchy of Oxford Spires Academy decided to find out, by encouraging students throughout the school to raid the Forward Book of Poetry 2015 for inspiration for work of their own. The result is documented in a poetry anthology that is also a treasure trove of teaching ideas. 

I was educated until I was 14 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When I came here it was a big shock to me: I want to be an A student, but because of my English I get Bs and Cs… I love to read and write poetry. I especially liked the Kevin Powers poems because of the way he wrote about war. My poems are also about war, and leaving my country… Winning the Forward Young Responses Competition made me very proud. Now I will take AS Creative Writing next year and I believe I can get an A.

Shikria Rezaei, Student, Oxford Spires Academy

Let us know how you get on

Don’t forget to let us know what you get up to with #nationalpoetryday, so that we can share your work with our supporters.