Local writer teaches children how to write poetry

S45833H13''Poet Roger Stevens at Swiss Gardens Primary School on Tuesday
S45833H13''Poet Roger Stevens at Swiss Gardens Primary School on Tuesday

TEACHERS and pupils were treated to an ‘engaging’ afternoon of poetry by a Hove writer last Tuesday.

Roger Stevens, who runs the Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish poetry, spent the day at Swiss Gardens Primary School, Shoreham, reading, teaching and giving tips on how to enjoy and write poetry.

Lis Telcs, ECaR (Every Child a Reader) teacher, said: “It all started when a friend of mine won a bid at a charity auction and the prize was Roger visiting a school. She offered it to me, I said yes immediately.”

Roger, who used to be a teacher, began his visit with a 15 minute reading session with reception and then games and readings for years 1 and 2.

Later in the afternoon he read excerpts from his latest book What Are We Fighting For? and spoke about how to write poetry to year 5 and 6.

At the end of the visit the children had the chance to buy one of his books.

Lis said: “There was a group of year 5 boys who had forgotten to bring in any money.

“However they did have their tuck shop money.

“They then clubbed together and between all five of them bought one of Roger’s poetry books for the whole class.

“It was so sweet and I was so amazed by it.”

Speaking of the importance of teaching children about poetry, Roger said: “First of all it’s a great way to help children learn and manipulate language, to communicate on emotional and intellectual levels.

“It’s also about laying a foundation for children for the future.

“I want children to grow up loving poetry, because there’s so much wonderful poetry waiting for them when they become grown-ups.”

Lis added: “The children were so excited all day and they are still repeating the poems Roger taught them.

“We definitely want to have him in again, soon.

“Roger said how much he enjoyed it and how well behaved the children were. He said they really listened.

“The teachers all loved it and were impressed with the way he engaged with the children.”